Flying Hero Class


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About the Author

Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has published twenty-nine novels since. They include Schindler's Ark, which won the Booker Prize in 1982 and was subsequently made into the film Schindler's List, and The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith, Confederates and Gossip From The Forest, each of which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His most recent novels are The Widow And her Hero, The People's Train and The Daughters Of Mars, which was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize in 2013. He has also written several works of non-fiction, including his memoir Homebush Boy, Searching for Schindler and Australians. He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney.


A troupe of Australian aboriginal dancers is flying from New York to Frankfurt on the last leg of a world tour when their jetliner is hijacked by Palestinian terrorists, and Frank McCloud their manager is identified as an enemy of the people and sentenced to death. In a chilling account of the next 48 hours Keneally relates blow-by-blow the hijackers' plot to intimidate, demoralize, and manipulate the minds of a plane load of people. The minds of the terrorists, the victims, the Barramatjara dancers, the pilot, and selected passengers are laid bare as crisis after crisis occurs in the microcosm of the jetliner suspended in time over the Atlantic. The author's command of his topic is superb, and his technique of tempering suspense with humor and loathing with understanding sheds new levels of meaning on an often misunderstood act. A recommended purchase from an author who never repeats himself. Keneally's The Playmaker was one of LJ 's ``Best Books of 1987.'' Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/90.-- Thomas Kilpatrick, Southern Illiois Univ. at Carbondale Lib.

A jet carrying an Australian aboriginal dance troupe and its white tour manager is hijacked. (Feb.)

YA-- A tale of intrigue and hijacking. Frank McCloud is the manager for the international dance tour of the Barramatjara, a remote Australian tribe. On the troupe's flight to Europe, a small band of Arab terrorists hijack the plane in hopes of obtaining the release of political prisoners. McCloud and two other men are singled out as the people's enemies. Taliq, the terrorists' leader, accuses him of exploiting the tribe for their land and begins brainwashing the crew, passengers , and the Barramatjara themselves to turn them against the scapegoats. Keneally, in a slow methodical plodding style, allows readers to see, and sometimes feel, the plight McCloud and his companions experience. The tension and psychology at play here are believably presented and add greatly to the book's appeal.--Diane Goheen, Topeka West High School , KS

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