Falling for Icarus: A Journey Among the Cretans

Falling for Icarus: A Journey Among the Cretans




On a windy spring morning in an ancient Cretan village, Rory MacLean fell to earth. His mother had died a few months earlier and a single obsession had risen from his grief: the notion to build a feather-light flying machine. And so, on the island where Daedalus and Icarus had made man’s maiden flight, MacLean journeyed back to beginnings, back into the Greek myths, and—with the help of his Cretan neighbors and plenty of wine—built a plane and tried to fly.

Falling for Icarus is at once a meditation on love, a celebration of the passion for flight, and a hilarious, vivid portrait of a village. Its generous and exhilarating characters restore MacLean’s faith in life. Through them, he tells a soaring, moving story about how a dream can transform sadness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848859562
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 01/31/2012
Series: Tauris Parke Paperbacks Series
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Rory MacLean is a writer, broadcaster, blogger, and fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His eight books, including UK bestsellers Stalin's Nose and Under the Dragon, have challenged and invigorated travel writing and, according to the late John Fowles, are among works that “marvellously explain why literature still lives.” He has won awards from the Canada Council and the Arts Council of England as well as a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary prize. He has written and presented over 50 BBC radio programs and worked on movies with Marlene Dietrich and David Bowie. Born in Canada and resident for many years in Britain, Rory now divides his time between London and Berlin.

Table of Contents

New foreword Robert Macfarlane vii

Map xii

1 Without Wings 1

2 Beyond My Control 4

3 Messa Anissari 11

4 Flight, and My Part in Its Discovery 22

5 Winging It 36

6 To Make One Aeroplane 48

7 How Ulysses Went Mad 64

8 In a Clearing Sky 71

9 The Barber 84

10 Greeks Bearing Gifts 91

11 Trouble in Paradise 105

12 Little Hairs 114

13 Loop the Loop 128

14 Heavy Metal 150

15 Bones, or How Aphrodite Lost her Virginity 159

16 Mach 0.8 172

17 Born Again 179

18 Lease on Life 197

19 Building Icarus 208

20 Something Old, Something New 218

21 Down to Earth 245

22 Some Hope 252

23 An Old Story 261

24 On a Wing and a Prayer 268

25 Summer Time 284

26 Yes of Course Maybe Why Not? 292

27 On Top of Crete 299

28 Clear Prop! 310

29 Up, Up and... 316

30 Elements 328

Acknowledgements 333

Afterword Katrin MacLean 335

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