Friday, June 06, 2014

Booknote: Jet Set

William Stadiem, Jet Set: the People, the Planes, the Glamour, and the Romance in Aviation's Glory Years. New York: Random House, 2014. ISBN: 9780345536952.

I finished reading this, and I have to say I was disappointed. The subtitle gave so much promise: "the people, the planes, the glamour, and the romance in aviation's glory years." It even brought back to me memories of childhood flying in big spacious jets like L-1011's from Puerto Rico to the U.S. back when commercial flying was a pleasure. Back in the good days, Eastern Air Lines had a big hub in PR, so it was a popular way to take a trip to the States. The airline is gone, and so are those glory days of commercial aviation. Also, given recent shows like Pan-Am (the book does deal with the rise of Pan American Air Lines along with the rise of jet aviation for commercial flight) and to an extent Mad Men I figured this was a good book riding that wave of period pieces. It was not to be.

I wanted to like this book given the topic. What I found was a pretty boring and dry book. It pretty much reads like the society pages for the first few chapters. I am not sure if it is reflective of the fact that the author writes for Vanity Fair, but a lot of the book felt like reading celebrity gossip columns for much of the text: who married who, who was schlepping around with who, which woman married which European noble, so on. Aside from that, you do get some facts, but you also get a lot of name dropping. If you care about the high society and their early ventures as they fell in and out of love with each other, if you like social gossip, this may be the book for you. If you want something more than that, this is not the book to read.

This is one that I am giving 1 out of 5 stars as I did not find interesting nor engaging overall, which is a pity given that the topic itself does sound interesting. I am not recommending it for libraries neither unless a patron requests it. I am certainly not ordering it for my library.

1 comment:

Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) said...

Still hopping over from the Nonfiction Reading Challenge....

That's too bad this didn't work out. It's a topic I would enjoy, too. If I could go back in time, at the top of my list would be one plane flight to experience air travel when it was glamorous. I have that thought every time I take my shoes off at an airport.