• RRP: £19.99
  • You Save: £0.41 (2%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Bird Dream has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Books2Buy
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Brand new book, might have slight cosmetic or self wear. Quick Delivery 2-3 Working Days.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Bird Dream Hardcover – 21 Aug 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£19.58
£7.52 £1.94
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more

Great Discounts
Shop the Books Outlet. Discover some great deals on top titles. Shop now
£19.58 FREE Delivery in the UK. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Bird Dream
  • +
  • Parachuting: The Skydiver's Handbook
  • +
  • BASE 66: A Story of Fear, Fun, and Freefall
Total price: £43.42
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: PENGUIN PRESS (21 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594204659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594204654
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 2.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 651,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Kirkus" (STARRED)
"The breathtaking highs and life-threatening plunges of the most extreme stuntmen on Earth. Keep your mixed martial arts, parcours and BMX bikes; you haven't seen anything until you've seen the point-of-view video of these free-flying pilots soaring in their homemade wingsuits over some of the most extreme terrain on the planet. In this riveting journalistic account, freelance writer Higgins chronicles the evolution of the sport from simple parachuting to BASE jumping (the acronym stands for building, antennae, span and Earth, which serve as launch points) to the development of these soaring, superherolike armored flight suits... For anyone who finds these kinds of emotional and precise accounts of risk, ambition and victory irresistible, this is a must-read. A highflying, electrifying story of a treacherous sport in which every triumph is an eye blink away from becoming a disaster."
"Library Journal "(STARRED)
"[Higgins's] action-packed book introduces a global coterie of remarkable characters who have dared life and limb. He describes escapades from Sixties stunt parachuting to more contemporary BASE jumping, in which one takes flight off of selected worldwide buildings and geographical points to the experience of wingsuit flying--the maximum challenge. The author recounts the huge preparations, financial investments, psychological motivations, personal setbacks, and extraordinary aerial accomplishments that have gone into these extreme sports... An engrossing and exhaustively researched account of extremists who challenge failure and death on a regular basis. Highly recommended for ultimate jumpers in particular, sports enthusiasts in general, and all public libraries.
"Publishers Weekly"
"A new tribe of aerial daredevils write their deeds in blood and glory... Journalist Higgins sings the exploits and charisma of "wing-suit" pilots... The book is mainly a chronicle of death-defying stunts mishaps are plenty grisly when wing suiters traveling at 100 mph encounter anything denser than air, and the body count is high... [a] tribute to the exaltation of defying death; one extreme parachutist "felt somehow reborn into the world" on his first outing, "as if scales had been stripped from his eyes." These effusions won't move everyone to a conversion experience, but Higgins's account is hair-raising enough to hold the reader's interest."
SUSAN CASEY, author of "The Wave" and "The Devil's Teeth"
"Most of us dream of flying, but it is the exceptional person who actually tries it. Matt Higgins takes readers deep into the extreme and fascinating world of BASE jumpers and wingsuit pilots, those rare birds who risk their lives for a few exhilarating, gravity-defying seconds. "Bird Dream" is a beautifully crafted narrative, equal parts adrenaline rush and soulful meditation. From its first sentence, this book soars."
JAMES M. TABOR, author of "Blind Descent"
"Wingsuit fliers like Jeb Corliss and Gary Connery change the definition of 'impossible, ' often at the expense of life and limb. Capturing the essence of such entrepreneurs of the extreme is like trying to grab sparks. In "Bird Dream," Matt Higgins does just that with writing that is
crisp, exhilarating, and exhaustively researched. A must-read about ultimate quests--and their costs."
JAMES S. HIRSCH, author of "Willie Mays"
"Some people dare to imagine human flight; others dare to don wingsuits and leap birdlike into the void. A breathtaking narrative of outsized courage and irreverent boundary breaking, Matt Higgins's "Bird Dream" captures human jumps that defy the rational mind, that duel with gravity's inexorable pull, and that tango with the ever-present threat of dismemberment and death."
JOE DRAPE, author of "Our Boys"
"Matt Higgins takes us on a thrilling ride with an international cast of visionaries, daredevils, and flat-out wingnuts who are pushing the limits of human flight. Higgins weaves a compelling tale that leaves us awestruck and inspired by those who refuse to be constrained by earthly boundaries."
STEPH DAVIS, climber, BASE jumper, wingsuit pilot; author of "Learning to Fly"
""Bird Dream" is "Born to Run" for the wingsuit BASE world. Matt Higgins has managed to straddle the difficult line between maintaining authenticity for insiders and opening this fringe lifestyle to outsiders. As a dedicated jumper myself, I found "Bird Dream" compelling and absolutely undiluted."

