Travel writer de Botton sees the airport as the nexus of all that plagues and fascinates us about modern life: environmental destruction, high technology, constant movement, glittering distractions, consumerist temptations, and social interaction and isolation. Having accepted an invitation from British Airways to spend a week at its home, Terminal 5 of Heathrow, he is given unprecedented access to all the parts of the airport that travelers don’t generally see. So, along with the shopping areas and arrival and departure and baggage-claim areas, he wanders into the huge stations for airplane repairs, the vast storage areas for rejected samples for cabin paraphernalia, the behind-the-scene offices, and the massive food-preparation areas. From a desk announcing his position as writer in residence, de Botton engages in conversations with business travelers, parting lovers, vacationing families, and the myriad workers—stationary and passing through—for whom the airport is workplace. Author of the best-selling The Art of Travel (2002), de Botton is amusing and lyrical in his observations of our modern comings and goings. Photographs add to the allure of this engaging look at air travel. --Vanessa Bush
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"Simultaneously poignant and terribly funny . . . De Botton's most imaginative work yet." —"Spectator" "Funny, charming, and slender enough to pack in your carry-on." —"Daily Mail" "Surprising. . . . His observations on airport life are wry and thought-provoking." —"Telegraph" "Shrewd, perceptive and gently ironic." —"Independent"