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The Four Corners of the Sky: A Novel by [Malone, Michael]
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The Four Corners of the Sky: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 172 customer reviews

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Length: 560 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A daredevil pilot heads out on a wild goose chase and learns to slow down and enjoy life in Malone's (The Last Noel) exuberant but ultimately unwieldy 10th novel. After years of accompanying her con artist father on his exploits, seven-year-old Annie is left on the family's North Carolina farm with her aunt Sam. Annie relishes the stability, but still craves excitement as she grows up, learning to fly the single-engine plane her father left her and becoming a navy fighter pilot. When her father calls years later, he claims that he's dying and needs her help with one last escapade. She agrees—in exchange for the name of the mother she's never known. Annie travels to St. Louis, Mo.; Miami; and Cuba in the service of her elusive father, meeting quirky eccentrics along the way, including her one true love. Bizarre coincidences, caricatured criminals and characters who spurt groan-worthy puns, classic movie lines and Shakespeare quotes in place of meaningful dialogue keep the novel teetering toward the absurd. The novel's ambitious blend of humor, mystery, adventure and sentimentality can be as exhausting as Annie's fast-paced flights. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Navy pilot Annie P. Goode comes home for her 26th birthday to her doting aunt and uncle in Emerald, NC, exactly where her con man father, Jack Peregrine, left her 19 years earlier. But Jack's urgent message that he's dying and needs Annie to fly his old Piper Warrior to St. Louis upends her life. Annie agrees, hoping finally to learn the name of her mother. In a week's time, Annie finds herself in St. Louis, Miami, and Havana, always a step behind Jack, as everyone seeks a golden, gem-encrusted "Queen of the Sea" statue (think The Maltese Falcon). Malone (The Last Noel) employs his trademark cast of characters and wry humor, including using titles of old movies for his 55 chapters. This long novel could have used some serious editing, and a love scene or two between Annie and her Sergeant Hart would have been a welcome relief from the extensive Peregrine family history and the overuse of the f word. Purchase where Malone has an established following.—Rebecca Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1248 KB
  • Print Length: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Reprint edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003PJ7AU6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,032 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kortney Kropp on January 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My mother lent me this book because I am a female Navy pilot and because she thought the plot was entertaining. She warned me that Mr. Malone wasn't entirely accurate in his portrayal of Naval Aviation. Her warning proved to be an understatement. And what a shame. The plot and the characters were entertaining, quirky, and well-written. But every single time Mr. Malone brought the Navy into his story, I cringed with embarrassment at his utter failure to do even the tiniest bit of research into even the most basic elements of my world. Each mistake forcefully ejected me out of the story and made me consider whether I wanted to continue reading and risk further insult.

The inaccuracies ranged from the the simple to the profound. Annapolis is the location of the Naval Academy; there is no flight training performed there. And as far as flight school goes, no speed records are ever set by a student or an instructor. Indeed, Navy pilots haven't been setting speed records anywhere in years and years. The braided lieutenant's cap Annie is continuously donning and doffing does not exist anywhere in a Navy officer's seabag of uniforms; neither is this white officer's jacket she seems to wear often. Neither do we go strolling about town in our uniforms if we have a choice. A rockstar jet pilot like Brad would never have a drug problem, as Navy officers and sailors are subject to frequent random drug testing and our culture simply doesn't accept drug use. These examples are only a few; I could take up more space than I am willing to fill listing others.

I expect errata when I read fiction that involves the Navy. The culture, lingo, and traditions are complicated. This book, however, got almost everything wrong. Mr.
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Format: Hardcover
I adore Michael Malone's writing. Handling Sin is one of my all-time favorite books. I really wanted to love The Four Corners of the Sky, but it was such an obvious rehash of Handling Sin, only not as funny and not as entertaining, that it left me disappointed. Wayward but loving father who send rational child on scavenger hunt/wild goose chase? Check. Treasure hunt for historical relic? Check. Character who wants to by hyper-literate but has only made it through part of a major work and thus frequently mangles language (i.e., Weeper Berg's reading the dictionary vs. Raffy Rook's obsession with Shakespeare)? Check. Quirky family, including sane aunt figure who serves as a contrast to the other crazies? Check.

The jumping back and forth between the past and the present was convoluted, the story of the big con was confusing and hard to follow, and the characters simply were not as compelling as Malone is capable of. A decent beach read -- you'll want to keep going just to see how it all turns out -- but nothing great.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading Michael Malone is like listening to Mozart -- his writing dances and sparkles, as playfulness blends harmoniously with a serious insights into the human heart and mind. However, you do not need me to summarize the plot or state my high opinion of this author and book. Rather, I simply will point out that the most reliable mark of a really great read is a starred review in the professional book journals. The Four Corners of the Sky already has earned that mark of distinction in Kirkus Reviews and Booklist, and received an absolute rave review in the Washington Post BookWorld.
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Format: Hardcover
Four Corners of the Sky has an entertaining story, wonderful characters, and beautiful writing. It's the kind of book you can keep on your night stand long after you've finished it, to pick up and re-read chapters just to remember how much you enjoyed the plot, the people, and the places Michael Malone takes you. It's a keeper!
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Format: Hardcover
I found The Four Corners of the Sky to be a thoroughly enjoyable read. Malone's writing is excellent. If there is one draw to this book, it is Malone's superb writing talent and it really kept me engaged in the novel. I was engaged in The Four Corners of the Sky from the moment I picked it up.

The characters in the novel were also excellent. I was so excited to read a novel about a female Navy pilot. The feminist from my Women and Gender Studies days did a happy jig. Annie was a wonderful character. It was easy to empathize with her. I also loved Sam and Clark. They were such great characters. I do have to say that my favorite character was Jack, Annie's absentee, con-artist father. He could have been extremely easy to dislike but I found myself sympathizing with him just as much as Annie. It was obvious that he abandoned Annie for her safety. She would have a much better life with Sam and Clark and he loved her enough to leave her. At least that's the way I saw it or chose to see it. He also could have left her to make his life as a con-artist easier but I choose to think the best of Jack.

This is one of the books I will come back to again. The story is so simple yet complex. At the base it is about a woman who wants to know her roots and where she comes from despite her absentee father and mystery mother. Malone also manages to weave a mystery and a romance into the plot seamlessly. I also love how the ending does not tie all the bits and pieces of the plot into a neat little box with a pink bow. It is a great read and I am recommending it to just about everyone I know.
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