HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Luminous Airplanes: A Novel by Paul La Farge
Loading...

Luminous Airplanes: A Novel

by Paul La Farge

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
529225,591 (2.96)4
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'm sure there was a plot somewhere in this book but it was hard to find. The basic premise: At the end of the 20th century, a 30 year old computer programmer living in San Francisco finds out that his grandfather passed away. He travels back to Thebes, NY (in Norman Mailer's car apparently) to clean out the house because the rest of the family doesn't want to deal with it. Thebes is a tiny town where he spent his summers growing up. In Thebes, he runs into the brother and sister who lived next door to his grandparents and starts a relationship with the girl. This sounds okay but the book bounces all over the place--the narrator trying to find out about his long lost father, a homeless guy named Snow back in San Francisco and some historical research he did on the Millerites, a religious sect from the late 1800s who believed the end of the world was coming.

I didn't really care for any of the characters but stuck it out to see how the book would end, hoping for a big finish. I should have known better. Not a terrible book but I find it difficult to determine who I would recommend it to.
  walterqchocobo | Apr 8, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book starts off engagingly enough but becomes hard to follow and, eventually, kind of dull. The narrator does a good job, neither hindering the text nor trying to make it better than it is. Ultimately, though, the characters are not very interesting and the storytelling is choppy. ( )
  Grist | Dec 13, 2012 |
The Millerites were a 19th century religious group that predicted the second coming of Christ sometime in 1844. Thousands gathered on hilltops in New Your state to be taken up in the rapture. William Miller had made this prophesy from he interpretation o the Book of Daniel. When no second coming or rapture took place, his followers fragmented into competing sects and Miller was widely ridiculed in the press at the time. His followers would have been taken in white robes "...like a little luminous airplane" (p.233). The other reference to failed airplanes is a more direct one as the narrator, while sorting out his deceased grandfather's home in Thebes, NY become obsessed with a book about failed attempt at human flight. Our narrator has failed to compete his dissertation at Standford on the Millerites and finds himself in a dead end computer job that he leaves in order to attend to his grandfather's house. There he reunites with childhood friends, Yesim and Kerem. This is essentially a realistic novel of connecting with one's past. The present and past intersect through his "mothers" in NYC and his uncle Charlie (for humorous effect) in the fictional town of Thebes. Through letters he comes to know more about his father, Richard Ente, a lawyer who had come to Thebes to litigate a case against an impending skill resort.

Past trials and tribulations are revealed, although in a somewhat choppy fashion. The needing seems a little perfunctory but overall this is an engaging novel of reconnection and self-discovery. The "immersive text" or web page seems interesting but largely unnecessary. ( )
  Wisconco | Oct 31, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
For me, the big attraction for this book was the location. While it is a fictionalized New York State, the local seems based on the ski areas of Belaire, Hunter Mountain and High Mount, place that were popular when, in the 1960’s, I lived not far from those areas.

The story itself moves right along with a forceful flow. It is a tory of not being able to recapture the past and is a very character drive story. I enjoyed the characterizations and the scenery, but the story was not that fulfilling and the ending disappointing. My four star rating is primarily based on the entertainment value. This was a CD Audiobook and the narration served to boost my overall rating, so deduct a half star from my evaluation of just the story. ( )
  PghDragonMan | Oct 16, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Luminous Tedium--Apparently, this novel is about a guy who moves from San Francisco to Thebes, NY to clean out his grandparents' house after their demise. While there, he encounters the brother and sister who grew up next door to his grandparents, of whom he has fond memories. Unfortunately, none of the characters in the novel are likable, and it was really hard to care about any of them. The novel meanders back and forth between the protagonist's current reality and his memory of growing up with the neighbor kids and his memory of his life in San Francisco, but there is no cohesion. Really, the only memorable thing about the book was that the protagonist, apparently, has a car once owned by Norman Mailer.
  eggsnhm | Feb 19, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
In September 2000, a young programmer comes home from a desert festival to learn that his grandfather has died and that he has to return to Thebes—a town which is so isolated that its inhabitants have their own language—in order to clean out the house where his family lived for five generations. While he’s there, he runs into Yesim, a Turkish American woman whom he loved as a child, and begins a romance in which past and present are dangerously confused. At the same time, he remembers San Francisco in the wild years of the internet boom, and mourns the loss of Swan, a madman who may have been the only person to understand what was happening to the city, and to the world.

La Farge’s ambitious new work considers large worlds and small ones, love, memory, family, flying machines, dance music, and the end of the world.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374194319, Hardcover)

A decade after the publication of Haussmann, or the Distinction, his acclaimed novel about nineteenth-century Paris, Paul La Farge turns his imagination to America at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

In September 2000, a young programmer comes home from a fes­tival in the Nevada desert and learns that his grandfather has died, and that he has to return to Thebes, a town which is so isolated that its inhabitants have their own language, in order to clean out the house where his family lived for five generations. While he’s there, he runs into Yesim, a Turkish American woman whom he loved as a child, and begins a romance in which past and present are dangerously confused. At the same time, he remembers San Francisco in the wild years of the Internet boom, and mourns the loss of Swan, a madman who may have been the only person to understand what was happening to the city, and to the world.

Luminous Airplanes has a singular form: the novel, complete in itself, is accompanied by an online “immersive text,” which continues the story and complements it. Nearly ten years in the making, La Farge’s ambitious new work considers large worlds and small ones, love, mem­ory, family, flying machines, dance music, and the end of the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:52 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After his grandfather dies, a young programmer must go back to Thebes, a town so isolated that the residents have their own language, and soon begins a romance with an old flame and reflects on other ghosts of the past.

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
13 wanted2 pay2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (2.96)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 1
2.5 2
3 4
3.5 3
4 2
4.5
5

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

Luminous Airplanes by Paul La Farge was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 94,379,034 books! | Top bar: Always visible