The End of Airports

Christopher Schaberg. Bloomsbury Academic, $19.95 trade paper (232p) ISBN 978-1-5013-0549-8
Schaberg (The Textual Life of Airports), an associate professor of English and Environment at Loyola University New Orleans, waxes philosophical as he contemplates the role airports play in today’s society. His short essays and anecdotes draw on his years as an airport employee as well as other personal experiences. In his eyes, airports have gone from magical to mundane, enjoyable to tedious, joyful to grim. And yet his stories of working at them have traces of humor and fascination, revealing the type of behind-the-scenes knowledge that always feels a little bit exotic to the uninformed. Sadly, as he moves to “the new dilemmas and lingering problems of flight,” he loses much of the intimacy and charm, his unfocused narrative drifting across the lanes of thought. At the bottom of every page, he includes pithy sayings that read like free-form poetry, leading to observations such as “the airport contracts about you. It is a sharp-edged, massed, metallic airport,” and “if you listen to the faintest but constant suggestions of the airport, you will see to what extremes, even insanity, it may lead you.” This curious work doesn’t quite live up to its potential. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/14/2015
Release date: 11/19/2015
Hardcover - 232 pages - 978-1-5013-0550-4
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