Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Simple Art of Flying by Cory Leonardo

This is sad, happy, charming, and gently funny.  A beautiful book with a bittersweet ending.

And look at that cover! 

It reminds me a lot of The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate—another fantastic book.  But my reactions are a little different.  My only (small) issue with the One and Only Ivan is that it's a little hard to believe in parts.  Ivan seems to know or understand things he would have no way of knowing, given what we know about how he learns, and I question why he can speak to the other animal species so easily but can't understand humans.  This doesn't seem quite internally consistent, and I'm a proponent of books being internally consistent—be they strictly modern day, far-distant future, or high fantasy. 

Now, fast-forward to "The Simple Art of Flying."  Objectively, it's way more difficult to believe.  The voices of the animals are way more human than Applegate's delightful rendition of a gorilla's thought processes and inner voice in "The One and Only Ivan."  In "The Simple Art of Flying," Alastair and others use slang and cultural references they shouldn't use or understand, even if they are highly intelligent animals that can communicate amongst themselves.  But here it doesn't bother me.  And the difference?  Internal consistency.  "The Simple Art of Flying" is so fantastical (Alastair reads by eating paper—and he knows pretty much everything—and the goldfish can analyze poetry—and the guinea pig plays poker).  Because it's so fantastical, it doesn't seem out of place that they all talk like humans.  It feels more internally consistent.

These are both great books.  I love them both.  I just found my different reactions interesting.

Anyway, I love the characters in "The Simple Art of Flying."  I love the writing, the story structure, the pacing, the unusual premise, and the even more unusual theme. 

A great book.  Highly recommended.  Can't wait to read more by Cory Leonardo

Buy it on Amazon:  The Simple Art of Flying

Read my review of The One and Only Ivan

No comments:

Post a Comment