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Publisher's Summary

In Skyfaring, airline pilot and flight romantic Mark Vanhoenacker shares his irrepressible love of flying on a journey from day to night, from new ways of mapmaking and the poetry of physics to the names of winds and the nature of clouds. Here, anew, is the simple wonder and transcendent joy of motion and the remarkable new perspectives that height and distance bestow on everything we love.

©2015 Mark Vanhoenacker (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Read it, and you’ll find yourself requesting a window seat every time you fly." ( Bookseller)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Rambling and Esoteric

This is a lovely written book with great descriptive prose. To me however it made no sense even after two chapters. Which is why I LOVE Audibles' return policy.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Warren
  • 26-08-2015

I agree with most comments about the narrator

I am a licensed private pilot and travel commercially about 100K miles per year so I am into aviation. That's the entire reason I bought this book. Yet, I found it too boring to finish. Some of this might be the fault of the narrator. I am in agreement with almost all of the other reviewers about this. He over pronounces every syllable. He mispronounces common aviation words, of which the oft reference "altimeter" is the most annoying. I will give him a pass on "Aeroplane" since that is the British way of saying the word. I am not certain how it is spelled out in the print edition

Yes, it is clear that the author truly loves what he does and that does come through in the book. Maybe I will go back and finish it after I finish the current thriller I am listening to, or if I am sitting on one of those many commercial flights and need to take a nap.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • KMITT
  • 13-06-2016

terrible narrator

MIGHT be interesting. Narrator kills it. over-enunciates every emotionless word -- so don't hear story

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Penny K
  • 24-12-2017

Boyish enthusiasm undimmed

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Vanhoenacker has great enthusiasm for his life in the sky and shares it abundantly and unstintingly. He allows his imagination to soar with his spirits and he imparts his experience in every sentence. Bless him. But it is too bad that he first flew in the encapsulation of a pressurized craft. There is nothing like flying at 6,000 ft in a DC3 over wild Alaska, with the atmospheric pressure the same on both sides of the plane's outer skin. Exhiliration!!

Enough with listening, though!
I suffered through
every sentence that the
ill-phrased narrator read
as if he were reading from
a column of newsprint and
paused at every line break.

Didn't he have a director, a producer, a voice-coach?
I am returning this book and turning to the print version.

What other book might you compare Skyfaring to and why?

I have read nothing like it --
Maybe Sy Montgomery's "Soul of an Octopus" compares. She has the same quality of enthusiasm for the creature she studies as Vanhoenacker for the earth, the sky, and flight.

What didn’t you like about John Moraitis’s performance?

Unbearable. Though I must say, the timber of his voice is pleasant, so there is promise, that with coaching, lots of coaching, and directing, he might turn out to be a decent narrator.

Was Skyfaring worth the listening time?

Yes, it got me to turn to the text.

Any additional comments?

Yes. Why is the narrator's pronunciation not checked?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • tboatcap
  • 05-10-2017

Great book but horrible narrator.

I loved reading the book but listening to it was a very different experience. The narrator has an awkward cadence and places enunciation on off words making the listening experience jarring and painful. Bummed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • B. P. Johnson
  • 29-06-2016

Possibly for a non-pilot

I am a pilot and thought I might find it engaging. Instead I found it elementary and somewhat boring. I also didn't find the narrator gave this read much life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Erin H
  • 29-04-2016

Great book, production issues

I had previously read this book in print, and as an aviation fan was very happy with the book. Unfortunately, the audio book contains many mispronunciations which make it frustrating to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chuck
  • 22-08-2015

Probably a bit longer than necessary

Parts of the book were quite interesting but others went on much too long with lots of repetition.

As to the narrator: The quality control in the making of these audio books comes into serious question. Does anyone listen to what's going on? Others have mentioned altimeter as being a pretty glaring mispronunciation. What about "airplane"? which, as you can imagine is a pretty common word in a book about flying. From the very beginning of the book it's not a two syllable word but a three syllable word. Aer-o-plane is even more disconcerting and abrasive than altimeter. Be warned.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Observer1236
  • 15-08-2015

Overwritten

What did you like best about Skyfaring? What did you like least?

