Passionate Spectator , etc.) serves as the premier installment of the Flying trilogy and features the eve"/>

Taking Off

Eric Kraft, Author . St. Martin's $23.95 (205p) ISBN 978-0-312-31884-0

This addition to Kraft's well-received body of work (Passionate Spectator , etc.) serves as the premier installment of the Flying trilogy and features the ever-engaging Peter Leroy. Upon hearing rumors that his Long Island hometown is being turned into a theme park based on his childhood cross-country flight, Peter returns with his levelheaded wife, Albertine, and a "fearsome conscience" to set a few things straight. Peter fears the media will uncover the truth about his heroic, history-making, 4,000-mile round-trip solo flight to New Mexico when he was 15: that the "earthbound portions" of the flight made up most of the mission. Nostalgic, homespun backstory reveals Peter's childhood, his early fascination with flight and the frenetic events leading up to the construction of the "aerocycle" (based on plans printed in The Impractical Craftsman ). The "Birdboy of Babbington" attempts to right his wrong with a heartfelt, revised expedition, but trouble looms, as Albertine may or may not have been kidnapped by a group of flyboy emergency medical technicians in this installment's closing pages. Kraft's unpretentious and engrossing storytelling make for a pleasant, escapist read. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/01/2006
Release date: 07/01/2006
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