Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Review: Dear American Airlines

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

I had to insert Dear American Airlines into my lengthy to-be-read list when my wife brought it home from the library. I thought I'd read the first couple of pages to get a taste for it. I'd read good reviews, so I was interested. When I got into it, though, I found it easily digestible. So digestible, in fact, that whatever was next on my list was going to have to weight.

Author Jonathan Miles's Bennie is a self-deprecating narrator with enough nastiness and scepticism to not be entirely likable, but this is no matter. We like Bennie because he's suffering, because things haven't turned out like he wanted. Bennie has more problems than being stuck waiting for the flight (the premise for the book's title is his frustration with the airline). We don't like him enough to feel bad for him, but we understand. Besides, Bennie, through the author, is witty and that makes the book good enough to keep reading.

Maybe I found the book unsurprising, sentimental, and the epiphany too epiphanic. Maybe it was a small book in a summer of big, heavier, more serious books. Maybe I just wasn't that impressed. The book is a good read, but nothing to write an airline about.

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