The test of time for a book is this: can a reader pick it up fifty years after it’s published, and thoroughly enjoy it? The answer for “Airport” is yes! Arthur Hailey, a pilot himself in World War II, wrote this novel about the staff of a fictitious airport during a terrible winter snowstorm, trying to handle a series of crises at the same time.
Airplanes are circling the airport waiting for their turn to land, an air controller is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, maintenance crews are trying to removed an obstruction from the longest runway, an elderly woman stows away on a plane, and a man overwhelmed by debt decides to end his life in a big way.
If you read it and think, wow this would be a great movie, you’re right. It actually was made into a movie in 1970, starring some big-name actors (Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jacqueline Bissett, Helen Hayes). Now I want to see the movie; hopefully I can find the DVD at the public library.
If you’re ready to try out a book that was on the New York Times bestsellers list fifty years ago, try this novel.