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Flight of Passage Hardcover – 1 Jun 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Jun 1997
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 351 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books (Jun. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786861002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786861002
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,665,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Rinker Buck began his career as a reporter for The Berkshire Eagle in western Massachusetts. He then worked for New York, Life, and Adweek magazines, and his articles and columns have appeared in numerous national magazines and newspapers. Flight of Passage is his first book. He and his wife, Amelia de Neergaard, live with their two daughters in Cornwall, Connecticut. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am a 12 year old boy and love anything dealing with airplanes and flying. I found this book fascinating and hard to put down. I loved reading about the Buck boys' adventures as they flew across the country. I also found most interesting the story of how they rebuilt the Piper Cub. The people they met during their travels i.e. airport geezers, mechanics, made the story seem so real to me. This story is not just about flying, however; it is also about father/son relationships. This book does contain a lot of bad language, so it may not be right for everyone. Overall, this is a high-flying piece of literature! Alex Petkofski
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Format: Paperback
Not so much a story about 2 mid-teenagers flying from coast to coast across America, but more the story of strained relations between brothers and between father and sons.
It took over 25 years for Rinker Buck to get all this organised in his head, then put it on paper, but it was worth waiting for.
What we get is the straight story, from his point of view, of the preparations and the journey, the turnaround in relations between him and brother Kern, and the two of them dealing with the expectations of a larger-than-life father who, perhaps secretly, wished to relive fame through the exploits of his sons.
Told against the backdrop of ariel incidents, we find that the ebullient schoolboy prankster has to take (literally) a back seat to his shy, reclusive older brother, who suddenly comes out of his shell.
It never descends into maudlin, or goes over-the-top, it is a straight from the shoulder account of the trip and the souring and cementing of relationships - a damn fine read. *****
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written in an easy and attractive style as the factual account of the celebrated flight by two youngsters in mid 60's USA from small-town Delaware/NY to California in a Super Cub. Lots of observations of family and plenty of details involving aviation. A most enjoyable book for a wider audience than aviators or those who remember the sixties for other reasons. It reminded me of Diane Ackerman's 'On Extended Wings' and has a similar appeal. Certainly recommended for aviation enthusiasts. I would love to have the possibility of a better quality of book production as this is a book to hand on or to pick up and re-read in years to come. It is a paperback with ordinary 'perfect binding' and budget production paper.
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Format: Paperback
Rinker Buck's Flight of Passage is a wonderful collection of passages devoted to the author's long standing quest to reconcile his relationship with a domineering, eccentric father through the vehicle of a cross country flight with his peculiar and trusting older brother Kernanhan. It is an oddessey - a wonderful tale of wanderlust, brotherly devotion, friendship and understanding told through the recollections and remembrances of a fifteen year old boy, oftentimes at odds with his demanding and powerful father.
The story is set in the mid-sixties, at a time when our country was still rattled by the Kennedy family tragedy, yet not so jaded as to lose interest in the story of two young men in an antique airplane reliving their father's barnstorming days (and repeated, worn out stories of Stearman men and waterbags) and living their own memories to tell stories to their sons someday in probably the same fashion!
Personally, I had much in comman with the author's brother, having attended the same schools, and entered the same profession. I also happen to own and fly a restored Piper Cub. But the magic of this book is it's ability to appeal to both flyers and non flyers alike. It reminds us that we live in a great and beautiful country. It has it's faults, as we all do, and like most families, we have our problems and miscommunications, unmet expectations and misunderstandings, but with experience and "letting go" we appreciate the love that has been bestowed upon us - maybe years later - but a gift nonetheless.
A beautiful story.
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Format: Paperback
Rinker Buck takes the reader back to the tumultuous 60's through the eyes of one innocent and one not-so-innocent teenager. The book retells the daring flight of two boys in 1966 across country in a radioless Piper Cub airplane. As you ride along, the complex interactions between teenage boys and their father is interspersed with the the often surprising events of the trip. Encounters with a myriad of different personalities and problems are openly shared through the gifted writing style of Rinker Buck. The innocence of their travel is contrasted against the complex issues of the times, the relationship with their father and each other. While reading this book, one is flying in another time, another era.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, I expected this to be good - how could the tale of two teenage brothers flying together in a Piper Cub across continental Ammerica east to west and back again NOT be good?! - but I think this was in the end an excellent read. I was moved, charmed, and thrilled by the story of Rinker and his older brother Kern first restoring the aircraft in the family barn over the winter, and then the adventure of the flight itself.

But there was more to this book than the 'adventure' itself. This is an endearingly told story also of brothers and how they are able to simultaneously love and hate each other, and how their relationship eventually blossoms. These brothers however, each have a quite different relationship with their father - the one legged former barnstormer pilot Tom Buck. His lively pipe-smoking presence looms imperiously in the background as these boys are literally trying to fly away. The twists and turns in this aspect of the story are told with a beautiful poignancy.

'I looked back several times at my father as he waved, wiggling
the wings for him a couple of more times. Behind and below me,
he was framed by the tail section of the plane, as if in a
picture. I remember the way the sunlight turned the grass
around him a hard green, and the way the image of him was
blurred and kept going double from the slipstream beating my
hair into my face and whipping up tears in the corners of my
eyes. I was filled with an immense sadness and happiness for
him at once, and afterward I couldn't understand why that
particular vision of him moved me so much, or why it returned
so often in my dreams. After a while I just accepted it as a
portrait of contentment between us.
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