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Skyfaring

Written by: Mark Vanhoenacker
Narrated by: John Moraitis
Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Skyfaring, airline pilot and flight romantic Mark Vanhoenacker shares his irrepressible love of flying on a journey from day to night, from new ways of mapmaking and the poetry of physics to the names of winds and the nature of clouds. Here, anew, is the simple wonder and transcendent joy of motion and the remarkable new perspectives that height and distance bestow on everything we love.

©2015 Mark Vanhoenacker (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd

What the critics say

"Read it, and you’ll find yourself requesting a window seat every time you fly." ( Bookseller)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Warren
  • 2015-08-26

I agree with most comments about the narrator

I am a licensed private pilot and travel commercially about 100K miles per year so I am into aviation. That's the entire reason I bought this book. Yet, I found it too boring to finish. Some of this might be the fault of the narrator. I am in agreement with almost all of the other reviewers about this. He over pronounces every syllable. He mispronounces common aviation words, of which the oft reference "altimeter" is the most annoying. I will give him a pass on "Aeroplane" since that is the British way of saying the word. I am not certain how it is spelled out in the print edition

Yes, it is clear that the author truly loves what he does and that does come through in the book. Maybe I will go back and finish it after I finish the current thriller I am listening to, or if I am sitting on one of those many commercial flights and need to take a nap.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Penny K
  • 2017-12-24

Boyish enthusiasm undimmed

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Vanhoenacker has great enthusiasm for his life in the sky and shares it abundantly and unstintingly. He allows his imagination to soar with his spirits and he imparts his experience in every sentence. Bless him. But it is too bad that he first flew in the encapsulation of a pressurized craft. There is nothing like flying at 6,000 ft in a DC3 over wild Alaska, with the atmospheric pressure the same on both sides of the plane's outer skin. Exhiliration!!

Enough with listening, though!
I suffered through
every sentence that the
ill-phrased narrator read
as if he were reading from
a column of newsprint and
paused at every line break.

Didn't he have a director, a producer, a voice-coach?
I am returning this book and turning to the print version.

What other book might you compare Skyfaring to and why?

I have read nothing like it --
Maybe Sy Montgomery's "Soul of an Octopus" compares. She has the same quality of enthusiasm for the creature she studies as Vanhoenacker for the earth, the sky, and flight.

What didn’t you like about John Moraitis’s performance?

Unbearable. Though I must say, the timber of his voice is pleasant, so there is promise, that with coaching, lots of coaching, and directing, he might turn out to be a decent narrator.

Was Skyfaring worth the listening time?

Yes, it got me to turn to the text.

Any additional comments?

Yes. Why is the narrator's pronunciation not checked?

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • tboatcap
  • 2017-10-05

Great book but horrible narrator.

I loved reading the book but listening to it was a very different experience. The narrator has an awkward cadence and places enunciation on off words making the listening experience jarring and painful. Bummed.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • B. P. Johnson
  • 2016-06-29

Possibly for a non-pilot

I am a pilot and thought I might find it engaging. Instead I found it elementary and somewhat boring. I also didn't find the narrator gave this read much life.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • KMITT
  • 2016-06-13

terrible narrator

MIGHT be interesting. Narrator kills it. over-enunciates every emotionless word -- so don't hear story

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Erin H
  • 2016-04-29

Great book, production issues

I had previously read this book in print, and as an aviation fan was very happy with the book. Unfortunately, the audio book contains many mispronunciations which make it frustrating to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chuck
  • 2015-08-22

Probably a bit longer than necessary

Parts of the book were quite interesting but others went on much too long with lots of repetition.

As to the narrator: The quality control in the making of these audio books comes into serious question. Does anyone listen to what's going on? Others have mentioned altimeter as being a pretty glaring mispronunciation. What about "airplane"? which, as you can imagine is a pretty common word in a book about flying. From the very beginning of the book it's not a two syllable word but a three syllable word. Aer-o-plane is even more disconcerting and abrasive than altimeter. Be warned.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Observer1236
  • 2015-08-15

Overwritten

What did you like best about Skyfaring? What did you like least?

There is random, interesting information about aviation and the life of the pilot.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Most interesting was information. Least interesting and really off-putting was the poetizing.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The reading seemed to be in a mono-tone and uninspired. I thought it must have been read by the author and not a professional. I checked and saw I was mistaken.

Was Skyfaring worth the listening time?

It might have been if it was cut by 25% or more -- talking out the ponderous poetizing.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Casey Keller
  • 2015-07-29

Two Flaps Down

I love almost anything having to do with aviation. I once got a private pilot's license, though I stopped flying when I realized it was the best way for me get killed or, at best, go broke. So when I read the glowing, no make that soaring reviews of Mr. Vanhoenacker's book, I couldn't wait to give it a listen.
Yes, Mr. Vanhoenacker turns a good phrase and his love of his profession is admirable, but the book was extremely boring. While they may have seemed like revelations to him, his observations were rather obvious and mundane.
Then there is the problem of John Moraitis' narration. In his mouth, the word altimeter, pronounced nearly universally as al-TIM-eh-ter, became AL-ta meter. This word is used many times in chapter after chapter and grated more and more as the book slowly wore on. Doesn't anybody listen to these books before they go up on Audible?
Can't recommend this one except as a sleep aid.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ron
  • 2015-09-12

Great read for aviation enthusiasts.

Vanhoenacker beautifully conveys his love of flying, while providing much fascinating information about piloting a 747.

2 people found this helpful