In Skyfaring, airline pilot and flight romantic Mark Vanhoenacker shares his irrepressible love of flying on a journey from day to night, from new ways of mapmaking and the poetry of physics to the names of winds and the nature of clouds. Here, anew, is the simple wonder and transcendent joy of motion and the remarkable new perspectives that height and distance bestow on everything we love.
©2015 Mark Vanhoenacker (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd
"Read it, and you'll find yourself requesting a window seat every time you fly." (Bookseller)
Not really. There are some really good parts and if it was abridged by a good editor then I think it could be a much better book for the casual listener. As it stands though, it is very wordy in parts and in the end just goes on a bit too long. After 12 hours I was ready for it to finish (and soon!).
Possibly, but I only have so many credits which means probably not. Why not? Well, much like some other reviewers I think Mark just tries a bit too hard in places. I've nothing against the guy (and I liked some of it very much), but I didn't need the literary references to appreciate that he is a very educated guy. Read one of Feynman's memoires if you want an example of an overpowering intellect who never strays from plain English.
I haven't, but I have no complaints about the narration.
No - and to be fair I think this would be a difficult subject to do justice to in a film.
Mark is obviously a smart guy - He mentions his education, followed by the career in management consulting and I think that's maybe the underlying issue here. I can imagine what he would have been like giving a presentation - at the end of it you would have been made fully aware of just how smart he was. Perhaps that seems a little unfair, after all I did like a lot of the book. I do think that as a 5 hour book minus the flowery bits it could be a really good book.
"terrible narrator "
MIGHT be interesting. Narrator kills it. over-enunciates every emotionless word -- so don't hear story
"What Mark did here is spectacular!"
I liked all the things that this book was at the same time. This book was a story of Mark's life, career and day-to-day on the job. This book was for aviation enthusiasts as it gave detailed information about the processes and mechanics of flight. This book was both of those things at the same time which made it most intriguing. I also like, as a person who travels a lot myself, having my opinions and thoughts on travel and all that goes into it reaffirmed by Mark. Mark feels and experiences things much like I do when travelling and I assume this aspect of the book will make it resonate with a wider audience than just 747 fans.
There are so many interesting aviation facts in this book - some quite technical - but Mark drops them into the midst of his life story so well that they do not turn the book into a textbook - they enhance the story.
"Other reviewers wrong about mispronunciation"
You say altimeter, I say altimeter.
There are quite a number of reviewers complaining about "mispronunciation" of certain aviation terms. They are all wrong. A two minute internet search quickly revealed to me the british pronunciation of altimeter. Sadly some of the comments were quite scathing toward the narrator. Those people should apologize. If you are going to be scathing, it's a lot better to be right. Otherwise you just look stupid.
"Great read for aviation enthusiasts."
Vanhoenacker beautifully conveys his love of flying, while providing much fascinating information about piloting a 747.
"Superb writing and reading"
This is the loveliest, most inspired writing I have encountered in many years. Who knew in non-fiction! I will experience flying in a totally new way. Bravo!
"I agree with most comments about the narrator"
I am a licensed private pilot and travel commercially about 100K miles per year so I am into aviation. That's the entire reason I bought this book. Yet, I found it too boring to finish. Some of this might be the fault of the narrator. I am in agreement with almost all of the other reviewers about this. He over pronounces every syllable. He mispronounces common aviation words, of which the oft reference "altimeter" is the most annoying. I will give him a pass on "Aeroplane" since that is the British way of saying the word. I am not certain how it is spelled out in the print edition
Yes, it is clear that the author truly loves what he does and that does come through in the book. Maybe I will go back and finish it after I finish the current thriller I am listening to, or if I am sitting on one of those many commercial flights and need to take a nap.
"Both poetic snd technical"
Well written story of a pilot's love of flight. You will learn much about airplanes, airports, celestial navigation and more.
"This book is awesome"
I have always loved aviation. My mind felt like it was soaring at 30,000 feet the whole time I listened to this book. My recommendation: Go for a fly with "Skyfaring". I don't think you will regret it. If you're like me, you will wish you could walk (or fly) a few miles in the author's shoes.
"Beautiful, intelligent writing"
This was a completely fascinating book, beautifully written. The author is creative and erudite...I would simply love to sit next to him at a dinner party...I would want to monopolize him!!
As someone who is always a little irrationally afraid of flying, found myself very assured, hearing his interesting thoughts about the mechanics of airplanes and the skills involved in flying them.
I know if at least three people who will be receiving this from me as a gift.
"Probably a bit longer than necessary"
Parts of the book were quite interesting but others went on much too long with lots of repetition.
As to the narrator: The quality control in the making of these audio books comes into serious question. Does anyone listen to what's going on? Others have mentioned altimeter as being a pretty glaring mispronunciation. What about "airplane"? which, as you can imagine is a pretty common word in a book about flying. From the very beginning of the book it's not a two syllable word but a three syllable word. Aer-o-plane is even more disconcerting and abrasive than altimeter. Be warned.
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