Dear American Airlines

By Jonathan Miles
Read by Mark Bramhall

7.02 Hours 06/05/2008 unabridged
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Bennie Ford, a fifty-three-year-old failed poet turned translator, is traveling to his estranged daughter’s wedding when his flight is cancelled. 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 cris de coeur of a life misspent, talent wasted. Bennie pens his letter in a voice that is a marvel of lacerating wit, heart-on-sleeve emotion, and wide-ranging erudition—all propelled by the fading hope that if he can just make it to the wedding, he has a chance to do something right in his life.

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Summary

Summary

One of the 2008 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Bennie Ford, a fifty-three-year-old failed poet turned translator, is traveling to his estranged daughter’s wedding when his flight is cancelled. 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 cris de coeur of a life misspent, talent wasted. Bennie pens his letter in a voice that is a marvel of lacerating wit, heart-on-sleeve emotion, and wide-ranging erudition—all propelled by the fading hope that if he can just make it to the wedding, he has a chance to do something right in his life.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A crisp yowl of a first novel…scathing yet oddly joyful…Bennie’s command of language as he describes his fellow strandees and his riotous embrace of his own feelings will have readers rooting for him. By the time flights resume, Miles has masterfully taken Bennie from grim resignation to the dazzling exhilaration of the possible.” Publishers Weekly   
“A heartfelt exploration of one man’s psychic deterioration and the slim reed of hope to which, miraculously, he still clings…Miles has created a human being adrift, like all of us, in circumstances mostly not of his making and with no other choice but to try to muddle through.” Los Angeles Times
“A crisp yowl of a first novel…scathing yet oddly joyful.” Publishers Weekly
“Begins as a scathing letter of complaint from a stranded traveler en route to his estranged daughter’s wedding but quickly evolves in to a personal and surprisingly astute rant about life’s challenges.” Parade Magazine
“This first novel is a tale of loss and regret that allows a hint of hope and forgiveness to beckon from the final pages.”    Library Journal
“Miles…offers a funny, poignant first novel about reaching middle age…Miles, a sharp, stylish author, has created a complex novel from a simple premise. This is a compassionate, often hilarious book about laying the past to rest and moving forward into the future.” BookPage
“An intelligent, playful, and, above all, moving story full of humor and well-written digressions. Bennie is a remarkably flawed but sympathetic man…this affecting and laugh-out-loud-funny tirade should stay with readers long after they’ve reached their final destinations.” Bookmarks Magazine

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jonathan Miles

Jonathan Miles is the cocktails columnist for the New York Times and the books columnist for Men’s Journal. His work has appeared in GQ, Oxford American, New York Observer, and New York Times Book Review.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 7.02
Audience: Adult
Language: English