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Into the Abyss


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About the Author

Carol Shaben won two Canadian National Magazine Awards -- a Gold Medal for Investigative Reporting and a Silver Medal for Politics and Public Interest -- for articles that highlighted the subject of this book.


[Shaben] vividly recreates how these four total strangers managed to survive the tragedy.--New York Post
[T]his is a complex, chilling narrative rendered with depth and precision, engaged in both its characters and the larger social moment... A worthy addition to the canon of extreme-survival nonfiction.--Kirkus
A story that has haunted Vancouver-based writer Carol Shaben, Larry's daughter, since it happened... She was able to use [Archambault's] story to take readers along on that stormy night, to the side of a mountain where four men struggled to stay alive overnight alongside the six others who had died.--Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun
As a concept, it doesn't get much better [than this]... Into the Abyss is in the best traditions of true-life journalism and grips from beginning to end.--Iain Finlayson, The Times
Electrifying...Shaben's riveting narrative is filled with heart and the story is well told.--Publishers Weekly
Gripping and emotionally affecting. . . a deep and satisfying book.--Washington Post
The gripping account . . . is ultimately about the survivors, telling the story in scouring yet respectful detail of the four men who limped away from the fatal crash.--Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Journal
With Into the Abyss Carol Shaben gives us an astonishing true story of catastrophe and redemption. Shaben writes from the inside out, as in the best non-fiction, creating a nuanced and tightly braided portrait of four men and their shared trauma that is by turns terrifying and deeply humane. Every line in this story rings true.--John Vaillant, author of The Tiger

Canadian politician Larry Shaben was among the survivors of a harrowing commuter plane crash in Alberta in 1984, which left six others dead. Shaben's daughter Carol, a journalist, presents a detailed examination of the causes and consequences of the accident and the personal aftermath for the survivors. Besides Larry, who served as Canada's first Muslim cabinet minister, the other survivors included the 24-year-old pilot, a police officer, and the criminal he was escorting. Shaben's well-written but somewhat overlong narrative reveals the unusually strong bonds formed among this unlikely group through the intensity of their shared experience, as well as their disparate paths in search of meaning in their post-crash lives. -VERDICT Combining the survivors' stories with reporting on the official investigation of the crash and related issues of regional airline safety and regulation, this work casts troubling light on the enormous challenges faced by pilots at these smaller airlines and the harsh realities of travel in Canada's unforgiving northern regions. Best suited to readers interested in the history of plane crashes, aviation safety and regulation, or life in Alberta, who may also consider Norman Ollestad's Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival or William Langewiesche's Fly by Wire.-Ingrid Levin, Salve Regina Univ. Lib., Newport, RI (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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