I was so bowled over by Atonement that I went right out to the library and borrowed two more Ian McEwan novels, and another by an author who was supposedly an influence on his style. Today I started Enduring Love, and I am riveted.
The set-up, the very first scene, desribes a horrible ballooning accident.
Ballooning seems like such an innocuous diversion, but I know first-hand how horrific it can actually be. I went ballooning once with a sadistic British pilot who insisted on taking us up, up, up way higher than any human in a basket and no steering mechanism should be.
It was fun at first. At cruising altitudes just above the treetops, it was breathtaking and kind of soothing, but as we climbed higher and higher, a terror set in that I can't describe--it was completely irrational, and much bigger than my small mind could comprehend or talk myself out of.
Oh, and the pilot made us all wear red berets cuz we were in France. By forcing us to wear berets he could simultaneously mock the French and taunt Americans.
So, yes. The horror of ballooning.
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