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Synopsis [Heading 1]

Flight: A Novel takes off in unexpected directions [Heading 3]

From Publishers Weekly [You don't need this line because you will have written your own synopsis]
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Dracula by Bram Stoker

A deadpan "Call Me Zits" opens the first novel in 10 years from Alexie (Smoke Signals, etc.), narrated by a self-described "time-traveling mass murderer" whose name and deeds unravel as this captivating bildungsroman progresses. Half-Indian, half-Irish, acne-beset Zits is 15: he never knew his alcoholic father; his mother died when he was six; his aunt kicked him out when he was 10 (after he set her sleeping boyfriend on fire because the boyfriend had been forcing Zits to have sex). Running away from his 20th foster home, Zits ends up, briefly, in jail; soon after, he enters a bank, shoots several people and is shot dead himself. Zits then commences time-traveling via the bodies of others, finding himself variously lodged in an FBI agent in the '70s (helping to assassinate radical Indian activists); a mute Indian boy at the Battle of Little Big Horn; an Indian tracker named Gus; an airplane pilot instructor (one of whose pupils commits a terrorist act); and his own father. Zits eventually comes back to himself and to an unexpected redemption. While the plot is wisp-thin, one quickly surrenders to Zits's voice, which elegantly mixes free-floating young adult cynicism with a charged, idiosyncratic view of American history. Alexie plunges the book into bracing depths.
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Review [Heading 1]

Leaves some readers wanting more [Heading 3]

From The Boston Globe[You don't need this line]
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Poets are often wonderful writers of short fiction, but they don't always transition well to the novel. I think this, generally, applies to Sherman Alexie.

I've been a fan of his since the beginning, but the only novel of his I really cared for was Reservation Blues. I give him credit for experimenting with genre in Indian Killer, but even he admitted in an interview in the Writer that he wasn't that successful with it.

Flight is an interesting concept, and the happy ending is a nice twist, but to me it felt a bit "dashed off." In fact, unlike another reviewer, what I found most lacking was the depth and poetic language I have come to expect from Alexie.

What bothered me the most, though, was his inaccurate treatment of history. Because it came so early on, it almost ruined the entire reading experience for me. I hate to play the role of the white gal who out-Indians the Indians on their history, but there are some things that anyone who has read at least one book about Crazy Horse and/or The Little Bighorn would know. 1) LBH was not a trap set by the Indians for the cavalry. It was the Battle of the Rosebud, 8 days prior, where the Indians surprised Crook. At LBH it was the Indians who were taken by surprise. 2) Crazy Horse was not bayoneted in the belly, as was stated twice. Whether or not it was purely accident is controversial, but he partially fell back onto the bayonet which pierced his kidney. This may seem like nit picking to some, but if one is going to write about going back in time, it's a little sloppy not to get the details right,and I found it particularly disappointing from a writer of this caliber. I also wasn't too nuts about the depiction of Custer as the egotistical maniac who thought that LBH would launch him to the presidency, only because it was too simplistic and it's been done-to-death, but I can let that go in that this was not meant to be a history.
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Author Biography || external image Bram_Stoker_bio_photo.jpg || || Bram Stoker ||

Sherman J. Alexie, Jr., was born in October 1966. A Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, he grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA, about 50 miles northwest of Spokane, WA. Approximately 1,100 Spokane Tribal members live there.

Born hydrocephalic, which means with water on the brain, Alexie underwent a brain operation at the age of 6 months and was not expected to survive. When he did beat the odds, doctors predicted he would live with severe mental retardation. Though he showed no signs of this, he suffered severe side effects, such as seizures and uncontrollable bed-wetting, throughout his childhood. In spite of all he had to overcome, Alexie learned to read by age three, and devoured novels, such as John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, by age five. All these things ostracized him from his peers, though, and he was often the brunt of other kids' jokes on the reservation.

Links

Sherman Alexie's homepage