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Walking on Air: A Novel

by R.S. Jones

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341552,477 (2.67)2
"In his new novel, Walking on Air, R. S. Jones has produced a gripping meditation on the bonds of love and trust in the face of shattering crisis. William Addams is dying. Controlling, mercurial, estranged from his family, he is consumed by the fear that he'll be abandoned as his disease careens out of his control. To avoid this, he focuses his considerable attention on Henry and Susan, his closest friends, the only people to whom his care can fall." "It has always been William's desperate hope that the bonds of friendship will prove to be as durable as any family ties, yet he cannot rid himself of the dread that Susan and Henry will leave him. What he wants is for their faithfulness to last until they take him home to his beloved house to die. But as William's condition worsens, it becomes apparent that his expectations of devotion and loyalty involve not simply a loving commitment but the virtual handing over of his friends' vitality and independence; indeed, William covets their very lives."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (more)

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This was one of the most depressing books I've ever read, coming in only second to "The Diary of Anne Frank". It's about a terminally ill man and how a couple of his closest friends come to terms with his illness, their friendship, and the way his expectations of his friends affected them all.

Graphically following the course of his illness, and the changes he goes through as his disease slowly kills him, this novel draws you in but yet at the same time makes you want to turn away in revulsion...exactly the same way his friends felt as they watched this man slowly die. The ill man, William, has AIDS, and the descriptive way the progression of his disease is presented is extremely disturbing.

The book seemed a bit disjointed in the beginning, and throughout the book, the characters seemed rather one-dimensional to me, but that may have been what the author was after....after all, it was all about William, and William and his disease is what more or less consumed the days and nights of his two friends.

Near the end, Henry learns of a betrayal that nearly divides his friendship with William asunder, and Henry struggles with his own feelings of pain, trying to decide whether to return to William's side or turn away completely.

I came away from this book with a greater understanding of the depths of friendship, and how it can be shaken or strengthened when that friendship is threatened by terminal illness. A very difficult subject matter and a very difficult book to read. ( )
1 vote porchsitter55 | Jan 11, 2009 |
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"In his new novel, Walking on Air, R. S. Jones has produced a gripping meditation on the bonds of love and trust in the face of shattering crisis. William Addams is dying. Controlling, mercurial, estranged from his family, he is consumed by the fear that he'll be abandoned as his disease careens out of his control. To avoid this, he focuses his considerable attention on Henry and Susan, his closest friends, the only people to whom his care can fall." "It has always been William's desperate hope that the bonds of friendship will prove to be as durable as any family ties, yet he cannot rid himself of the dread that Susan and Henry will leave him. What he wants is for their faithfulness to last until they take him home to his beloved house to die. But as William's condition worsens, it becomes apparent that his expectations of devotion and loyalty involve not simply a loving commitment but the virtual handing over of his friends' vitality and independence; indeed, William covets their very lives."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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