A WEEK AT THE AIRPORT

A Week at the Airport by Alain de Botton
978-0-307-73967-4 | $15.00/NCR | Vintage | TR

Although it always FEELS like one spends a week at the airport when traveling – one almost never does – except for Alain de Botton who was invited to do so by the folks who run the new and spectacular Terminal 5 at Heathrow. I’ve gone through there a couple of times and recently had the experience of staying overnight in the Sofitel hotel that’s part of the Terminal – and so, was interested to see his opinion of one of the most complicated places on earth, both from a technological and emotional point of view. He does stay at the Sofitel, walks the shops, but he also goes into robotic baggage areas, talks with the airport chaplain, contemplates the star-like patterns in the evening sky of planes landing every 40 seconds or so. Sitting at his desk in the Terminal, he is often mistaken for an Information Desk and has a variety of interesting and confusing conversations. Extremely entertaining, often downright amusing, he captures that location that is so familiar to us both from personal experience and movies (“Love Actually” leaps to mind!). And lest I forget, this paperback original is originally and copiously illustrated, making it even more appealing.

Marcia Purcell

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