Daily Beast:
"Gripping... In a way that shocked me, the book is perversely entertaining when Higgins reveals the fates of many of the men and women he writes about with such admiration. Higgins manages to keep the reader hooked all the way through to the final page. In a truly intoxicating read that was hard to put down, Matt Higgins has managed to make real a world about as far removed from daily life as it gets."
"The Wall Street Journal"
"In "Bird Dream," Matt Higgins cracks open this astonishingly dangerous sport and captures the spectacular adrenaline surges it delivers... [A] riveting tale."
"Chicago Tribune"
"[A] compelling chronicle of the extreme sport subculture of those who love soaring, gliding and plummeting to the earth from a wide range of deadly heights. Higgins has inherently thrilling material on his hands, but he does much more than merely describe the adrenaline-charged feats of jumpers. The book is a subtle study of the psychology of athletes engaged in a sport where death is a constant possibility."
"The Washington Post"
"In "Bird Dream," Matt Higgins offers an engrossing account of the men and women who pursue the most dangerous recreational activity imaginable, one in which a razor-thin line separates success from failure, life from death... While Higgins fills "Bird Dream" with fascinating characters, living and dead, the focus is on two wingsuiters determined to achieve the ultimate goal of jumping from a helicopter or an elevated spot and gliding down to a survivable landing without a parachute... Does either of them survive? You will find the answers to those questions in a book you will find hard to put down."
"Kirkus" (STARRED)
"The breathtaking highs and life-threatening plunges of the most extreme stuntmen on Earth. Keep your mixed martial arts, parcours and BMX bikes; you haven't seen anything until you've seen the point-of-view video of these free-flying pilots soaring in their homemade wingsuits over some of the most extreme terrain on the planet. In this riveting journalistic account, freelance writer Higgins chronicles the evolution of the sport from simple parachuting to BASE jumping (the acronym stands for building, antennae, span and Earth, which serve as launch points) to the development of these soaring, superherolike armored flight suits... For anyone who finds these kinds of emotional and precise accounts of risk, ambition and victory irresistible, this is a must-read. A highflying, electrifying story of a treacherous sport in which every triumph is an eye blink away from becoming a disaster."
"Library Journal "(STARRED)
"[Higgins's] action-packed book introduces a global coterie of remarkable characters who have dared life and limb. He describes escapades from Sixties stunt parachuting to more contemporary BASE jumping, in which one takes flight off of selected worldwide buildings and geographical points to the experience of wingsuit flying--the maximum challenge. The author recounts the huge preparations, financial investments, psychological motivations, personal setbacks, and extraordinary aerial accomplishments that have gone into these extreme sports... An engrossing and exhaustively researched account of extremists who challenge failure and death on a regular basis. Highly recommended for ultimate jumpers in particular, sports enthusiasts in general, and all public libraries.
"Publishers Weekly"
"A new tribe of aerial daredevils write their deeds in blood and glory... Journalist Higgins sings the exploits and charisma of "wing-suit" pilots... The book is mainly a chronicle of death-defying stunts mishaps are plenty grisly when wing suiters traveling at 100 mph encounter anything denser than air, and the body count is high... [a] tribute to the exaltation of defying death; one extreme parachutist "felt somehow reborn into the world" on his first outing, "as if scales had been stripped from his eyes." These effusions won't move everyone to a conversion experience, but Higgins's account is hair-raising enough to hold the reader's interest."
SUSAN CASEY, author of "The Wave" and "The Devil's Teeth"
"Most of us dream of flying, but it is the exceptional person who actually tries it. Matt Higgins takes readers deep into the extreme and fascinating world of BASE jumpers and wingsuit pilots, those rare birds who risk their lives for a few exhilarating, gravity-defying seconds. "Bird Dream" is a beautifully crafted narrative, equal parts adrenaline rush and soulful meditation. From its first sentence, this book soars."
JAMES M. TABOR, author of "Blind Descent"
"Wingsuit fliers like Jeb Corliss and Gary Connery change the definition of 'impossible, ' often at the expense of life and limb. Capturing the essence of such entrepreneurs of the extreme is like trying to grab sparks. In "Bird Dream," Matt Higgins does just that with writing that is
crisp, exhilarating, and exhaustively researched. A must-read about ultimate quests--and their costs."
JAMES S. HIRSCH, author of "Willie Mays"
"Some people dare to imagine human flight; others dare to don wingsuits and leap birdlike into the void. A breathtaking narrative of outsized courage and irreverent boundary breaking, Matt Higgins's "Bird Dream" captures human jumps that defy the rational mind, that duel with gravity's inexorable pull, and that tango with the ever-present threat of dismemberment and death."
JOE DRAPE, author of "Our Boys"
"Matt Higgins takes us on a thrilling ride with an international cast of visionaries, daredevils, and flat-out wingnuts who are pushing the limits of human flight. Higgins weaves a compelling tale that leaves us awestruck and inspired by those who refuse to be constrained by earthly boundaries."
STEPH DAVIS, climber, BASE jumper, wingsuit pilot; author of "Learning to Fly"
""Bird Dream" is "Born to Run" for the wingsuit BASE world. Matt Higgins has managed to straddle the difficult line between maintaining authenticity for insiders and opening this fringe lifestyle to outsiders. As a dedicated jumper myself, I found "Bird Dream" compelling and absolutely undiluted."

Daily Beast:
Gripping In a way that shocked me, the book is perversely entertaining when Higgins reveals the fates of many of the men and women he writes about with such admiration. Higgins manages to keep the reader hooked all the way through to the final page. In a truly intoxicating read that was hard to put down, Matt Higgins has managed to make real a world about as far removed from daily life as it gets.
"The Wall Street Journal"
"In "Bird Dream," Matt Higgins cracks open this astonishingly dangerous sport and captures the spectacular adrenaline surges it delivers... [A] riveting tale."
"Chicago Tribune"
[A] compelling chronicle of the extreme sport subculture of those who love soaring, gliding and plummeting to the earth from a wide range of deadly heights. Higgins has inherently thrilling material on his hands, but he does much more than merely describe the adrenaline-charged feats of jumpers. The book is a subtle study of the psychology of athletes engaged in a sport where death is a constant possibility.
"The Washington Post"
"In "Bird Dream," Matt Higgins offers an engrossing account of the men and women who pursue the most dangerous recreational activity imaginable, one in which a razor-thin line separates success from failure, life from death... While Higgins fills "Bird Dream" with fascinating characters, living and dead, the focus is on two wingsuiters determined to achieve the ultimate goal of jumping from a helicopter or an elevated spot and gliding down to a survivable landing without a parachute... Does either of them survive? You will find the answers to those questions in a book you will find hard to put down."
"Kirkus" (STARRED)
"The breathtaking highs and life-threatening plunges of the most extreme stuntmen on Earth. Keep your mixed martial arts, parcours and BMX bikes; you haven t seen anything until you ve seen the point-of-view video of these free-flying pilots soaring in their homemade wingsuits over some of the most extreme terrain on the planet. In this riveting journalistic account, freelance writer Higgins chronicles the evolution of the sport from simple parachuting to BASE jumping (the acronym stands for building, antennae, span and Earth, which serve as launch points) to the development of these soaring, superherolike armored flight suits... For anyone who finds these kinds of emotional and precise accounts of risk, ambition and victory irresistible, this is a must-read. A highflying, electrifying story of a treacherous sport in which every triumph is an eye blink away from becoming a disaster."
"Library Journal "(STARRED)
"[Higgins's] action-packed book introduces a global coterie of remarkable characters who have dared life and limb. He describes escapades from Sixties stunt parachuting to more contemporary BASE jumping, in which one takes flight off of selected worldwide buildings and geographical points to the experience of wingsuit flying the maximum challenge. The author recounts the huge preparations, financial investments, psychological motivations, personal setbacks, and extraordinary aerial accomplishments that have gone into these extreme sports... An engrossing and exhaustively researched account of extremists who challenge failure and death on a regular basis. Highly recommended for ultimate jumpers in particular, sports enthusiasts in general, and all public libraries.
"Publishers Weekly"
"A new tribe of aerial daredevils write their deeds in blood and glory... Journalist Higgins sings the exploits and charisma of wing-suit pilots... The book is mainly a chronicle of death-defying stunts mishaps are plenty grisly when wing suiters traveling at 100 mph encounter anything denser than air, and the body count is high... [a] tribute to the exaltation of defying death; one extreme parachutist felt somehow reborn into the world on his first outing, as if scales had been stripped from his eyes. These effusions won t move everyone to a conversion experience, but Higgins s account is hair-raising enough to hold the reader s interest."
SUSAN CASEY, author of "The Wave" and "The Devil s Teeth"
Most of us dream of flying, but it is the exceptional person who actually tries it. Matt Higgins takes readers deep into the extreme and fascinating world of BASE jumpers and wingsuit pilots, those rare birds who risk their lives for a few exhilarating, gravity-defying seconds. "Bird Dream" is a beautifully crafted narrative, equal parts adrenaline rush and soulful meditation. From its first sentence, this book soars.
JAMES M. TABOR, author of "Blind Descent"
Wingsuit fliers like Jeb Corliss and Gary Connery change the definition of impossible, often at the expense of life and limb. Capturing the essence of such entrepreneurs of the extreme is like trying to grab sparks. In "Bird Dream," Matt Higgins does just that with writing that is
crisp, exhilarating, and exhaustively researched. A must-read about ultimate quests and their costs.
JAMES S. HIRSCH, author of "Willie Mays"
Some people dare to imagine human flight; others dare to don wingsuits and leap birdlike into the void. A breathtaking narrative of outsized courage and irreverent boundary breaking, Matt Higgins s "Bird Dream" captures human jumps that defy the rational mind, that duel with gravity s inexorable pull, and that tango with the ever-present threat of dismemberment and death.
JOE DRAPE, author of "Our Boys"
Matt Higgins takes us on a thrilling ride with an international cast of visionaries, daredevils, and flat-out wingnuts who are pushing the limits of human flight. Higgins weaves a compelling tale that leaves us awestruck and inspired by those who refuse to be constrained by earthly boundaries.
STEPH DAVIS, climber, BASE jumper, wingsuit pilot; author of "Learning to Fly"
"Bird Dream" is "Born to Run" for the wingsuit BASE world. Matt Higgins has managed to straddle the difficult line between maintaining authenticity for insiders and opening this fringe lifestyle to outsiders. As a dedicated jumper myself, I found "Bird Dream" compelling and absolutely undiluted. " --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Matt Higgins's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Village Voice, Popular Mechanics, Outside, and ESPN Magazine. He is the author of several books on sports for young readers. He lives in western New York with his wife and two sons.


