in a good year aerobatics is one of the most beautiful sports imaginable. in a bad year no sport kills more of its participants. To fly really well and to win you must depart the land of the possible and enter a place of pure faith. in this stunning literary debut Joshua Cooper Ramo has crafted a meditation on the seduction of flight and a passionate love letter to a life of risk. it is partly the story of his own decision, after a decade of casual aerobatics, to transform himself into a serious competitive pilot aiming to finish high at the US national competition. He introduces us to some of the greatest aerobatic pilots in the world: geniuses like Leo Loudenslager, a mild-mannered American Airlines pilot who spent his weekends redefining what it was possible to do in the air with a plane, flying figures so hard that made his eyes bleed as he whimpered with pain in the cockpit; or Kirby Chambliss, the pilot who performed figures just inches off the runway and sent his plane shooting through holes in cliffs.