Tuesday 14 August 2012


I've been aching to read some Eoin Colfer since I saw him speak in Adelaide in May. He was funny, so very, very funny. And clever, that I knew his writing would have to be funny and clever too. Well I hoped it would be. I will have to wait until later in the year to read his most famous creation Artemis Fowl, but recently I was searching the library shelves for an audiobook to share with my son on a car trip, and much to my delight he picked up this Colfer title. Neither of us knew anything about it. My 11 year old merely judged the audiobook by the cover. After all, isn't that what covers are for?

We'd never used an audiobook for a car trip before, filled as they are with endless rounds of judging Eurovision, so it was a bit of a novelty for both of us.  I listen to some nonfiction audiobooks in the car travelling to and from work, but haven't had a great track record listening to fiction, my thoughts tend to drift off, and I lose track of the story. 

Airman is an unusual story, set in 19th century Ireland it tells the story of a young boy Conor Broekhart who was born in a hot air balloon, and so born with a love of flying. Conor's family live on the Saltee Islands off the coast of County Wexford in Ireland. A real setting for an imagined story. Actually the Saltee Islands look amazing, and have definitely gone straight onto my must see list. Puffins. They have puffins there.

Conor's father Declan Broekhart works for the King, and is the captain of the Saltee Sharpshooters. There is a baddie with the wonderful moniker of Hugo Bonvilain, who of course wants power and glory for himself. Bonvilain sets a trap for Conor, and a train of rather violent events ensue.

I liked the first disc most of the 3 discs of the story. It was the gentle, lilting story that I was hoping for. The second and third discs was more of a boys own adventure, and a little much for me at times, really quite dark. I even dozed off during these latter discs, which is a risk whenever I sit in the passengers seat it must be said. Master Wicker thoroughly enjoyed the story, and the listening experience, and I hope we will share more audiobooks on  car journeys.

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