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you're interested in flying, BASE jumping, or just people pushing the limits to progress a sport then this is a well written, fascinating and thoroughly absorbing book. Highly recommended, it's definitely a book that I'll be reading more than once.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: MP3 CD
Chronicles the lives of mostly guys as they go from jumping with parachutes to wing suits in an effort to fly, they eventually aspire to land without a chute. The writer uses words that puts person right there, at times I felt ill with what they were dong and where they were at. Engaging, some swearing.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x91a7354c) out of 5 stars 38 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91d00738) out of 5 stars A Look at the Extremest of Extreme Sports 15 July 2014
By Terry Sunday - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I did a little skydiving when I was in college. It was in the early days of the sport, which just a few years earlier had become popularized due to the 1961-63 television show "Ripcord." Back then, the novice skydiver's equipment consisted of an auto mechanic's coveralls, a pair of Army combat boots, a football helmet and military surplus main and reserve parachutes. Training to land involved jumping off a 55-gallon oil drum. My 'chute was round and had two openings, or "blank gores," in the back (a design called a "Double L," if memory serves) that gave it a little forward speed and maneuverability. I weighed so little back then (125 pounds) that I came down like a feather. Even though I'd learned the "Parachute Landing Fall," my first landing was so gentle--about like stepping off a curb--that I ended up standing on the ground and wondering what all the training was for.

With all that said (TMI, eh?), I was really interested to read Matt Higgins' "Bird Dream" when it showed up as a Vine program selection. I knew that the science and art of skydiving had come a long way since I was involved, but this book was an eye-opener. It not only covers the culture, hardware and technology of BASE (Building, Antenna, Span, Earth) jumping--the most extreme and dangerous (and often illegal) form of the sport--it also gets inside the heads of those who practice it. BASE jumping offers virtually no room for error. Opportunities to die are many, from unexpected wind gusts to improper 'chute openings to human error when scant seconds of time separate the BASE jumper from oblivion. Mr. Higgins' penetrating looks into the thought processes of such notable extreme jumpers as Jeb Corliss and Gary Connery when faced with life-threatening situations are enlightening indeed.

