Monday, February 16, 2009

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

The conceit of Dear American Airlines is brilliant: a novel in the form of a complaint letter to the airline from a man who missed his flight to the wedding of the daughter he's not seen since she was a baby. Of course, the letter begins as a rail against the airline and missed flight and then devolves into a fugue that encompasses everything that went wrong in the narrator's life that led him to this point.

Jonathan Miles is a talented writer and there's no doubt that the novel is clever, but it felt a bit too indulgent at times, and I had no sympathy whatsoever for the narrator. Perhaps that was the point, but at times it made reading his account not unlike being stuck on a long layover.

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