read: 17 May 2009
This book also has a website. It’s really sort of three books in one 1. a memoir of a boy whose father fell out of the sky and survived and the boy’s lifelong fascination with that event 2) a rumination on the nature of survival with a lot of quotations from people you have heard of 3) true real life survivor tales, many of which you probably haven’t heard of, including some as recent as people in the WTC. I enjoyed two out of three of these books. I found some of the philosophical digressions a little bit prcious and they were usually jammed in-between the beginning and end of a story about someone’s against-the-odds survival when I was wondering whether they would live or die.
Gonzales' writing is also a little on the florid side which I found was also distracting from the sort of raw factual fascinatingness of the stories themselves. Not in a bad way exactly but just if I had been the guy’s editor I might have suggested a shorter book with a little less dictionary quotation and a little less Thoreau. In any case, it’s a gripping read and made me want to go get on the Google and figure out the longer stories of some of the people whose survival stories he recounts.
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