Travels with Puff: A Gentle Game of Life and Death

( 6 )

Overview

"A few years ago, someone asked me by way of their T-shirt, "Got Freedom?" Here's, a bit delayed and by way of two small seaplanes and a continent ten thousand horizons wide, my answer"—Richard Bach

In the tradition of John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, and Richard Bach's own bestseller, Illusions, TRAVELS WITH PUFF recounts Bach's journey from Florida to Washington state in his small seaplane. With humor, wisdom and insight that could only come from one of the world's most beloved authors and an accomplished...

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Overview

"A few years ago, someone asked me by way of their T-shirt, "Got Freedom?" Here's, a bit delayed and by way of two small seaplanes and a continent ten thousand horizons wide, my answer"—Richard Bach

In the tradition of John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, and Richard Bach's own bestseller, Illusions, TRAVELS WITH PUFF recounts Bach's journey from Florida to Washington state in his small seaplane. With humor, wisdom and insight that could only come from one of the world's most beloved authors and an accomplished pilot, TRAVELS WITH PUFF also challenges our ideas of fate and our futures, and asks us how can we prepare for the emergencies in our own lives? Can we ever really be safe? And, is being safe always what we want?

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bach (Jonathan Livingston Seagull) expresses the joy, the fear, and the feeling of freedom that he experiences when flying his amphibian seaplane, Puff. A longtime pilot, Bach must train with his new plane before embarking on a trip from Florida to Seattle. The first half of the book describes his practice and preparation, especially taking off and landing on water. Bach and his seaplane "speak" to each other and develop a bond over time. The short, conversational chapters are colorfully illustrated with photographs of Puff taken by Bach's travel companion, Dan Nickens, who flies his own plane on the journey. Because they cross the continent in small seaplanes, they can land in deserted areas along lakes and rivers, seeing parts of America that few others encounter. Facing weather challenges and mechanical difficulties, Bach reveals life lessons he has learned, such as, "If we want adventure in our lives, nobody's going to make it happen but us." VERDICT Read this if you are a Bach fan or wish to share in his exhilaration of flying.—Janet Clapp, N. Clarendon, VT
Kirkus Reviews
The author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and numerous volumes about flying returns with an account of a cross-country flight in his new SeaRey amphibious plane. In 2012, Bach suffered a near-fatal crash in this craft right after he submitted the manuscript to his publisher, so the text overflows with torrents of dramatic and other ironies, especially in his characteristic effervescent homilies about how "you call down your angels, and somehow they see you through your storms." The journey the author describes--from Florida, where he bought the plane he named Puff, to Seattle, his home--took 62 hours in the air and was punctuated by minor mechanical problems, multiple landings on water, many conversations with his plane (yes, the aircraft replied), some hassles with storms, and some rhapsodizing about geology, rivers, lakes, the wilderness and feathers. Bach saw feathers several places and decided they signified something. Many chapters (all are brief) conclude with a sentence that begins, "If I've learned one lesson in all my days…," a sentence completed with some banality that will appear soon in a Facebook meme--like "True for others isn't true for me." Bach shows an odd insensitivity to people who have not made a fortune writing best-sellers. On one remote lake, he sniffs: "These places are a few miles from where some folks live, stressed in I-have-to lives. To get from there to here you need a quest, and a way to travel." Not to mention lots of money. Greeting-card philosophy, as light and common as feathers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937777036
  • Publisher: NiceTiger
  • Publication date: 3/19/2013
  • Pages: 234
  • Sales rank: 251,163
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 18, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Yet another wonderful book from Richard, wherein he continues hi

    Yet another wonderful book from Richard, wherein he continues his personal journey through the maze of Consciousness, exploring places we fear to go in his unique way. Richard's companion for this cross country trek is a SeaRey (an amphibious plane) called 'Puff' who is as fascinating as Donald Shimoda in 'Illusions', a seagull in 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull', Dickie in 'Running from safety' and Laura Bristol in 'Out of My Mind' … all powerful and wise egos (and there are many more). Puff tells Richard; “I'm the cloud that's almost here, almost gone. I'm the wistful melody, known but half-remembered, calling you higher. I'm the wisp in the air no one sees but you, dear pilot. I'm the life no one else believes is true.” If you've ever wondered what life is really about, allow Richard to gently show you some of it's wonderful possibilities and from there, if you're willing … fly higher than you believe possible.

    Chapter 19 states “One needs to know what one's airplane will do and what she won't. That means becoming one's own test pilot, when what one needs to know isn't printed.” What a wonderful philosophy for life!

    Richard wasn't kidding when he subtitled his book 'A Gentle Game of Life and Death' - I'd say it was an accurate assessment of his journey.

    A must buy book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2013

    Love, adventure, inspiration -- you'll find them all in "Tr

    Love, adventure, inspiration -- you'll find them all in "Travels with Puff." As long-time storyteller Richard Bach picks up his pen again -- or taps at the computer on his keyboard -- we watch him meet, earn the trust of and soar across country with his new-found love, Puff, a plane/boat/being known to mortals as a SeaRey.

    Along for the journey in his own SeaRey, Jennifer, is a geologist aviator with a camera, Dan Nickens. As Bach chronicles the adventure in words and Nickens in images, the two create memories they'll long cherish and a book that will ever inspire the rest of us.

    In this book, the seasoned reader of Bach's work will see reminders of his earlier stories -- a bit of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, an iconic reminder from Illusions, reminders of his Ferret Chronicles, images first shared by little Dickie in Running from Safety, and more.

