Title: Taking Off (Flying Trilogy, Book 1)
Author: Kraft, Eric
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Comments of Taking Off :
To Peter Leroy's adult chagrin, his home town of Babbington, a seaside village on Long Island, is being turned into a theme park, centering on the historic day on which he, a fifteen-year-old adventurer, returned after completing 4,000 miles of solo flying to New Mexico and back. The Birdboy was received as a hero then, but the grown man, worried that an intrepid journalist will start digging, decides to prepare for full disclosure of the earthbound truth behind his mythic flight. He reminisces about the aerocycle he built in his parent's garage based on drawings from the Impractical Craftsman Magazine; his application to the Faustroll Institute for Promising High School Students of New Mexico; and his glorious send-off by the population of Babbington on the journey of a lifetime.
''The narrative sputters, as Kraft indulges his penchant for (and, to be fair, mastery of) the art of digression, treating us to meditations on the nature of memory and the affliction of “antinostalgia” (the overwhelming urge to be somewhere else), principles of aerodynamics as (almost) explained in the popular magazine “Impractical Craftsman,” Peter’s developing relationship with his sometimes unreadable father (“the Grand Naysayer”) and the nonscience of “pataphysics,” as articulated by waggish French surrealist author Alfred Jarry. '' according to Kirkus Reviews
From the preface of On the Wing by Eric Kraft, as Peter Leroy :
''THE STORY SO FAR: I had thought, when I began writing about my aerocycle, my trip to the Land of Enchantment, my sojourn at the Faustroll Institute for ’Pataphysics (known to some of its alumni as the Faustroll Institute for Promising Lads), and my return to a hero’s welcome in Babbington, my home town — Clam Capital of America, Birthplace of Teen Flight, Gateway to the Past — that I would write one book of medium size . . . however, the single book that I had intended to write about my exploit has become three books, the Flying trilogy.''
''Perhaps you cannot imagine that two intelligent young people — which we then were — could labor under such an absurd delusion. If you feel that way, I just want to inform you — or remind you — that a large segment of the population of the United States believes that the sun revolves around the earth, and so I say, in the manner of Bosse-de-Nage in Alfred Jarry’s Gestes et Opinions du Docteur Faustroll, “Ha-ha.” ''
ISBN 13: 9780312318840
ISBN 10: 0312318847