Monday, August 13, 2007

Flight by Sherman Alexie

Alexie is kind of a love him or hate him author. At least that's what I've found over the years. I love the guy's writing and can even stand him in person when he can be arrogant and condescending but he is also funny and usually pretty insightful. If you've never read Alexie before, I can't decide if this is a good place to start or not. Flight is his first new novel in several years and it's neither great nor a disappointment—just incredibly okay. The story revolves around a teenager named Zits, an Indian kid whose has been shuffled from broken home to foster home and is in danger of being lost to a broken system. Suddenly, as Zits is about to commit an act that will haunt him for the rest of his life and condemn him to becoming a sad statistic in that broken system, he is transported in time and place to different events in Native American history. While there, he inhabits different host bodies and sees things through another person's eyes but also has the ability to change events. On the plus side, it is very funny in parts and Alexie really nails the "teenage-ness" of Zits. On the down side, it all ties up a little too neatly—sort of a sci-fi ABC Afterschool Special with a happy ending and a few history lessons.

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