Propeller One-Way Night Coach: A Fable for All Ages - John Travolta
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Probably I should just pretend I didn't read this, and assume that nobody else will. But just in case any of you come across it in the bookstore or library and think it might make a nice bedtime story, I'll go ahead and give you my impression. I mean, it looks like a nice little book: it's got a cute cover, the scattered illustrations (by the author, no less!) are decent, and it touts itself as a "fable for all ages." I love those! And it's about the love of flying, back in the '60s, when you could still get on a plane and fly across the country for under a hundred bucks. Nostalgic, right?
Except, it really isn't appropriate for all ages. It's about an 8-year-old boy on a plane for his first time, and his mom who wants to be an actress in Hollywood and flirts with a married man on the plane. It tries to be one of these books where you see things through the kid's innocent eyes even though the adults around him are engaging in questionable activities. But first, Travolta never really finds his voice: sometimes it's present tense, and he doesn't really question the fact that his mom's been staying in another hotel room all night; at other times, he's looking back, and he comments that these pilots must have been talking about sex, but he didn't know it at the time. And secondly, Travolta's a part of Hollywood—when the boy in the story thinks drinking Manhattans and smoking Newports is glamorous, are you supposed to agree? It's hard to say.
And then later this 8-year-old boy ends up marrying the 21-year-old flight attendant. Seriously. Is this something you'd read to your kid?

Fed to jonathan's brain | August 28, 2003