Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Angle Quickest for Flight Paperback – Bargain Price, February 28, 2001


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, Bargain Price
"Please retry"
$3.15 $2.38

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1568581947
  • ASIN: B000HWYXRM
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,419,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Steven Kotler's first book, The Angle Quickest for Flight, is visionary fiction the way we always hoped it could be--the quintessential quest, gripping by the ninth page. It's hip, literary, and poetic yet down-to-earth, with plenty of good story and brimming with sense of place. Even literary giant John Barth deemed it "a brilliant novel!" The fast-paced adventure unravels, ravels, and unravels again as a runaway boy christened Angel finds himself entangled with an odd assortment of eccentric metaphysicians searching for a sacred book looted during the Spanish Inquisition and tithed to the Vatican. Dodging a madman, Vatican agents, and his own past, Angel flits from a café in Santa Fe to the streets of San Francisco, the Wailing Wall of Jerusalem, Rome, Colorado, and Sumatra--Indiana Jones would have signed up for this assignment in a second had he known about it. Angle is a story about finding what is lost, metaphysically and in every other sense. --Randall Cohan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The plot of Kotler's intriguing but often maddening first novel may perplex even the most patient reader, but what book-lover can resist a story about book thieves? Using the jump-cut technique now almost compulsory in mysteries and thrillers, Kotler takes the reader from New Mexico to Tierra del Fuego to Old Jerusalem, weaving together several characters into his complex if not quite winning story about drifters, a renegade priest and smugglers of precious documents. The mysterious Pena, an old Santa Fe woman, draws Angel, a 17-year-old runaway, into her scheme to locate an ancient Kabbalistic text, the Sefer ha-Zaviot, believed to hold a secret shortcut to heaven. Pena persuades Angel to accompany her to Mexico to find another Sefer-seeker named Padre Isosceles, but Pena dies upon reaching the padre's monastery. Angel flees to the States to find Pena's friend, smuggler Coyote Bl#, who plots to retrieve the Sefer from the Vatican, although by then he knows that Padre Isoceles and his dedicated followers will kill any competitors. The story then moves on to rock climbing in California and to the depths of the Vatican library, and it is there that Kotler sets his most powerful scenes, depicting the Church's need to bury contrary beliefs. Along the way, Kotler dips into enough esoterica (the Kabbalah, I Ching, set theory, Sufism) to keep a curious reader intrigued, and the dialogue is always witty and cool. But the novel is overwritten, and the plot far harder to piece together than it should be, making this ambitious intellectual thriller less involving than it might have been.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

