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Download Up in the Air Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Up in the Air Audiobook, by Walter Kirn Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (2,591 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walter Kirn Narrator: Sean Runnette Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2009 ISBN: 9780739384664
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Ryan Bingham’s job as a Career Transition Counselor–he fires people–has kept him airborne for years. Although he has come to despise his line of work, he has come to love the culture of what he calls “Airworld,” finding contentment within pressurized cabins, anonymous hotel rooms, and a wardrobe of wrinkle-free slacks. With a letter of resignation sitting on his boss’s desk, and the hope of a job with a mysterious consulting firm, Ryan Bingham is agonizingly close to his ultimate goal, his Holy Grail: one million frequent flier miles. But before he achieves this long-desired freedom, conditions begin to deteriorate. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • A dead-on, wry portrait of the life of the road warrior. Rudy Maxa, The Washington Post
  • [A] hilarious, often ingenious ode to America.. . . . Whip smart yet entertaining enough to rival anything from John Grisham. Julia Dahl, Time Out New York
  • Kirn’s style is as bright and metallic as the shiny skin of a jet airplane. But his underlying point is refreshingly down to earth. John Gallagher, Chicago Tribune

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruskanen | 2/15/2014

    " It was darker than I expected. My expectations are only drawn from seeing the movie previews. I plan on seeing the movie soon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kellen | 2/13/2014

    " Read it after I saw the movie. Although the plot is quite different, I liked both. Great Story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heidi | 2/11/2014

    " Um. This is uncomfortable. The movie was at least twenty times better than the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 LaVonne Vichlach | 2/6/2014

    " I liked the book better than the movie. A pleasant read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jody | 2/2/2014

    " Still has me wondering what the heck happened..no wonder it's called Up In the Air, you'll be grasping for some meaning til the end. I semi-liked the movie more (which veers greatly from the book). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adam Beatrice | 1/27/2014

    " Unfortunately, this is one of the few novels where the movie adaptation is leaps and bounds better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 1/19/2014

    " Amazingly enough, I liked the movie a lot more than the book. I really felt that the book went absolutely nowhere; it felt hollow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jay | 1/12/2014

    " The movie took off in a different direction than the book's premise. Kirn writes sparingly with a quick wit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Piette | 12/16/2013

    " Living the travelling life. Not so good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 12/1/2013

    " I can't think of a book I've read recently with a more compelling first chapter. I could read that over and over. It was, in the end, too good for the rest of the book to maintain that level. What book could. Still, it was worth a read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angelo Vassallo | 11/24/2013

    " I knew about the existence of the book through the movie, since sponsored by Hilton (for which I actually work). So I was interested to read it...unluckily I have to say that both the movie and the book are not so interesting.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paige Newman | 9/23/2013

    " I liked this book, but oddly, the movie, which tells a much different story than this one, sort of casts a shadow over the book. The character in the book seems to feel sorry for himself. But it's still a good read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carly | 9/15/2013

    " I was on holiday in a country where very little English was spoken and I picked this up at a youth hostel. It passed the time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Britt A | 8/29/2013

    " This book was just ...boring. Also kind of gee-shucks... I don't know how else to put it. THE FILM IS A THOUSAND TIMES BETTER. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adam | 3/31/2013

    " Sometime after the protagonist described plane travel as "Airwold" and before he overdosed on coke, I knew the movie would be better than the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather Poole | 3/29/2013

    " The book was nothing like the movie! The book is dark and quirky. At one point it even gets a little weird. I think frequent fliers will relate more to the book (at least the beginning of the book) than to it's Hollywood counterpart. I recommend this book to passengers all the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcy | 2/26/2012

    " Probably closer to 2.5, but I liked Mr. Kirn's writing style and sense of humor. Just somewhere in this book I got lost. It meandered to an unsatisfying conclusion. It was just a little too precious. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debi | 1/31/2012

    " I would have been satisfied with a "book about nothing" if the writing could have held my attention. There was the potential for some interesting stories about life in "Airworld" but the writing didn't do it justice. Not sure how it ended up on a 5-star book list. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 12/26/2011

    " I wanted to like this book, but it just couldn't keep my attention. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gail Jeidy | 10/22/2011

    " Could have been my frame of mind, but this book felt repetitive and never fully engaged me. I never cared enough about the narrator. Have not seen the movie, but I'd predict it is better than the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 April Sorensen | 10/15/2011

    " The movie was much better than the book and that is rare! I did not care for the character in the book whereas the movie had me feel emotion for him. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Apsara | 10/11/2011

    " This book was so horrible I didn't want to even finish it. I don't recommend this at all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tanya | 5/22/2011

    " read this book simply because i love the movie so much...
    after reading i would be more amazed how they adapted a poorly-written book into a well demonstrated movie =) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Craig | 5/1/2011

    " Don't be fooled by the movie cover, its a tenuous relationship between this and the awesome UP IN THE AIR you may have seen first; Think of it, but filtered through Easton Ellis, Palahniuk or Frey, and not the better for it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/30/2011

    " Witty and charming at first but ultimately aimless. Probably the point. I was at first relieved that it was quite different from the book but later I wished it was more like it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 4/27/2011

    " Living the travelling life. Not so good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 4/17/2011

    " Very very different from the movie. Much darker, more personal. Not at all what I expected, which is a good thing, since I didn't know what was coming. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 David | 3/15/2011

    " Slow and lacking any real story. I didn't find it to be funny and spent most of the time wondering what the book was actually about. I have no idea how they could possibly make this into a movie. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel C. | 2/18/2011

    " Saw the movie first. The book contains just the bare bones for the Ryan Bingham character. I want to make out with Jason Reitman all the more for the amazing movie he was able to craft from this source material. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard | 2/15/2011

    " Let me just say I enjoyed the movie muuuch more. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carly | 1/24/2011

    " I was on holiday in a country where very little English was spoken and I picked this up at a youth hostel. It passed the time. "

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About the Author
Author Walter KirnWALTER KIRN is a contributing editor to Time and GQ and a regular reviewer for the New York Times Book Review. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, GQ, Vogue, New York, and Esquire. He is the author of four previous works of fiction: My Hard Bargain: Stories, She Needed Me, Thumbsucker, and Up in the Air. He lives in Livingston, Montana.
About the Narrator

Sean Runnette, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, has also directed and produced more than two hundred audiobooks, including several Audie Award winners. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company and has toured the United States and internationally with ART and Mabou Mines. His television and film appearances include Two If by Sea, Cop Land, Sex and the City, Law & Order, the award-winning film Easter, and numerous commercials.