"Crash-Landing" is an exploration of modern day fear and failure. Its subject is self-delusion and self-fulfillment, sexual entanglements and midlife anxiety, marriage and existential loneliness. Named after Lindbergh, his parents' hero, Charles Burg has neither the requisite head for heights nor the stomach to go it alone. Though destined for a fall, he contrives by never looking down to keep his marriage to Anne aloft through years of circling, of buffeting crosswinds, instrument failure and near collisions. When the crackup finally comes, the touchdown is not tragic, flaming wreck, but a nose-in-the-mud return to ground zero.Both survive the forced landing. Anne comes through better: she manages to walk away from the wreckage. Chuck crawls off, emotionally grounded. We last see him fleeing across the Atlantic, winging toward an eighty-day crash cure at a rehabilitation camp fpr bereaved ex-husbands "some twenty kilometers south of Breat."Or rather, that is the reader's first glimpse of this comedy's anti-hero, for events unfold in reverse order appearance - from the crackup back to the passionate beginning that led to the marriage. The story's counter-chronological movement gives the reader foresight, while Chuck, its first-person narrator, remains, happily or ironically, unaware of the laws of physics that govern the all too short duration of love's flight."
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- ID: 9780914590910
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