Dear American Airlines: A Novel

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jun 2, 2009 - Fiction - 192 pages
1 Review
Sometimes the planes don’t fly on time.

Bennie Ford, a fifty-three-year-old failed poet turned translator, is traveling to his estranged daughter’s wedding when his flight is canceled. Stuck with thousands of fuming passengers in the purgatory of O’Hare airport, he watches the clock tick and realizes that he will miss the ceremony. Frustrated, irate, and helpless, Bennie does the only thing he can: he starts to write a letter. But what begins as a hilariously excoriating demand for a refund soon becomes a lament for a life gone awry, for years misspent, talent wasted, and happiness lost. A man both sinned against and sinning, Bennie writes in a voice that is a marvel of lacerating wit, heart-on-sleeve emotion, and wide-ranging erudition, underlined by a consistent groundnote of regret for the actions of a lifetime -- and made all the more urgent by the fading hope that if he can just make it to the wedding, he might have a chance to do something right.

A margarita blend of outrage, wicked humor, vulnerability, intelligence, and regret, Dear American Airlines gives new meaning to the term “airport novel” and announces the emergence of major new talent in American fiction.
 

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Dear American Airlines

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Benjamin Ford is stuck at O'Hare airport. All flights are cancelled for the night. He begins to write a letter to (appropriately enough) American Airlines to demand a refund. This letter turns out to ... Read full review

Perfect Book Club pick

User Review  - Angela C. - Borders

When literateur Benjamin Ford gets stranded at O'Hare airport, what happens during those long hours of waiting ends up being a much needed reflection on his tattered life. Read full review

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About the author (2009)

JONATHAN MILES's first novel, Dear American Airlines, was named a New York Times Notable Book and a Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal. A former columnist for the New York Times, he serves as a contributing editor to magazines as diverse as Field & Stream and Details, and writes regularly for the New York Times Book Review and The Literary Review (UK). A former longtime resident of Oxford, Mississippi, he currently lives with his family in rural New Jersey.

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