But BASE jumping is only part of the story that Mr. Higgins tells. The rest of it is the fascinating tale of wingsuits, and of the dedicated efforts of athletes and equipment makers around the world in their pursuit of the Holy Grail of extreme skydiving--to land without a parachute. Possible? Well, yes, theoretically, given a wingsuit with appropriate performance. Expensive? Very, which is why sponsorships are so important. Dangerous and risky? Most assuredly, especially once the skydiver trying to land with a wingsuit enters the "dead-man zone" where he (or she) is too low to deploy a parachute if something goes wrong with the landing attempt. Successful? Well, read "Bird Dream" and find out.

Well-written in an immediate, compelling narrative style, "Bird Dream" is fast-moving but deep. Mr. Higgins explains the concepts involved in parachuting, BASE jumping and wingsuit flight very well, in terms that all readers should be able to relate to, and his insights into the players' motivations and feelings are useful and relevant. Extensive footnotes steer the reader to sources for more details about many aspects of the sport. My only caveat--my pre-publication copy of "Bird Dream" had no photographs, which would immensely help the reader to visualize the people, technology and locations covered in the story. I hope the final version has a good photo section.

Speaking of which, be sure to check on youTube for BASE jumping and wingsuit videos as you read "Bird Dream." I initially just looked for Jeb Corliss' "Grinding the Crack," but I also found many other wingsuit videos, some of them featuring characters you'll meet in the book. Seeing videos of this extreme sport added immensely to my enjoyment of "Bird Dream."
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91ac0c18) out of 5 stars "Because everybody thinks that it's not possible..." 10 July 2014
By E.M. Bristol - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
So says Jeb Corliss, an American stuntman and BASE jumper, who takes center stage in "Bird Dream: Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight," by Matt Higgins. In the book, Higgins sets out to explore the world of wing-suit skydiving - a sport that requires its participants to have a surplus of daring, the ability to make a series of complex calculations based on the environment in literally seconds, the agility of Spiderman, and the gymnastic prowess of Nadia Comaneci, in order to make it safely down. With interviews from people around the world, Higgins takes us inside this colorful world, where we meet the major players, their families and supporters, and also, occasionally, their detractors. In addition, the author explores the psychological factors that make people put themselves in such danger. Most of those who skydive here, have a "get back on the horse as soon as possible" mentality, which causes them to resume their activities relatively soon after some painful accidents. The final part of the book focuses on the rivalry between Jeb Corliss and British skydiver and Hollywood stuntman, Gary Connery as they compete to see who will be the first to land a certain distance (2,400 feet) using only a wing-suit.

The book begins by describing BASE jumping and its background. As Higgins shows, people have dreamed about flying on their own for centuries, and have attempted to achieve it with decidedly mixed results. BASE jumping involves launching oneself off buildings, towers, bridges and cliffs, and became more organized in the seventies. Because such exploits were often illegal, a culture of secrecy developed. Those who attracted publicity were criticized for making access more difficult for subsequent jumpers, (and on one occasion, literally tarred and feathered). As the Internet and YouTube made the sport more visible, it grew in popularity. However, as the book shows, extensive training and preparation are required in order to be successful - and even with the most careful preparation in the world, things can still go wrong. For every real life thrill of victory story, there is one that showcases the agony of defeat.

"Bird Dreams," which is generally interesting kicks into a higher gear when the rivalry between Corliss and Connery takes center stage. Corliss is a colorful character, something of a maverick who had a somewhat troubled youth and sought adventure in various extreme sports. Lawsuits, crashes and marital troubles are all obstacles for these two to deal with. We follow the two as they train, overcome setbacks and tinker to increase their wing-suit's effectiveness. The final showdown is indeed dramatic.