    Nothing on the book says, "Only read this if an experienced lover of Bach's books," though, just as nothing warns, "Beware, at the end of this book, you'll be in love, too -- with the words on these pages and the freedom of flight."

    So, take the chance, spread your wings, pick up a copy. Richard Bach hasn't lost the touch he has to pull us in on the very first page, take us flying toward his dreams and our own, and inspire us to find our passion and pursue it with the same child heart he shows us each time he puts words on paper.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    It is no surprise, as a long time admirer of Richard Bach, that

    It is no surprise, as a long time admirer of Richard Bach, that I whole-heartedly embraced this new and wonderful account of his cross-country flight – taking him from Florida to the state of Washington (east coast to west coast); logged in the spring-summer of 2012. Throughout the book we're taken to parts of the USA, unscathed by civilization.


    Each chapter faithfully recounts the trials and tribulations of life and challenges our doubts that there's much more to life than we realize. Chapter titles announce the theme of the day and within each one comes a connection and reminder of our expression to the world through the task at hand. For example, 'Learning Secrets' is the title of Chapter 9. Richard likens the story to a “theme-song” for his “brief stay on this planet”.


    Richard shares his experiences with his new plane Puff, every step of the way and as their relationship develops so does her character in the readers' eyes. Puff is a wary, nervous, but overall brave little airplane who wins hearts. She becomes his perfect flying companion and a conduit for the expression of the freedom that her author seeks.


    I highly recommend this book not only for an inspiring read, but also for the spectacular photography of fellow aviator, Dan Nickens, who with his own seaplane accompanied Mr. Bach on this journey. Dan seems to know no fear as he takes a photo (page 59) “... holding his camera in one hand, flying his airplane with the other.”

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2013

    Richard Bach is my favorite author. Has been for years. I have

    Richard Bach is my favorite author. Has been for years. I have read them all. Started with Stranger to the Ground, Biplane and Nothing by Chance. The one about the seagull, and so forth.

    Have his books changed my life. Well, no, but they have enriched it, giving my dreams significant workout sessions. Stretching, expanding my imagination and restoring the song in my heart. Useful when those components of my body start getting flabby and worn-out.

    In Travels with Puff, Mr. Bach goes back where he belongs, flying. Taking a tiny, “wispy”, plane across America makes a wonderful story. To me, all the adventures and musing can be condensed into a beguiling invitation. “Hey, look at us! Look at what we can do. Look at what is possible.”

    Hmm…Are we looking? We all look around and think we are seeing everything. What we can’t really “see” we can find on the internet or on television. But we just look east, west, north, south, down, right and left, occasionally tilting our heads to glimpse of the tops of buildings, maybe trees.

    How often do you really look up? That huge, endless space above us. Let alone have the chance to feel what it is like to fly around in it. To look down at the tops of trees, fly with, above and below the birds. Fly among the clouds and beyond them the stars. Stars and their universes that are somehow closer, spinning, racing each other like restless, tireless teenagers, to the edge of the universe. Heady stuff, that.

    So, take my advice and read the book. You will find adventure, although “gentle” in nature. You may be inspired to become a pilot. You will fall in love with an airplane. You will be sorry when you finish. But, if you are lucky enough to notice, Richard Bach can give you the same gift he gave me decades ago, simply by flying around in it.


    He will give you the sky.











    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    "High" Flying!

    "Enlightening" story from Richard Bach to keep one "flying"! I am a pilot and so enjoy his metaphysical ideas and find them so applicable to Life! Keep the books coming Richard - we need your Ideas.
    So Highly Recommended for the Advanced Soul as well as Beginners.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    If the question we ask, when it's all said and done, to judge th

    If the question we ask, when it's all said and done, to judge the quality of any span of years is, "How well did I love?" then this story moves the bar a few pegs higher. For Richard and for Puff, the answer would have to be, "I loved as well as any spirit ever has - or ever will. 

    If you look at the pages, at the beautiful pictures of water, land, sky and the winged creatures that give their human partners access to them, you might mistake this for a book about airplanes. Or about flying.  Even reading the stories might give you that impression.

    But read more closely and you'll see the dance of courtship, the push-pull of mutual attraction unexpressed, and the blossoming of intimacy and trust that marks a true love affair. So what if one our heroes is a human and the other is a graceful machine designed to maneuver through air, water or over the land? This is a love affair between spirits - their chosen shape is a minor detail.

    Puff is a delightful lady seaplane, with the blushing naivete of a debutante and the no-nonsense wisdom of a veteran adventurer. Her voice is true and pure throughout the story - we feel as though we've also met her. And fallen in love with her as well.

    Bach's talent for condensing truth into an unforgettable accumulation of letters on the page is, if anything, clearer than ever. So for the reader who loves to share quotations, this is a treasure chest. For readers who love the layered meaning and subtle thought experiments in Bach's earlier works, this offers plenty of ideas to play with. And the stunning photography by fellow Sea Rey pilot and journey companion, Dan Nickens, could easily a rate a book of its own. But, in this case, the lessons and the photos are both bonuses; the story weaves a spell all its own. 

    Travels With Puff is a love story - of two beings whose love of air and water, and desire for the freedom to explore them fully, created an interdependence that grew into understanding, appreciation and love. It transcends being a "book about flying" and becomes a "book about living and loving" because it is about what is real - and what is real is life, and love. 

    And because it is about what is real - this is a story that can never have an ending. Only a pause in the events we get to share. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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