STEVEN KOTLER is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and co-founder and director of research for the Flow Genome Project. His books include the non-fiction works "The Rise of Superman," "Abundance," "A Small Furry Prayer" "West of Jesus," and the novel "The Angle Quickest for Flight." His work has been translated into more than 30 languages. His articles have appeared in over 60 publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Wired, GQ, Outside, Popular Science, Men's Journal and Discover. He also writes "Far Frontiers," a blog about technology and innovation for Forbes.com and "The Playing Field," a blog about the science of sport and culture for PsychologyToday.com. He lives in New Mexico with his wife, the author Joy Nicholson.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Peter Hunt on May 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This novel has a lot going for it. It has a strong plot - the discovery and theft of an ancient book from the secret archives of the Vatican. It has interesting and varied characters. Kotler's use of language is skilful and effective. It's the kind of book I expected to enjoy.
But I really didn't, for a number of reasons. The plot, while interesting, was constantly interrupted by chapters about the characters' pasts, or chapters containing little plot digressions that went nowhere, or chapters where the characters describe ideas that are interesting but not really relevant. Those chapters that advance the story itself were very compressed, so that the story would suddenly lurch forward toward the next problem or resolution.
Now, I don't mind a novel that has digressions, or fills in some backstory, where doing so adds richness to the plot, or where we learn more about the characters. But somehow, in this novel, this "other stuff" just seemed to get in the way, to muddy the plot.
I was also disappointed the dialogue. All the characters spoke in the same clipped, sentence-without-a-subject style, even though they were supposed to be different ages, to have come from different countries, and to have experienced very different lives. Furthermore, although having quite different philosophies, the characters never argued; instead, they seemed impossibly accepting of each others ideas.
If you like a book written in an interesting style, with snappy dialogue and a variety of ideas, then this book may be for you. For myself, I prefer books with a little more structure, a little more character development, and a plot with more focus.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gwendolyn M. Christensen on April 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This highly-stylized novel has some good qualities and is generally enjoyable. The plot is fast-paced and interesting. But it was one of those books where you put it down when you are done and hardly think of it again. I found no depth or meaning. I could never figure out why the author wanted to tell me this story. The theory seemed to be that if he used the word "Angle" near the beginning of every chapter, a meaning would suddenly pop into place. But great art doesn't need to bludgeon you about the head to convey its meaning. In this case, even with the bludgeoning, I still don't get the point.
Nor could I ever figure why the characters were doing any of the things they were doing. Characterization in general is severely lacking. The male protaganists are made of cardboard: I couldn't tell them apart at all.
For Eco fans (and I encourage everyone to become one) this book is like 'Focault's Pendulum Jr. Edition'. Same premise but without the passion. I think the writer has talent for telling a story, but I hope next time he finds one with a voice that is not only hip but also powerful.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
"The Angle Quickest for Flight", Kotler's first novel, reads as well as any intellectual thriller in the past 5 years. It has everything you could ask for in a mystery: an ancient Kabbalistic text (the Sefer ha-Zaviot) stolen by the Catholic church during the inquisition, fabled archives of hidden knowledge, secret societies and the mad Padre Isosceles hell-bent upon acquiring the Zaviot for the knowledge within. All this, however, misses the true beauty of the book: outstanding character development. Most mysteries suffer from a host of 2-dimensional characters leaving the reader remembering the plot but forgetting who was in the story. Not so in this book- Kotler's characters are so real you will finish being convinced that you knew them at some point in your life. There's a lot of information packed into the beginning of the book as you are introduced to a cast of characters, several parallel plot lines and a brief history of mysticism. As you continue you will find all this tied together in a climax that won't let you put the book down and leaves you wanting more.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
While the story had some intriguingly trippy elements, it was probably the worst job of editing I've ever seen in a commercially produced book, with dozens of distracting typos, misspellings and grammatical errors. Worse was the meandering narrative that I kept reading in vain hope of finding some meaning.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
and worth it, a blast of a novel. "Angle" weaves together Tibetan Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity...with a thriller? Outrageous, a mind-teasing "X Files" of a novel. Come on, "too hip"? Read the dictionary. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and look forward to Kotler's next opus. (A sequel would be natural.)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alan DeNiro on April 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
...it might look something like this novel. I can't think of higher praise, actually, for a book of this type: a brisk, engaging, I-can't-put-this-down type of read coupled with some serious metaphysical chops. The ragged crew of protagonists are all extremely intriguing as character studies as they go galavanting around the globe looking for spiritual enlightenment. The fact that they are a little bit mercenary (especially the rakish Coyote Blu) only adds to the charm of the novel (even when it's a very VIOLENT charm, I might add). In some ways this reminded me of Eco's fine novels, or even Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars, but what Kotler brings to the table is a cinematic style of prose. It might seem off-putting and glib at first, but give it a chance, it tends to grow on you (yes, the characters quip a lot, but there are some one line zingers as well). The only flaw I could find in the book is that the characters smoke and drink (alcohol and coffee) all the time; not that I'm against that, mind you, but sometimes I felt that the author was using that as a prop when he didn't know what his character wanted to do in terms of body language. Other than that, though, this book is a crazy textual labyrinth, milking to the fullest the delights of both weird metaphysics AND a taut, Steve McQueen-esque thriller.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews