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Bird Dream by Matt Higgins
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Bird Dream

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Bird Dream by Matt Higgins
Jul 31, 2014 | ISBN 9780698163829

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  • Jul 31, 2014 | ISBN 9780698163829

    Buy from Other Retailers:

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Daily Beast:
Gripping… In a way that shocked me, the book is perversely entertaining when Higgins reveals the fates of many of the men and women he writes about with such admiration. Higgins manages to keep the reader hooked all the way through to the final page. In a truly intoxicating read that was hard to put down, Matt Higgins has managed to make real a world about as far removed from daily life as it gets.

The Wall Street Journal:
“In Bird Dream, Matt Higgins cracks open this astonishingly dangerous sport and captures the spectacular adrenaline surges it delivers… [A] riveting tale.”

Chicago Tribune:
“[A] compelling chronicle of the extreme sport subculture of those who love soaring, gliding and plummeting to the earth from a wide range of deadly heights. Higgins has inherently thrilling material on his hands, but he does much more than merely describe the adrenaline-charged feats of jumpers. The book is a subtle study of the psychology of athletes engaged in a sport where death is a constant possibility.”

The Washington Post
“In Bird Dream, Matt Higgins offers an engrossing account of the men and women who pursue the most dangerous recreational activity imaginable, one in which a razor-thin line separates success from failure, life from death… While Higgins fills Bird Dream with fascinating characters, living and dead, the focus is on two wingsuiters determined to achieve the ultimate goal of jumping from a helicopter or an elevated spot and gliding down to a survivable landing without a parachute… Does either of them survive? You will find the answers to those questions in a book you will find hard to put down.”

Kirkus (STARRED)
“The breathtaking highs and life-threatening plunges of the most extreme stuntmen on Earth. Keep your mixed martial arts, parcours and BMX bikes; you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen the point-of-view video of these free-flying pilots soaring in their homemade wingsuits over some of the most extreme terrain on the planet. In this riveting journalistic account, freelance writer Higgins chronicles the evolution of the sport from simple parachuting to BASE jumping (the acronym stands for building, antennae, span and Earth, which serve as launch points) to the development of these soaring, superherolike armored flight suits… For anyone who finds these kinds of emotional and precise accounts of risk, ambition and victory irresistible, this is a must-read. A highflying, electrifying story of a treacherous sport in which every triumph is an eye blink away from becoming a disaster.

Library Journal (STARRED)
“[Higgins’s] action-packed book introduces a global coterie of remarkable characters who have dared life and limb. He describes escapades from Sixties stunt parachuting to more contemporary BASE jumping, in which one takes flight off of selected worldwide buildings and geographical points to the experience of wingsuit flying—the maximum challenge. The author recounts the huge preparations, financial investments, psychological motivations, personal setbacks, and extraordinary aerial accomplishments that have gone into these extreme sports… An engrossing and exhaustively researched account of extremists who challenge failure and death on a regular basis. Highly recommended for ultimate jumpers in particular, sports enthusiasts in general, and all public libraries.

Publishers Weekly
“A new tribe of aerial daredevils write their deeds in blood and glory… Journalist Higgins sings the exploits and charisma of “wing-suit” pilots… The book is mainly a chronicle of death-defying stunts: mishaps are plenty grisly when wing suiters traveling at 100 mph encounter anything denser than air, and the body count is high… [a] tribute to the exaltation of defying death; one extreme parachutist “felt somehow reborn into the world” on his first outing, “as if scales had been stripped from his eyes.” These effusions won’t move everyone to a conversion experience, but Higgins’s account is hair-raising enough to hold the reader’s interest.”

SUSAN CASEY, author of The Wave and The Devil’s Teeth
“Most of us dream of flying, but it is the exceptional person who actually tries it. Matt Higgins takes readers deep into the extreme and fascinating world of BASE jumpers and wingsuit pilots, those rare birds who risk their lives for a few exhilarating, gravity-defying seconds. Bird Dream is a beautifully crafted narrative, equal parts adrenaline rush and soulful meditation. From its first sentence, this book soars.”

JAMES M. TABOR, author of Blind Descent
“Wingsuit fliers like Jeb Corliss and Gary Connery change the definition of ‘impossible,’ often at the expense of life and limb. Capturing the essence of such entrepreneurs of the extreme is like trying to grab sparks. In Bird Dream, Matt Higgins does just that with writing that is
crisp, exhilarating, and exhaustively researched. A must-read about ultimate quests—and their costs.”

JAMES S. HIRSCH, author of Willie Mays
“Some people dare to imagine human flight; others dare to don wingsuits and leap birdlike into the void. A breathtaking narrative of outsized courage and irreverent boundary breaking, Matt Higgins’s Bird Dream captures human jumps that defy the rational mind, that duel with gravity’s inexorable pull, and that tango with the ever-present threat of dismemberment and death.”

JOE DRAPE, author of Our Boys
“Matt Higgins takes us on a thrilling ride with an international cast of visionaries, daredevils, and flat-out wingnuts who are pushing the limits of human flight. Higgins weaves a compelling tale that leaves us awestruck and inspired by those who refuse to be constrained by earthly boundaries.”

STEPH DAVIS, climber, BASE jumper, wingsuit pilot; author of Learning to Fly
Bird Dream is Born to Run for the wingsuit BASE world. Matt Higgins has managed to straddle the difficult line between maintaining authenticity for insiders and opening this fringe lifestyle to outsiders. As a dedicated jumper myself, I found Bird Dream compelling and absolutely undiluted.”

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