Top critical review
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Keep your wallet in the closed and upright position
on March 2, 2002
Since I fly fairly regularly, I was immediately drawn to this book's title. "Confessions of a flight attendant?", I thought while flipping through it at an airport bookstore. "Sounds like fun!"
But be warned. This book is based on Ms. Foss' stage show of the same name, and while I'm sure that it's hilariously funny theater, it doesn't translate onto the written page well. If you're expecting fascinating tips and revelations about the air travel industry, or any dish on the airlines themselves, you will be disappointed.
"Around The World" is a self-indulgent biography/humor book about Ms. Foss' life as a flight attendant. What do we learn from her 17 years of experience? Well, let's see: People are rude, a flight attendant's job isn't glamorous, and air travel isn't much fun. Now, if you knew any of that before reading this book, then you probably won't learn anything new here.
Because she's still working as a flight attendant (and probably doesn't want to get sued), Ms. Foss has made the book about a fictional airline called WAFTI (We Apologize For This Inconvenience Airlines). Expecting to hear dirt about United, American, TWA, Continental, etc? Sorry -- never mentioned. Hoping for the insider tips on travelling that only a flight attendant could possibly know about? Look elsewhere. Want to read too-long, pointless chapters about how a girl destined for show business was forced to get a job, move to a new city, and ... *gasp* ... pick up other people's trash? You're in luck, my friend.
Think your job's tough? Well, it probably is...maybe you should write a book about it. Ms. Foss did, and I paid [too much] for a whiney, shallow read that felt too much like listening to someone else's painfully awkward therapy session. That said, I did get through it for two reasons, one good and one bad. The good: it's a light breezy read. The bad: I kept hoping that the next chapter would have worthwhile information in it. Needless to say, it didn't.
I'd probably see the stage show if I'm ever in New York because, like the book, the idea of it sounds fun. But unless you enjoy mundane, unsurprising observations about life at 30,000 feet, this book (like this pun) never gets off the ground.