Saturday, February 18, 2012

In-Flight Entertainment: Stories-Helen Simpson

In-Flight Entertainment: Stories

Helen Simpson

Knopf, Feb 24 2012, $24.00

ISBN: 9780307595584

On the micro level, this thirteen short story collection focuses on all types of relationships as people realize death is the outcome; on the macro level the contributions provide a cautionary theme of humanity’s suicidal destruction of the planet. All the entries are excellent as Helen Simpson smoothly blends her big and little pictures into a cohesive anthology. The opening title story In-Flight Entertainment has an indifferent flyer upgraded to first class only to find his row mate passionately blaming mankind for an inconvenient truth caused by the dangerous carbon footprint ironically including air travel. The academic ridicules his lover over her environmental fears as “ecospeak”, but that scorn proves to be The Tipping Point" ending their relationship. The romantic "Geography Boy" cannot win his beloved’s heart fully as she fears the death of the planet nears, but each tries as they have each other when the end comes. The business guru once again proves "Ahead of the Pack" of lemmings with a plan to make money on the global warming fears. "Diary of an Interesting Year" sums up the compilation as by the year 2040 avarice fuels mankinds destruction. With the tome differing from humorous to stark essayist, this is a great collection summed up by Pogo” We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Harriet Klausner

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