The Book of Flying

The Book of Flying

Book - 2004
Average Rating:
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Penguin Putnam
A bold, vivid, fantastical first novel about a young librarian who sets off on a magical journey to gain his wings in order to win the heart of the girl he loves. The Book of Flying is a satisfying, old-fashioned story-driven by the sheer power of imagination and the beauty of language.

Pico is an orphaned librarian who has been sustained all of his young life by his love of stories alone. But when love does come to him at last, it is forbidden. For the girl of his dreams is of the winged people in the City by the Sea. And Pico is wingless. So when he discovers an ancient letter in his library telling of the mythical Morning Town where the flightless may gain their wings, he sets off on a quest, carrying his four favorite books in a knapsack. It's a magical journey in which he meets a robber queen, a lonely minotaur, a dream seller, a despairing cannibal, and an immortal beauty. Each of them has a story, and a lesson for Pico. And, in the end, he has learned to kill, to love, to persevere, and, of course, to fly.

Pico's journey is Everyman's journey. But it's also special for being a reader's journey, because Pico's lessons are revealed through stories as much as they are through life. And after all, it's in books that our hearts open to other people and places. In this impressionable first novel, Keith Miller has created a tantalizingly foreign yet familiar world where our own imaginations take flight, carrying us, finally, to discover ourselves.

Keith Miller is an American who was born in Tanzania, raised in Kenya, and wrote this novel while traveling in southern Sudan. He now lives in Egypt, where he is a design consultant and art teacher at a center for refugees.

Baker & Taylor
When Pico falls in love with one of the winged people in the City by the Sea, the orphaned young librarian embarks on a quest to find the mythical Morning Town, a magical place where those like him who are wingless may gain their wings.

Blackwell North Amer
Meet Pico. He's a poet and a librarian whose soul is nourished by stories and by books. He's brave and honest and humble, like heroes used to be. And he's passionate and idealistic, like lovers used to be. The Book of Flying is the story of Pico's quest to gain his wings in order to win the heart of the girl he loves - a journey in which he meets a robber queen, a lonely minotaur, a cannibal, an immortal beauty, and a dream seller. He will tell them his story and learn theirs. He will fall in love. He will duel with a mad painter. He will stand face to face with himself, in a dark castle on a remote mountain peak, and survive the valleys of the country of death before he reaches the morning town, before he learns that sometimes you must lose yourself completely in order to discover who you really are.

Baker
& Taylor

When Pico falls in love with one of the winged people in the City by the Sea, the orphaned young librarian embarks on quest to find the mythical Morning Town, a magical place where those like him who are wingless may gain their wings, encountering a variety of unusual characters and learning valuable lessons about life, love, and determination along the way. A first novel.

Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2004
ISBN: 9781573222495
1573222496
Branch Call Number: F MIL
Characteristics: 262 p. : ill. ; 23 cm

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SCL_AdultPicks
Apr 29, 2014

A wonderfully fun and poetic book! And of course, it's about a librarian.

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VRMurphy
Jun 02, 2011

Evocative and poetic use of language. Author is clearly well-educated in classical myth/legend and uses that knowledge to create a new fable. Since I read it as a novel, it could have been edited a bit more tightly to lessen some of the repetition, but as it is, each chapter can be read as a short story.

h
heyred
Nov 21, 2010

This is an unbelievably beautiful book - the author has a passion for language. The imagery he creates is exceptional and magical.
Easily the best book I've read all year.

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