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Regarding an Angel's Flight: The vast saga of one man's search for the truth - and of those who tried to stop him

Timmons, W. Milton

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ISBN 10: 1414034652 / ISBN 13: 9781414034652
Published by 1st Book Library, 2004
Used Condition: Good Hardcover
From HPB-Dallas (Dallas, TX, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Regarding an Angel's Flight: The vast saga ...

Publisher: 1st Book Library

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

About this title


"Regarding an Angel’s Flight" is a philosophical and psychological study of changing American morals and mores over the last half century – structured, in the classical tradition of "Hamlet" and "Oedipus Rex," as both murder mystery and tragedy. In essence, it falls within the "spiritual adventure" genre that seems to be growing in popularity – but with an Existential twist.

After a series of mysterious murders in a small Southern town, a grad student suddenly finds himself caught up in a twentieth century version of "Pilgrim’s Progress." The story is a philosophical who-done-it, as well as a search for morality within a high-tech world of conflicting ideologies.

Inspired by the philosophical novels of Aldous Huxley and Umberto Eco, it is designed for sophisticated readers, ranging from college students to middle aged professionals, who demand more from fiction than simple melodrama.

The book covers the period from 1933 (with the inaugurations of Franklin Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler) to the reelection of Ronald Reagan in 1984. Emphasis is placed on both the tactics of terrorism and the psychology of fascism in all its guises. News reports and analyses are used as transitions between dramatic scenes – which serve the dual purpose of placing the fictional story in historical context, while at the same time dramatizing the issues being played out on the world stage. Some attention is also given to such cultural details as changing fashions in architecture, cars, clothing, movies, books, songs, radio, TV, comics, slang, etc.

After early dismissal of his Baptist father’s doctrines, Austin Adams feels responsible when a close friend is murdered. Vowing to atone for his sins, he resolves to become a missionary.

In college, however, he gets involved with a beautiful but neurotic Catholic who tells him he is going to hell unless he converts. After a traumatic sexual experience, he drops out to join the Navy.

Austin is stationed in Oakland, California, where he meets the beatniks – including an Existentialist, a Zen master, an apostate Jew, a Rosicrucian, a nihilistic alcoholic, and a crew chief who tries to pressure him into joining the Mormons.

After his discharge, he returns to college, where he meets a Christian Scientist, a Presbyterian, and a rationalistic philosophy professor who helps Austin and his girlfriend start an underground newspaper. During the riots of the 1960s, however, the newspaper is destroyed and more people are murdered. One of Austin’s childhood friends is indicted, but Austin thinks his friend is being framed; and the only clue to who might have been responsible is a key ring with a medallion of Angels Flight.

Someone donates an old Hell’s Angels motorcycle and Austin drives it to Los Angeles in search of the key to the murder. In Southern California, he encounters Rastafarians, Santerians, hippies, Wiccans, Spiritualists, and Satanists. Finally, in a nudist park he discovers the information he seeks, and returns to his hometown to confront what he suspects is a conspiracy of terrorists. This final mission, however, does not turn out as he had planned.

"Angels Flight" was the name of Los Angeles’ only cable car, built in 1900, and a favorite tourist attraction until it was dismantled in 1969. During those years, it came to be regarded as a symbol of Los Angeles, just as the Eiffel Tower symbolizes Paris, and the Statue of Liberty represents New York. Much of the novel revolves around a souvenir medallion with an engraving of the two cars: "Sinai" and "Olivetti." "Mt. Sinai" and "The Mount of Olives" represent the two most important religious traditions in the Western world (in opposition to each other); and as the cars alternately ascend and descend like clockwork, they suggest the passage of time – as does a certain rotating restaurant which also figures prominently in the plot.

From the Publisher:

W. Milton Timmons, Ph.D., is also the author of "Orientation to Cinema," 1988, and "Everything About the Bible That You Never Had Time to Look Up," 2002.

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