Aloft

Aloft Set on affluent Long Island Aloft follows the life of a suburban upper middle class man during a time of family crisis Jerry Battle s favorite diversion is to fly his small plane over the neighborin

  • Title: Aloft
  • Author: Chang-rae Lee
  • ISBN: 9781573222631
  • Page: 149
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Set on affluent Long Island, Aloft follows the life of a suburban, upper middle class man during a time of family crisis Jerry Battle s favorite diversion is to fly his small plane over the neighboring towns and villages When his daughter and her fianc arrive from Oregon to announce their marriage plans, he looks back on his life and faces his disengagement with it hisSet on affluent Long Island, Aloft follows the life of a suburban, upper middle class man during a time of family crisis Jerry Battle s favorite diversion is to fly his small plane over the neighboring towns and villages When his daughter and her fianc arrive from Oregon to announce their marriage plans, he looks back on his life and faces his disengagement with it his urge to fly solo and the people he loves Chang rae Lee burst on the scene with Native Speaker, which won numerous awards, including the PEN Hemingway Award His second novel, A Gesture Life, established him as one of the preeminent writers of his generation Now, with Aloft, Lee has expanded his range and proves himself a master storyteller, able to observe his characters flaws and weaknesses and, at the same time, celebrate their humanity Aloft is an unforgettable portrait, filled with vitality and urgency, of a man who has secured his life s dreams but who must now figure out its meaning.

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      Published :2018-06-14T03:00:07+00:00

    1 thought on “Aloft”

    1. Audiobook performed by Don LeslieFrom the book jacket: Aloft offers a reexamination of the American dream from the inside out, through the voice of Jerry Battle, a suburban middle-aged man who has lived his entire life on Long Island, New York. Battle’s favorite diversion is to fly his small plane solo; slipping away for quick flights over the Island, Jerry has been disappearing for years. Then a family crisis occurs, and Jerry finds he must face his disengagement in his relationships. My Reac [...]

    2. Feb 2009 book club selection.This book was very challenging for me to get through because I can't stand long sentences. It's really tough to remember what's going on if you didn't read this in one sitting, and it's tough to read this in one sitting because I didn't feel like anything drove the storyline. There's not so much a story as it is a glimpse in a period of a time in a 59-year-old's life. I suppose it's about family. But it reads like a journal with many topical detours that may have had [...]

    3. I guess the point of this book is that it's kind of apathetic and just sort of drifts along with no particular direction. Which is all well and good, except that it doesn't make for a very good read. It's sort of boring and annoying. In this book, all the characters are flat, and rather unlikeable. Due to the first-person narrator, we don't even get much of a sense of the other characters; they're just sort of background-noise to the non-story being told. The effect is that we never really feel [...]

    4. Like eating a bowl of whipped cream, bland and fluffy, though well-crafted and containing a suitable number of tragic life events. Reads somewhat like an homage to Richard Ford.

    5. It's early yet, and the fall season will certainly bring some wonderful novels, but it seems safe to say that "Aloft" will be one of the best books of the year. Given the beauty of Chang-rae Lee's previous work, this isn't too surprising. In 1999, "A Gesture Life" appeared on many "best of the year" lists (including ours). Before that, his first novel, "Native Speaker" (1995), won several of those second-tier prizes that sometimes signal a great talent has entered the library.Although the Korean [...]

    6. What a beautiful book. Aloft is the story of Jerry Battle, an almost-sixty partial-retiree who, by his own admission, floats above the problems of life through denial and self-centeredness. Chang-rae Lee doesn't make Jerry despicable, just pitiable, although there are moments in Jerry's stream-of-consciousness narration where he reveals sharp observational powers. These moments only serve to highlight his general laziness, though. The reader comes to know that Jerry could do a lot better by his [...]

    7. I bought Aloft for two reasons: first of all, it was on the bargain book table at Booksmith. But, more importantly, it is by Chang-Rae Lee. A few years ago, I read another book of his for my contemporary novel class, Native Speaker. For me, Native Speaker was one of those books that seemed like it was written just for me. It's easily one of my favorite books of all time. I didn't enjoy Aloft as much, but like Native Speaker, it tackles the themes of race and family and how those both factor in t [...]