While a little light on the psychology part of what makes a skydiver, "Bird Dreams" does a good job of exploring the behind-the-scenes world of wing-suit skydiving. Although not about to try skydiving myself, by the end of the book, I did indeed have some insight into what propelled these people and some admiration for their courage. As a T.S. Eliot quote from the book puts it, "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out just how far one can go."
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91c0157c) out of 5 stars Fascinating, Fast paced and well crafted look into the rarified world of BASE Jumpers and Wingsuit Flyers. 18 Aug. 2014
By gracies mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
OMG!!
First rate journalistic review of a controversial but fascinating sport. A sport that more than any other is a product of the applied science of flight and a ability to control human fear for the sake of a goal.
I was delighted to finally learn something of this sport. I had seen snippets in the news and when the chance to read about came about I grabbed the chance and picked this book.
I was not wrong. The writer puts forth the history and on going struggles of these pioneers of personal flight in clear fast paced language. All the stars of the sport are there as well as the spectres of those that have died.
I finally learned what BASE jumping meant and that is is an acronym and not just a simple descriptive word.
I learned of the few but equally daring women and of the close knit community which often has had to exist in secret because of the dangers of this sport .
Of course the book tells of the unprepared both physically and mentally who try and become the victims of their desire to fly.
But more importantly it addresses the complex mental physical and applied scientific elements of the quest to fly.
It does this by following the sport from its natural outgrowth from jumping to the wingsuit to flight by wingsuit and landing with and without a parachute.
No book has made me wish I was 50 younger more than this one.
I would love to know what it feels like to rocket (these trips are often a matter of controlled seconds with every second a matter of life and death).
The book also shows the vanity and competition involved, but more importantly the raw courage and incredible personal discipline needed to harness the laws of nature.
As for the author he does a wonderful job writing in a grounded but fast paced way that read with the same level of focus and excitement as "The Perfect Storm." That book took readers into the heart of the sea and those who fish in what became one of the worst recorded storms in history.
The author captures the danger with fast paced prose but also give telling glimpses into the characters of those who do this kind of thing.
The one most important thing that I came away with was that this was not just a sport and those who "wingsuit fly" at least are pioneers and not crazy at all, as one must be uncommonly sharp just to survive.
Fascinating and enjoyable
Now I can add wingsuit videos to the kitten videos as my latest addictions.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91d004b0) out of 5 stars These people are either insanely brave. Or simply insane. 29 Sept. 2014
By Jerry Saperstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have never been big on sports or any other activity that threatened to bend, fold, spindle or mutilate me.

Yet here we have a totally fascinating account of people who risk crippling injury and death for fun, for the rush of existing totally within the moment.

The story begins with a tale of BASE jumping, “”BASE” being an acronym for “buildings, antennas, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs),” the primary objects that practitioners leap from.” Matt Higgins is an excellent writer and apparently an assiduous researcher. He briskly takes us along on BASE jumping adventures, explaining it quite well along the way, and brings us to the development of the Wingsuit, a device that allows a human to emulate a bird, soaring for miles through the sky and landing without a parachute.

In our namby-pamby culture, it is surprising that a book like this can be published without being emblazoned with warning labels that you shouldn’t try this at home, lest great injury result.

And there are plenty of people littering this book who literally began at one with the land, the result of smashing into it from great heights at high rates of speed.

Higgins brings us into the lives of Jeb Corliss, Gary Connery and others for whom exposure to danger of injury and death is a magnet, not a warning.

This is an exciting book. I don’t know what to make of these people, mostly male, who pursue this “sport”. I can kind of, sort of understand the kick of stepping out of a perfectly good airplane, several thousand feet up to enjoy a fairly leisurely ride to the ground. Once in a while, I even think seriously about trying it. Once.

But climbing a transmission tower a few hundred feet high and launching myself into space with only few seconds between me and the ground? You gotta be nuts. And maybe these people are, but they sure like doing it and Higgins does an excellent job of conveying the adrenal rush the feat produces in them.

There was, in fact, a Wingsuit competition and Higgins’ telling of the tale is excellent, with a breathless account of the man who took the honors.

This is a book of adventure. It may well inspire the young, who have no fear. But to the old, there is a sense of relief in not having ever been crazy enough to try things like this. But, not unexpectedly, there is also the thought “if only I had the guts to do this”.

Good book.

Jerry
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Wilhelmina Zeitgeist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Bird Dream: Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight" by Matt Higgins is one exhilarating read. In my mind, BASE jumping and wingsuit flying are simply insane things to even want to do. But, since there are people crazy enough to do it, and love it to boot, I wanted to know more. This book so well written I had my heart in my throat more than once while reading this book. I found reading this book to be an adventure, from the safety of my chair. It's one book that is definitely hard to put down and will keep you reading non-stop.

I'm convinced that the very feeling I get that keeps me from even thinking of doing anything like this is the same exact feeling that compels others to actually do it. Even knowing what you are doing does not mean this sport is going to be safe and come without consequences. That's what makes sports like this so exciting. The participant and the viewers all know the risk. And that's what makes it all so exciting.

A very intense read for sure!
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback