The Seaplane on Final Approach by Rebecca Rukeyser

Rebecca Rukeyser writes beautifully about gross things. Every word in this book had a purpose, every image was vivid, and every paragraph was crafted with precision.

And yet, the content of the book was so wackadoodle that I’m still deciding if I hated it or if I loved it. Perhaps trying to quantify whether or not this book is enjoyable is missing the point - The Seaplane on Final Approach leans so strongly into the weird and bizarre, that to review it with a normal criteria seems redundant.

Mira is a young woman spending the summer working on a remote Alaskan island while developing her theory on what constitutes ‘sleaze.’ She’s obsessed with sleaze and fantasises so strongly about a sexy local fisherman that even staring at his name in the phone book makes her reach climax. Yeah, it’s a weird book.

I would call it a coming of age tale but the main character doesn’t seem to learn anything about herself or the world along the way. Her only epiphanies are to do with what shampoo ingredient is the most erotic, or how men with one-syllable names make the best lovers…

There are laughs to be had with such random musings - just maybe internal, silent laughs… like funny “huh” not funny “ha ha”.

I certainly appreciate what the author was trying to accomplish, but she didn't quite land the seaplane…

Title: The Seaplane on Final Approach

Author: Rebecca Rukeyser

Publisher: Granta / Allen & Unwin

Publication date: 2 August 2022

RRP: $29.99 AUD