    8. This is a family drama---which usually means a "chick lit" type of book. However, make no mistake: this is a guy's book. Even more specifically, it is a middle aged guy's book. I doubt that I would have found much to interest me if I read this at 20, but at 50 it resonated as closely as stories told at a family reunion and at times I felt like an uncle grabbed me and said "Don't laugh, have you thought we could be talking about you?"Jerry Battle would be unlikable if he weren't so honest. That i [...]

    9. I never thought I'd suggest that an author dumb it down, but here I am. Aloft is not a poorly-written novel -- the exact opposite, actually; you can tell Chang-rae Lee's really making use of his educational background. But that craftmanship is the reason that I didn't buy the narrator's voice. Maybe I just don't travel in the right circles, but Jerry -- the lead character and narrator -- spoke too eloquently to be believable. He's a blue-collar working stiff! Why's his internal dialog sounding l [...]

    10. I just finished reading this book tonight. I've been putting it off until I realized he was publishing a new novel in 2008. I didn't want to fall behind. I don't know what to make of the book. It revolves around an Italian Ameican protagonist who basically is having to come to terms with the fact that he needs to more firmly ensconse himself in the lives of his family and friends. Spoilers below with cast listingCast of characters:Jerry Battle: protagonist, distant, mid-life crisis, enjoys flyin [...]

    11. This was a quick read. I liked the main character. His life was coming apart and his problems were weighing heavily on him. I could empathize with most of them and I liked him as a main character. I liked the other characters as well. I found myself wanting more description of them. Some were a little vague.My main problem was the format. It was a narrative one and I'm not a fan of that style. This could have ended up as 2 stars, but I think the fact that the MC was well liked helped. It also ha [...]

    12. I'll always read what Lee writes, but I'm baffled by the critical praise this book received. His narrator is a retired landscaper who's Italian-American, but I just never bought that Lee was comfortable in this skin. He alternates between overwriting aggressively long sentences and using slang and tough-guy talk that just never seems plausible, as if the narrator has to remind himself of his role but continues to fall out of character. Some sentences were so tangled by their ambition, I'd find m [...]

    13. This was sitting on my shelf for a long time so I figured I should give it a whirl. I have mixed feelings about this book. I think Lee didn't get the protagonist's voice at all. The honeyed language he uses seems completely wrong for an Italian building contractor. Lee tries to rectify this by using slang like "my chubby" every once in while but he doesn't pull it off (at all). Having heard Lee read a portion of the book in 2002 (that's why I got the book to begin with, funny how taste's change) [...]

    14. For a novel like this--a portrait of a Long Island multi-generational family in the midst of many challenges--I want a flawed but sympathetic protagonist who experiences a clear transition between his state at the beginning and at the end. Here the protagonist is 60-year-old Jerry Battle, retired from running the contractor business started by his grandfather (his son is now in that role). He's never completely come to terms with the tragic death of his wife years before, and is struggling with [...]

    15. Lee is a Korean-American author so I found it very interesting that he wrote a tale about a fairly typical Caucasian American family. Turns out the “hero” of the book, Jerry Battle had been married at one point to a Korean-American woman and had two children with her. So, maybe not so unusual, after all. The story centers around Jerry and his immediate family plus his long-suffering girlfriend, Rita. Jerry’s retired from his family’s business (which his son is now running) and works part [...]

    16. Loved this book. I heard Chang-Rae Lee read from his most recent book Surrendered at Lemuria not long ago. He read only a few minutes and then just TALKED about his writing and took questions. I think he's one of the most accessible, articulate writers I've heard in a long time.One disclaimer: this book has what may seem to some people a "pesky" voice. The style is unusual--long, convoluted sentences--but it's the way the character thinks, and it fits his persona. I wound up loving it. It's a po [...]

    17. I couldn't relate to any of the characters. In the opening paragraphs the main character describes himself as "overcome by ennui" or some such phrase, and by god he means it. Sort of a coming-to-terms-with-mid-life story with no particularly pleasant people around to help the main character through it. As the reader, you're essentially taken through three or four critical weeks of this man's life, and in the end, I just wasn't sure if he really cared that they had been critical weeks and events. [...]

    18. I wish there were half star ratings so I could give it a 3.5-- it deserves more than a 3. On the whole, this novel felt like listening to a close friend speak frankly, with humor and acceptance, about their life, albeit a friend who was capable of incredible insight and turns of phrases that made you stop in wonder. There is such poignancy revealed in the in-between moments of everyday life, which he manages to reveal with such a light touch; nothing is heavy-handed. There were, perhaps, a coupl [...]

