As the subtitle suggests, these wide-ranging stories (a weeping woman bangs on Krueger’s door late at night in Jakarta; his general practitioner orders a tour of his urinary tract) aren’t chronological and often have the feeling of pinned-down memories, those moments that it feels nourishing to revisit as life goes on. Krueger’s knowledge of dates, names, and events is remarkably detailed, and, thanks to his powerful memory and meticulous documentarian skills, stories from mid-century are narrated as if they happened yesterday. The most personal chapter, “Expat Kids,” features parents Kurt and Rebecca, whose family is challenged trying to earn a living and raise children in a foreign country. While most of the collection is written in the first-person perspective, here Krueger shifts to third, noting that he’s used fictitious names because at the time of writing it was difficult for him “to associate directly with that emotional time.”
He concludes with his epic adventure of learning to fly. His development of the finesse and skill it takes to achieve this dream is chronicled flight by flight, sometimes excitingly—“A weightless feeling in my stomach told me I was about to fall out of the sky”—and with the precision of detail you would expect from a pilot. Despite the perils, it’s gratifying to share the journey and insights.
Takeaway: Unexpected stories of flying high and a life well traveled.
Comparable Titles: Ken Anderberg’s Indonesia: An Expat's Tale, John and Edna Lewis’s One Adventure After Another.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A-