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Ryan Bingham’s job as a Career Transition Counselor–he fires people–has kept him airborne for years. Although he has come to despise his line of work, he has come to love the culture of what he calls “Airworld,” finding contentment within pressurized cabins, anonymous hotel rooms, and a wardrobe of wrinkle-free slacks. With a letter of resignation sitting on his boss’s desk, and the hope of a job with a mysterious consulting firm, Ryan Bingham is agonizingly close to his ultimate goal, his Holy Grail: one million frequent flier miles. But before he achieves this long-desired freedom, conditions begin to deteriorate.
With perception, wit, and wisdom, Up in the Air combines brilliant social observation with an acute sense of the psychic costs of our rootless existence, and confirms Walter Kirn as one of the most savvy chroniclers of American life.
WALTER KIRN is a contributing editor to Time and GQ and a regular reviewer for the New York Times Book Review. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, GQ, Vogue, New York, and Esquire. He is the author of four previous works of fiction: My Hard Bargain: Stories, She Needed Me, Thumbsucker, and Up in the Air. He lives in Livingston, Montana.
“A dead-on, wry portrait of the life of the road warrior.” —The Washington Post
“Up in the Air deliciously lambastes corporate America. Kirn's satire ranges deftly over our contemporary landscape.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Terrifically funny and poignant.... Beneath its glittering, comic surface, Up in the Air asks if, in pursuing what we think we want, we might lose ourselves completely.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“[A] hilarious, often ingenious ode to America.... Whip smart yet entertaining enough to rival anything from John Grisham.” —Time Out New York