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Up in the Air

by Kirn, Walter

  • ISBN: 9780385497107
  • ISBN10: 0385497105

Up in the Air

by Kirn, Walter

  • List Price: $23.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books
  • Publish date: 07/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780385497107
  • ISBN10: 0385497105
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Description: Ryan Bingham, thirty-five, has a complicated past and an uncertain present, but a very simple goal: to accumulate one million miles in his cherished frequent flyer account. Crossing the million mark means many things to him, both practical and spiritual. Bragging rights among his peers. Status with the airline he flies for business. A lifetime of first-class upgrades. And freedom, naturally. That, and the satisfaction of breaking through a certain invisible mundane barrier onto a loftier plane of being. And once he has his million, he'll be happy, though what he'll do when he's achieved his dream (besides take advantage of a promised dinner with the airline's playboy CEO), he's not sure. As a traveling management consultant for Denver's ISM (Integrated Strategic Management), Ryan lives on airplanes and in airports; the transient realm he calls "Airworld" is his home. With his phone, his computer, and his frequent flyer account he's part of a new species: the commercial airborne commando who travels light and depends on no one. No one. We meet Ryan as he's making his final push. He's set up a fiendishly complicated itinerary -- thirteen cities in just six days -- that will mix business, pleasure, and family duties.

There's a lot to do and not much time to do it in, but Ryan is convinced he'll pull things off, conditions permitting. And that's the catch. Almost from the moment he takes off, conditions deteriorate. Weather problems. A needy seatmate starved for human sympathy. Ryan's persistent, disconcerting sense that someone is paging him over the airport loudspeakers. Through it all, though, he points his compass at true north: one million miles. Six zeros and a one.

Leave it toWalter Kirn to marry the literary novel to the airport read.

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