From a writer whose books succeed in either subverting or creating genres comes a unique look at an inaccessible world: life on board an American aircraft carrier.
At once deft travelogue, unerring social observation, and honed comedy, this book describes life on a three-dimensional maze of walkways, hatches, and stairs; conversations conducted in a language suffused with acronyms but devoid of grammar; and Geoff Dyer’s own earnest efforts to appreciate the men and women aboard who have chosen a way of life the diametric opposite of the one he has constructed for himself. Underlying Dyer’s efforts to overcome the disadvantages of being the oldest, tallest (actually, second tallest), and most self-conscious person on the boat is an intense fascination with the military world—one that has its origins in the long hours he spent as a child building and painting airplane models and mastering the intricate details and features of military aircraft. This fascination allows Dyer to appreciate the rigorous protocols defined by the instruments, equipment that requires a thoroughgoing mastery of detail, and the expectations and outlooks of those who must adhere to a regimen defined by service and self-constraint, and a refusal to embrace uncertainty. Download and start listening now!