There is random, interesting information about aviation and the life of the pilot.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Most interesting was information. Least interesting and really off-putting was the poetizing.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The reading seemed to be in a mono-tone and uninspired. I thought it must have been read by the author and not a professional. I checked and saw I was mistaken.

Was Skyfaring worth the listening time?

It might have been if it was cut by 25% or more -- talking out the ponderous poetizing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Casey
  • 29-07-2015

Two Flaps Down

I love almost anything having to do with aviation. I once got a private pilot's license, though I stopped flying when I realized it was the best way for me get killed or, at best, go broke. So when I read the glowing, no make that soaring reviews of Mr. Vanhoenacker's book, I couldn't wait to give it a listen.
Yes, Mr. Vanhoenacker turns a good phrase and his love of his profession is admirable, but the book was extremely boring. While they may have seemed like revelations to him, his observations were rather obvious and mundane.
Then there is the problem of John Moraitis' narration. In his mouth, the word altimeter, pronounced nearly universally as al-TIM-eh-ter, became AL-ta meter. This word is used many times in chapter after chapter and grated more and more as the book slowly wore on. Doesn't anybody listen to these books before they go up on Audible?
Can't recommend this one except as a sleep aid.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ron
  • 12-09-2015

Great read for aviation enthusiasts.

Vanhoenacker beautifully conveys his love of flying, while providing much fascinating information about piloting a 747.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M
  • 26-05-2015

Excellent read

very emotive and enlightening , has definitely rekindled my love of flight and planes .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mr R B
  • 21-07-2015

Good in parts

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not really. There are some really good parts and if it was abridged by a good editor then I think it could be a much better book for the casual listener. As it stands though, it is very wordy in parts and in the end just goes on a bit too long. After 12 hours I was ready for it to finish (and soon!).

Would you be willing to try another book from Mark Vanhoenacker? Why or why not?

Possibly, but I only have so many credits which means probably not. Why not? Well, much like some other reviewers I think Mark just tries a bit too hard in places. I've nothing against the guy (and I liked some of it very much), but I didn't need the literary references to appreciate that he is a very educated guy. Read one of Feynman's memoires if you want an example of an overpowering intellect who never strays from plain English.

Have you listened to any of John Moraitis’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't, but I have no complaints about the narration.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No - and to be fair I think this would be a difficult subject to do justice to in a film.

Any additional comments?

Mark is obviously a smart guy - He mentions his education, followed by the career in management consulting and I think that's maybe the underlying issue here. I can imagine what he would have been like giving a presentation - at the end of it you would have been made fully aware of just how smart he was. Perhaps that seems a little unfair, after all I did like a lot of the book. I do think that as a 5 hour book minus the flowery bits it could be a really good book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • jonathan
  • 18-09-2017

How can such a fascinating subject be so dull....

This book was absolutely not what I was expecting, I thought it would be stories and talk about actually flying as I'm interested in just what happens on a journey from A to B but no. In my opinion it’s more a personal rambling that goes on and on relentlessly. This is the first audio book I’ve had where I’ve actually used the fast forward button…

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Kunde
  • 05-05-2017

Made me understand more of my love for aviation

I loved the authors articulation of the marvel of flying and aviation. He offers an amazing perspective from the other side, that of the the aircrews and their relationship with flying. Mark's love affair with flying has made me understand a lot of what I felt and experienced whenever I flew as a passenger but was unable to articulate into ideas and concepts which make me marvel the spectacle of aviation Everytime a plane leaves the ground or lands back on it. Must read for aviation enthusiasts and also those who are not there quite yet.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy
  • 18-03-2017

Awful

This is Bad, it is badly read, it is meandering rubbish by someone who sounds as though English is not their first language

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • KEROFAI
  • 05-09-2015

Perfect

Inspiring thoughts of aviation and airline pilots lifestyle from an interesting perspective. .. ... ..