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Download Bird Dream: Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Bird Dream: Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight Audiobook, by Matt Higgins Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Matt Higgins Narrator: Adam Verner Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2014 ISBN: 9781494572518
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Human flight is one of the last great challenges on Earth. Not like how the Wright brothers flew, but how we fly in our dreams. This is the goal of the Wingsuit Landing Project: to soar through the sky at speeds up to one hundred miles per hour and to land without the aid of a parachute. This project is the creation of thirty-seven-year-old Jeb Corliss, Jr., a Southern Californian who seeks to emulate a mode of flight more like a flying squirrel than bird or plane. Journalist Matt Higgins gained intimate access to Corliss, who, after years of BASE jumping and skydiving, set out to be the first person to be dropped 2,400 feet and land solely with the aid of a wingsuit. But somewhere in the UK, forty-two-year-old Gary Connery was plotting to beat Corliss at his own game. Along with an international group of wingsuit devotees, Corliss and Connery race to leap into the unknown as the world's foremost wingsuit pilots. This race will nearly cost one of the competitors his life. A riveting, adrenaline-fueled narrative about a group of unforgettable characters who risk everything to achieve man's age-old dream of flying, Bird Dream takes listeners to the cutting edge of this new frontier-as well as the strange science and fearless history that have led us to this remarkable point in the human experience. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “[Higgins’] action-packed book introduces a global coterie of remarkable characters who have dared life and limb. He describes escapades from sixties stunt parachuting to more contemporary BASE jumping, in which one takes flight off of selected worldwide buildings and geographical points to the experience of wingsuit flying—the maximum challenge. The author recounts the huge preparations, financial investments, psychological motivations, personal setbacks, and extraordinary aerial accomplishments that have gone into these extreme sports…An engrossing and exhaustively researched account of extremists who challenge failure and death on a regular basis. Highly recommended for ultimate jumpers in particular, sports enthusiasts in general, and all public libraries.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • An engrossing and exhaustively researched account of extremists who challenge failure and death on a regular basis. Library Journal Starred Review
  • “The breathtaking highs and life-threatening plunges of the most extreme stuntmen on Earth. Keep your mixed martial arts, parcours and BMX bikes; you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen the point-of-view video of these free-flying pilots soaring in their homemade wingsuits over some of the most extreme terrain on the planet. In this riveting journalistic account, freelance writer Higgins chronicles the evolution of the sport from simple parachuting to BASE jumping (the acronym stands for building, antennae, span and Earth, which serve as launch points) to the development of these soaring, superherolike armored flight suits…For anyone who finds these kinds of emotional and precise accounts of risk, ambition and victory irresistible, this is a must-read. A highflying, electrifying story of a treacherous sport in which every triumph is an eye blink away from becoming a disaster.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A new tribe of aerial daredevils write their deeds in blood and glory…Journalist Higgins sings the exploits and charisma of “wing-suit” pilots…The book is mainly a chronicle of death-defying stunts: mishaps are plenty grisly when wing suiters traveling at 100 mph encounter anything denser than air, and the body count is high…[a] tribute to the exaltation of defying death; one extreme parachutist ‘felt somehow reborn into the world’ on his first outing, ‘as if scales had been stripped from his eyes.’ These effusions won’t move everyone to a conversion experience, but Higgins’s account is hair-raising enough to hold the reader’s interest.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An ominous undercurrent runs through this account of the first parachute-free wingsuit landing. The listener is constantly aware that the fledgling extreme sport has seen deaths. In a soft-spoken voice, Adam Verner ticks off the dangers and relays the thoughts of the men who are vying for the ultimate jump. He also brings listeners the thrill of a nocturnal jump with no witnesses, reveling in the emotional highs that keeps the wingsuit jumpers going. Listeners unfamiliar with the sport will get an extra dose of nail-biting tension. Those already familiar with the quest to be first to land without a chute will gain insight into these wingmen and the history behind their adventure.”


  • “Most of us dream of flying, but it is the exceptional person who actually tries it. Matt Higgins takes readers deep into the extreme and fascinating world of BASE jumpers and wingsuit pilots, those rare birds who risk their lives for a few exhilarating, gravity-defying seconds. Bird Dream is a beautifully crafted narrative, equal parts adrenaline rush and soulful meditation. From its first sentence, this book soars.”

    Susan Casey, author of The Wave and The Devil’s Teeth

  • “Wingsuit fliers like Jeb Corliss and Gary Connery change the definition of ‘impossible,’ often at the expense of life and limb. Capturing the essence of such entrepreneurs of the extreme is like trying to grab sparks. In Bird Dream, Matt Higgins does just that with writing that is crisp, exhilarating, and exhaustively researched. A must-read about ultimate quests—and their costs.”

    James M Tabor, author of Blind Descent

  • Longlisted for the 2015 PEN Literary Award
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About the Author

Matt Higgins’ writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Village Voice, Popular Mechanics, Outside, and ESPN The Magazine. He is the author of several books on sports for young readers. Matt lives in western New York with his wife and two sons.

About the Narrator

Adam Verner is a full-time narrator with over 250 titles recorded for ncompanies such as HarperCollins, Recorded Books, Brilliance, Blackstone Audio, AudioGo, Tantor, Oasis, Audible, Highbridge, eChristian, Dreamscape, and Zondervan. He is the recipient of three AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been nominated for Voice Arts awards by the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences. He holds an MFA in acting from the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.