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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Slight wear on edges and covers; otherwise item is in very good condition. Ex-library book. May have typical labels and markings.
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Learning to Fly Hardcover – May 11, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For as far back as he could remember, Sam Keen had dreamed of flying. And so just before his 62nd birthday, Keen enrolled in a trapeze class at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts, thus becoming "the oldest student at the circus." In this richly written memoir, Keen uses the details of trapeze training to frame his spiritual understanding of the world. Not surprisingly, the flight metaphors work--giving room for chapters titled "Leap of Faith," "A Fledgling Among the Eagles," and "On the Wings of Spirit."

As a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Keen is a fine memoirist--able to step outside himself to tell a good story and willing to share his humiliations and inner fears as he became a student of flight. "My failures have taught me there is always a second chance.... Failing gives fallible human beings a chance to start over. And that is why every man, woman, and society needs a safety net." He now leads an "Upward Bound" trapeze program for abused women, drug addicts, and inner-city school children. --Gail Hudson

From Library Journal

Of all the writers and pundits who shaped the immensely influential men's movement of the 1980s, Keen (Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man, Bantam, 1992. reprint) is perhaps the most able. His new work, a gracefully written account of his experience at the trapeze training program of the San Francisco School of Circus Arts, should please his avid readers and perhaps earn him many more; he delivers unobtrusive lessons in the arts of fear, strength, and trust as natural corollaries of a real and vividly described experience. This charming and worthy work should make a fine addition to most collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Ill edition (May 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767901762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767901765
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Towards the end of this fascinating book Keen shares a pearl of wisdom passed on to him by his friend and mentor Howard Thurman,"The hard thing when you get old is to keep your horizons open...over the years you carve yourself into a given shape. The challenge is to keep discovering the green growing edge." With literary grace and the usual "keen" insight this author has been blessed with, we go on a magical mystery tour to see and experience Sam Keen's "green growing edge" in this, his sixty eighth year. I read this book in one sitting. I have had the pleasure of taking a few baby steps on a trapeze rig, so much of what is here was re-living my short foray into the "the beyond". Even if you are only metaphorically taking leaps of faith each day, you will find a feast of insights, awarenesses, giggles, philosphical koans, and other assorted presents brought to you by one of today's liveliest minds!
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Format: Hardcover
I read a passage from the book at my daughter's wedding and then I wished them wings and flight. I found this book to be absolutely fascinating and, at age 57 myself, found inspiration to try new ideas. Learning to Fly is never boring. I found the chapter-beginning drawings helpful as I tried to follow Sam Keen in flight, literally as well as figuratively. A real winner!
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Format: Hardcover
I read Sam Keen's "Learning to Fly" out loud with my husband over the course of a few road trips. It was a truly amazing experience for us. Sam Keen shares his experiences of life and trapeze in a philosophical way, but avoids being pedantic or condescending with his message about simultaneously taking hold and letting go. I've been thinking about what Sam Keen has to say ever since I finished the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Everyone who reads Keen knows he writes very well and from the heart. But in this book his very soul flies through the air with his words. When Sam reviewed my book, PRIMAL AWARENESS, he said it was an adventurous search for the lost ark. LEARNING TO FLY is about finding the lost ark.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fast shipping, well packed. This stuff smells clinical, like it's probably killing lots of germs (not too strong of a smell though). Cleaned out my clarinet case and sprayed the inside of it, let it dry and put my horn and accessories back in and it doesn't stink anymore - no odor.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I, too, read this fascinating book in just a few sittings. I have the entire book highlighted with tiny sticky notes that I want to go back and re-read and review again. After finishing this book, I realized my need to "WIDEN" my horizons and to carve myself an entirely new shape. The chapter-beginnings were very helpful and inspiring. Impossible to get what Sam Keen says out of your mind after reading this book. This book is truly a winner!
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