    19. Very poignant. About how certain types of people cope with pain by distancing themselves or escaping; delves into emotional and moral responsibility and laziness, and how the protagonist and his father cope with life by staying adrift and aloft at the expense of women who love them.Not a book for everyone. To be fully enjoyed, it needs to be read under the right life circumstances.Probably hard to take for people who are currently emotionally settled. People who are currently "adrift" in life, h [...]

    20. A very fine novel, really 4.5 stars. If you like the novels written by Richard Ford or Richard Russo, you will enjoy this novel. Much to my surprise and delight, Chang-rae Lee is as accomplished a writer as they are but with more humor and candor and, dare I say it, more depth. This is my first Chang-rae Lee book but it won't be my last. The writing is superb, the characters memorable and fully developed, and the slice-of-life story interesting from the first to the last page. A most enjoyable r [...]

    21. A middle-aged white guy in Long Island, beset with a host of first-world problems. From the way he handles his girlfriends (not well), to the intergenerational struggles of his family. this was mostly a book about relationshipsThere wasn't very much aviation in it, except for that final, suspenseful flight. Good enough. 4 stars.

    22. On reading this novel I was constantly reminded of the lyrics from Pink Floyd's 'Learning to Fly' - marvellous words that perfectly capture the magic of flying, aloft from the troubles and cares of life on earth below. And so it is for Jerry Battle, middle aged, middle class, European man of south Italian descent, second generation small business owner with plenty of troubles and cares on his shoulders to keep him awake at night. And yet, until these small simmering problems reach a crisis point [...]

    23. There was absolutely nothing special about this book. Another tale of late middle-aged suburban woe. I've read the later work of Philip Roth and Richard Ford. I know how it goes. And they did it better.

    24. Lee's third novel was the one which brought him to my attention. It was widely reviewed with mixed reactions and I put it on my TBR list for 2004.The story is once again set in the suburbs of New York City, but the Korean/American character is in the background this time. It is a family saga about Italians and their landscaping business created by its patriarch, a crusty old guy who lives in assisted living at the time of the novel.Jerry Battle, the main character, took over the business from hi [...]

    25. I expected to enjoy Aloft more than I did, based on my read of Chang Rae Lee’s Native Speaker (which was a wonderful). The protagonist, Jerry Battle, is a man on the brink of 60, who has lived his life by coasting above the ‘hard stuff.’ The book begins with him buying a small plane. When he flies, he can leave everything behind – just as he has his whole life. Through a series of events, he learns to look beyond himself and at the needs of his loved ones. .Though the book is well writte [...]

    26. This is the second Lee book I've read where I had grave doubts, at the beginning, that I was going to enjoy the novel, but ended up completely captivated by the end. This was a remarkable tour of a character's mind, a character who describes himself on page 246 thus:I haven't been much of producer or founder, nothing at all like Pop, or millions of other guys in and between our generations, rather just caretaking what I've been left and/or give, and consuming my fair share of the bright and new, [...]

    27. I have to admit that a big reason this book interested me was because Lee wrote as the Other. He did a decent job with it, but I couldn't relate well with Jerry's character. I felt like Lee might have traded character development for a chance to write his thoughts about white interaction with American minorities -- and all of his observations were totally accurate and worth saying, obviously, but it still pulled me away from the story to read Jerry's pretended ignorance about Daisy's Korean cook [...]

    28. I picked this book up, I have to admit, because of the extravagant blurbs. I am not usually prone to following these because they are so often manufactured or out of context, but the back cover is rife with a series of one word superlatives: "Masterful" and "Poignant" and " Engrossing" and "Buoyant" (I like that word—buoyant, that's a good word), "Mesmerizing" and "Gorgeous" andwell, you get the idea. Pretty much any adjective that can be applied to a book was used on this one.I came up with m [...]

    29. Another gem from Chang-Rae Lee. I really enjoy his writing, more importantly he actually has something to say. How many books have you read and after 300 or 400 pages nothing was said? I knew it.This book is about those of us (you know who you are) going about life in a sort of cruise control, not that one need be comfortable to do so, but those who find a zone allowing them to carry onward through the fog and stick with it. Viewing events around from the aspect of how it affects themselves, not [...]

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