Author: Sherman Alexie
Genre: Fiction: Contemporary; Fantasy
The best-selling author of multiple award-winning books returns with his first novel in ten years, a powerful, fast and timely story of a troubled foster teenager — a boy who is not a “legal” Indian because he was never claimed by his father — who learns the true meaning of terror. About to commit a devastating act, the young man finds himself shot back through time on a shocking sojourn through moments of violence in American history. He resurfaces in the form of an FBI agent during the civil rights era, inhabits the body of an Indian child during the battle at Little Big Horn, and then rides with an Indian tracker in the 19th Century before materializing as an airline pilot jetting through the skies today. When finally, blessedly, our young warrior comes to rest again in his own contemporary body, he is mightily transformed by all he’s seen. This is Sherman Alexie at his most brilliant — making us laugh while breaking our hearts. Simultaneously wrenching and deeply humorous, wholly contemporary yet steeped in American history, Flight is irrepressible, fearless, and again, groundbreaking Alexie (from Goodreads).
Thoughts: Zits is a young Indian kid living in Seattle who has just moved in with his new foster family. He’s angry and causes trouble as a result of his frustration with his life. One day the forces in Zit’s life reach a breaking point and he dies. Or, at least, he thinks he does. He’s not sure because he seems to be traveling through time, dropping into different bodies in different times in history– an FBI agent in Idaho in the 70s; a young Indian boy on the eve of the Battle of the Little Bighorn; an old soldier out West; and a homeless drunk Indian in the modern day. In each turn through time Zits learns lessons and experiences history in a way that informs the circumstances of his own life that he thinks he could put to good use- if he could somehow ever return home.
This is my third book that I have read by Sherman Alexie. Well, I say that this is my third book that I have read by him but it was like reading him for the first time! I read a book by him in high school which I randomly picked out of the library which I can hardly recall, and I read a book by him in my senior year whose title I can’t even remember! I do however remember seeing the movie Smoke Signals which he wrote and which I adore. Seriously, it’s so good. So, I know of Sherman Alexie, and I’ve read him previously, but Flight was really my first experience with him in which I actually thought about what I read and one which I hope I will actually remember!
I liked Flight. It was a short little book but the story made quite an impression. Things develop very quickly which I first found a little disconcerting, but after Zits travel in time into his first ‘body,’ I began to relax and enjoy the ride. Flight is a short, simple little book about a boy finding his place in life and his people’s place in history. Flight was an entertaining, quick read which manged to make some far reaching connections on the topics of history, identity, heritage, and fate. This book was a nice little introduction to Alexie’s work which I most certainly plan on reading more of in the future.