I’m pretty sure someone on the Pajiba Facebook group just asked what movie/book/show were you glad you watched but never need to see again? I think Flight may just be that book for me, and I just read it a second time. I think I buried some of the most horrific parts in the memory hole, because re-reading it I had the thought multiple times “oh, so that’s where I read that.”
That’s not to say this is a bad book. It’s very good. Requiem for a Dream was also very good. And at least this book ends on an upbeat note for our protagonist “Zits.” But to get there he had to travel through some of the ugliest episodes of American History, and while I get that this isn’t intended for ten year olds or anything, I’m 34 and I feel like I’m too young for this book. Sherman Alexie does an amazing job of humanizing the past by making his protagonist live through it in the eyes of the heroes and the villains, but naturally that makes the hard stuff all the harder.
Also, I kind of wonder 11 years later, how Alexie feels about making the only good adult in the book (aside from his immediate family that we meet for like two pages) a police officer. It’s not like he shies away from examining the evils police have done to Native Americans, but after the century-long year we’ve just gone through it feels weird to have the (white?) cop come in and save the day (even if Zits saves himself first by going to a trusted adult). But who is that trusted adult for the Zits of 2020?