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Customer Reviews for

Dear American Airlines: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 17 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    He whines, he rants, he flubs

    For a short book, it took a long time to read. As I think about it, I should have pitched it. What a waste of time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Read

    Off beat and off the wall. Funny jokes (colorful to coarse language and sensitive themes peppered at times throughout) and pieces of a man's life, the story turns downright random in spots, but still amusing and fitting in a bizarre way. At other times it was poignant and unbearably sad. A maimed life and family dynamic, bittersweet. It's not the typical cliched happy ending, it leaves you wanting yet satisfied.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2008

    The magic of Jonathan Mile┬┐s pen

    This is an astonishing novel. It is funny, witty, acerbic, mesmerizing, hilarious, hypnotic, dazzling, sad, and at times heart-breaking and very touching, all at once! How did Jonathan Miles accomplish this feat? Through the flight of his imagination and the magic of his pen, I suppose. Written in lively, abrasive, masculine, snappy, and yet strangely affecting prose, this book will delight, provoke, entertain and sadden the reader. Benjamin Ford, the protagonist of this novel, is flying from New York to Los Angeles to attend his daughter Stella¿s wedding. But in transit, at the O¿Hare airport, his connecting flight is suddenly cancelled, stranding him. He begins to worry that he will be late for the wedding. While waiting for more than eight hours at the air port ¿ and smoking seventeen cigarettes - for the next flight, he starts writing a letter of complaint to the American Airlines, demanding a refund of $392.68, the price of the round trip airfare. This letter of complaint grows in length, and matures into a funny, witty, mesmerizing novel. Benjamin, middle-aged, is a poet and writer he translates Polish novels into English. While writing the letter of complaint, he ponders about his failed marriages, his misdirected and ruined life, the time he wasted drinking heavily, his estranged daughter, his bed-ridden mother and the cramped apartment he shares with her. He also dwells on Walenty Mozelewski, the protagonist of the novel ¿The Free State of Trieste,¿ which he has been translating from Polish. Walenty has lost a leg to mortar shell in a war, and so he is physically crippled. Benjamin is crippled too. He is emotionally crippled, a victim mostly of self-inflicted wounds. Jonathan Mile's prose is mesmerizing: ¿In that eightish-hour period I've smoked seventeen cigarettes which wouldn't be notable save for the fact that the dandy Hudson News outlets here don't stock my brand so I'll soon be forced to switch to another, and while that shouldn't upset me it does. In fact, it enrages me. Here's my life in dangly tatters and I can't even enjoy this merest of my pleasures. Several hours ago a kid in a Cubs windbreaker bummed one of mine and I swear if I spy him again I'll smash him like a Timex. Cough it up, you turd. But then all this talk of smoking is giving me the familiar itch, so if you'll excuse me for a moment I'm off to the sidewalk, as required by law, to scratch it.¿ It is very rare to come across a first novel as charming and impressive as this. Jonathan Miles is an astonishing writer.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Not recommended

    Did not want to finish it. Would not recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2010

    Acerbic treat

    "Dear American Airlines" is not only, as you might think, a diatribe against an airline disguised as a letter; it's much more than that. It's a man at the end of his rope, stuck at O'Hare Airport due to a delayed flight, musing over his life's low (many) and high (few) points which brought him there, on a flight to California to give his daughter away at a wedding. The man in question is a failed poet from New Orleans, now a translator. The richness of the novel comes from his alcoholic troubled past and his attempts to make amends with his wife and daughter. Stunningly written, Jonathan Miles's acerbic novel is worth reading. It only falls with an excerpted "translated text" meant to serve as a counterpoint to the translator's own life, but that's a minor flaw. Recommended reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2009

    Great Subject

    enjoyed the main thought of the book

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 3, 2010

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    Posted May 19, 2009

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    Posted October 21, 2008

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    Posted August 19, 2009

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    Posted April 24, 2009

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    Posted November 18, 2010

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    Posted September 5, 2009

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    Posted July 11, 2010

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    Posted December 20, 2009

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    Posted March 4, 2009

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    Posted December 29, 2009

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    Posted August 15, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 17 Customer Reviews
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