Flying To Pieces
A group of senior ex pilots meet nearly annually for a few days of partying and storytelling. At the current bash dying member Elmo Benteen, tells of seeing a cache of Japanese airplanes in mint condition on a Pacific island. Wade Lovett, his grandson, three other members of the group, and Benteen’s daughter set off to obtain the planes. On the island of Fundabora, they run into a corrupt leader, a backward society, and a few other surprises.
This is a delightful story. Very well told. Interesting premise. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d like it but as I moved through the story, the plot unfolded and was very enjoyable.
Wade Lovett: 60’s, used airplane buyer/seller, flew in southeast Asia in the sixties. Lives inKansas. Ex wife suffers from Alzheimer’s. His cat recently died.
Childress ‘Chip’ Mason: Wade’s grandson. 17, surfer, concert pianist. Blond, blue eyes. Father dead. Possesses a very determined attitude.
Coop Gunther: Alaskan. Runs a snowmobile shop. Lost part of his leg after his place iced over and he spent a month in the Alaskan wilderness.
Vic “Hemmingway’ Myles: Korean flyer. Smokes a corncob pipe and wears an old Stetson. Writes for adventure magazines. Wears glasses and has a beard.
Crispin Reventlo: Brit who grew up inBurma. As a teenager, he was a prisoner of war.
Melanie Benteen: 40’s, black hair, island features, born onBora Bora.
Very distinctive characters each with his or her personal quirks and traits. The main six play well off of each other and even though there are disagreements they work well as a team. Supporting characters only added to the fun. I wasn’t comfortable with some of the characters’ use of profanity, especially Chip’s. I thought Wade would have chided Chip on his language.
Each character had his/her own voice. Conversations tended to be humor laced. I like the fact nobody stood out in a domineering role. Everyone made contributions and added to the plans and schemes.
Excellent writing with very good phrasing. Much of the action was reserved for the climactic end. Frequent profanity. I didn’t see the need to have a subplot that often hinted at Chip’s being a homosexual. Fears were allayed at the end but this part of the story might have been handled differently. Still, a delightful story.