Landing Gear

Landing Gear

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Sharp, engaging contemporary fiction from Governor General's Award winner Kate Pullinger, author of The Mistress of Nothing
      A man falls from the sky and against all odds lands himself a new life.
     Spring 2010. Harriet works in local radio in London, England. When a volcano explodes in Iceland and airspace shuts down over Europe stranding most of her colleagues abroad, she seizes the opportunity to change her working life. At the same time, Yacub, a migrant worker from Pakistan, is stranded in a labour camp in Dubai, an Emily, a young tv researcher, loses her father to a sudden heart attack. Michael, stuck in New York, travels to Toronto to stay with an old flame. And Jack, a teenager liberated from normal life by the absence of airplanes, takes an unexpected risk and finds himself in trouble.
     Two years later, these lives collide dramatically when Yacub falls out of the landing gear of the airplane on which he is a stowaway and onto Harriet's car in a supermarket car park. Yacub's arrival in the lives of Harriet, Jack, Michael, and Emily catapults these characters into a series of life-changing events.
     Based on a newspaper article Pullinger first read more than a decade ago, when the body of an airplane stowaway landed in a southwest London supermarket car park, Landing Gear explores what would happen if the stowaway survived, unscathed. From the ash cloud airspace shutdown in 2010, through 2012, and onto 2014, the novel is about the complex texture of modern life--airplanes, the internet, migrant labour, and the loneliness of the nuclear family.
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, c2014.
ISBN: 9780385681209
Characteristics: 286 pages ;,22 cm.


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Sep 14, 2016

I enjoyed hearing this author speaking at our library so much last weekend, I borrowed "Landing Gear."
This has been such a delight to read, quirky, entertaining, completely different. I read it in less than a week.

LoganLib_Adults Aug 30, 2016

Come and see Kate during the Brisbane Writer's Festival;

Feb 04, 2015

Not my kind of story for several reasons ,,,the chronological order, being asked to believe that a man landing on top of a parked car from a plane overhead does not even merit a trip to hospital in an ambulance, the way we are not sure that Yacub is real (alive) or dead (a figment of Harriet's imagination) and the old "I think you are my mother who gave me up at birth" routine, which is tired and so over-done!

Diell Jan 10, 2015

I really enjoyed this book, I like a book that requires a little muscle to read. so no I didn't mind the style at all. liked her characters and their narratives.
quirky and thoroughly enjoyable

samdog123 Jan 07, 2015

I read Kate Pullinger's award winning novel, 'Mistress of Nothing' and thought that she couldn't possibly write a better book--I was wrong. 'Landing Gear' is every bit as good as 'Mistress' but it is entirely different. It's quirky, funny, and poignant all at the same time. One day Harriet, a bored London housewife, visits the grocery store. While putting groceries into her car, a man named Yacub falls from the landing gear of an plane flying overhead onto the roof of her car. She builds a relationship with him and he becomes the catalyst that heals Harriet's family issues. This is one book you won't want to put down once you start reading it.

Nov 28, 2014

This was a quick and easy read. It was a good book but not an exceptional one

Sep 23, 2014

Not the book for those who prefer a traditional chronological narrative as it leaps forward without much warning years at a time and then fills in some of the details through flashbacks. Some of the leaps of faith required for the connections that occur do stretch credulity but in the end it works - a good tale with a satisfying conclusion.

Aug 31, 2014

I really enjoyed this book. The plot was very interesting and it was poetically written. The characters are well developed and relatable. This was the first book I read from this author and now I am planning to read them all!

Aug 24, 2014

I grabbed this off the "features" shelf -caught up by the inside jacket description - this might be an okay read. Turned out to be quick one-night read for me. The author did a good job of weaving the various back stories together and bringing it back to now (the present). I'm glad I grabbed it off the shelf.

ksoles Aug 14, 2014

Aside from publishing a largely-ignored collection of short stories, Kate Pullinger has remained silent since she won the Governor General's Award for her brilliant historical novel, "The Mistress of Nothing" (2009). In her newly released "Landing Gear," Pullinger tries her hand at writing about contemporary life: the banalities of Facebook, YouTube, video games and reality TV. Barring some awkward pacing, chronological annoyances and implausible events, the book successfully and thought-provokingly conveys the extent to which modern technology permeates our identities.

The novel began as an online "networked narrative" entitled "Flight Paths," on which Pullinger collaborated with Chris Joseph. It opens with the dramatic image of Yacub, a Pakistani man, falling from the sky straight into British wife and mother Harriet's parked car. We learn that Yacub has disembarked mid-flight from a plane's landing gear, where he stowed himself away in hopes of making it to the U.S. after escaping a labour camp in Dubai. Miraculously, perhaps overly so, he survives.

After piquing the reader's interest about Yacub and his fate, Pullinger frustratingly abandons the present for 150 pages of backstory. Yes, this backstory engages and entertains; it spans from Pakistan to Britain to Toronto and tells the interconnected stories of Yacub, Harriet, her husband Michael (who finds himself trapped in North America when an erupting volcano shuts down air traffic over Europe), their teenage son, Jack, and filmmaker, Emily, whose father has died of a heart attack. Yes, it addresses teen drug culture, middle-age ennui, the challenges of globalization, and the changing role of the media. But it seems difficult not to rush through the story of the past after Pullinger has set up such an exciting present. When the novel finally does return to Yacub and Harriet in the parking lot, the reader can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the rest of the profound story.

As she did in her first novel, Pullinger shows her talent for penning sharp and precise prose, the kind that lends a lightness to the narration. She constructs the book in short chapters that build momentum and tension while telling a tale of finding peace and meaning in a busy, plugged-in world.

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