Synopses & Reviews
A bestselling author tells the terrifying and inspiring story of the plane crash he survived
Around midnight on June 17, 1979, Air New England flight 248 crashed into the woods on Cape Cod. The pilot died but the copilot and eight passengers survived with trauma both physical and emotional. Robert Sabbag, at the height of his fame for his bestselling book Snowblind, was among them.
Down Around Midnight is Sabbag's gripping account of what exactly happened on that foggy night and his candid attempt to come to terms with the emotional ramifications of the crash. He reconnects with the other survivors and their rescuers for the first time in thirty years, weaving the narrative between past and present to create a thrilling and affecting story of survival and recovery.
Like the best survivor tales-Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Joe Simpson's Touching the Void-Down Around Midnight is fast paced and mesmerizing. It is also a meditation on healing and the things we do to compartmentalize traumatic memories. Few people experience a plane crash and live to tell the story. Sabbag brings his striking, economical style to this personal tale of learning how to remember and how to endure.
"Sabbag (Snowblind) was one of eight passengers on board Air New England flight 248 when it crashed into the woods of Cape Cod on June 17, 1979. The passengers and co-pilot survived, and after a brief hospitalization, Sabbag was back on a plane less than two months later. 'There was never really any question of my not flying again,' Sabbag writes. 'Travel had always been a significant part of my life, and it was a substantial part of my work now. ' When Sabbag finally decides to discard his don't-look-back mindset and examine the crash nearly 30 years later, the result is a compelling mix of reporting and memoir. He uncovers how his plane went down and wrestles with whether or not to call the pilot's widow. He interviews some of the passengers and workers from the crash scene, figuring out how they persevered, while discovering how he did the same. Sabbag deftly maneuvers himself in and out of the narrative, so the book isn't about his life as much as it is an insightful breakdown of the emotions, coincidences and facts behind a catastrophic event. Perhaps the biggest insight of Sabbag's book which packs an emotional wallop, despite the book's slim size is that despite his dogged reporting, we discover that there are some life events we can't understand completely, even our own. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Sabbag examines the crash both as an outstanding reporter investigating an old story, talking to those involved and meticulously piecing together the evidence, and also as a survivor confronting his own demons and the inevitable vagaries of memory... A compelling and tightly written reconstruction of the crash and his struggle to come to terms with the near-death experience."
"Sabbag has a knack for thumbnail portraits and sardonic humor... eloquent..."
"His most emotionally resonant book... A remarkably powerful, human story not merely of a plane crash but of the impact that one brief moment can have on an entire life... "
"Wonderfully readable... Sabbag has a journalist's eye for detail and a sardonic style that would be entertaining no matter the topic... The conclusions he comes to are thought-provoking and wise."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
In 1979, the plane author Sabbag was riding in crashed into the woods on Cape Cod. Several passengers survived, with both physical and emotional trauma. This book presents the author's candid attempt to come to terms with the emotional ramifications of that crash.
About the Author
Robert Sabbag is the author of Snowblind, Smokescreen,
and Too Tough to Die
. He is a regular contributor to Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine,
and other publications. He lives on Cape Cod.