Never Land

Never Land

Adventures, Wonder, and One World Record in a Very Small Plane

W. Scott Olsen

202 pages
1 glossary

Hardcover

March 2010

978-0-8032-1750-8

$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

According to W. Scott Olsen, there are two reasons for flying. The first is just to get somewhere. The second has nothing to do with destination. It is this second reason, expressing our deepest curiosity and our longings for infinity, grace, and clarity, that Never Land explores. At once frankly philosophical and engagingly practical, the book combines accounts of touring in the air, the history of flight, the sensations of flying, and the technical acts and facts of navigating, piloting, lifting off, and landing.
 
As it brings together many views on flight, Never Land also chronicles Olsen’s own personal journey—his experiences and the shift in his perspective as he goes from green beginner to seasoned pilot. Whether reflecting on airmail delivery, plotting routes from above, interviewing veterans, learning aerobatic moves, or encountering history in the making, Olsen makes the feel of flying a reality for his earthbound readers. Albeit a personal narrative, his book is ultimately a celebration of aviation that brings to bear the intellectual precision, emotional passion, exhilarating risk, and incalculable reward behind the human desire to fly.

Author Bio

W. Scott Olsen is a professor of English at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He is editor in chief of the literary journal Ascent; the author of several books, including At Speed: Traveling the Long Road between Two Points (Nebraska 2006) and Hard Air: Adventures from the Edge of Flying (available in a Bison Books edition); and the editor of many anthologies.

Praise

“W. Scott Olsen is that dreamy hybrid of poet, pilot, and humorist. If weather has cancelled your flight plan, curl up with Never Land. It’s the next best thing to flying you’ll find.”—Patricia Trenner, senior editor of Air & Space / Smithsonian

Never Land is a heartfelt and thoughtful and smart examination of what’s for some of us ‘the necessity and the reach of flying,’ and of what happens when you mix America and the air and an airplane. Scott Olsen with an engaging sweetness and acuity of observation deftly combines a sense of history and a sense of place with an introduction to the gratifications of flying a small plane, and the ways in which, when we’re doing something so fully that it seems like it’s its own reward, our definition of who and where we are can gloriously enlarge itself.”—Jim Shepard, author of Like You’d Understand, Anyway

“At times poignant, at other times funny, as often frightening as it is deeply personal, Never Land is a fine evocation of the beauty of the American prairie and a flyer’s unique perspective. W. Scott Olsen has written a wonderful book about flying.”—Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), pilot

"At once frankly philosophical and engagingly practical, the book combines accounts of touring the air, the history of flight, the sensations of flying, and the technical acts and facts of navigating, piloting, lifting off, and landing."—Pacific Flyer

"This little book is for all the lucky people who ever flew an aircraft, and, for everyone who ever dreamed of flying one. . . . If words can capture this controlled life into sky—this safely flying toward the infinite—Olsen's book does it."—Dave Remley, Glenwood Gazette

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Glossary

Prologue

What Remains

The Pilot’s Journal

Altitude

A Prairie Roll

Bad Form

Dreams of Flying

The Spin

The World Record

The Long Cross-Country

A Note on Sources

Also of Interest