Adam Ouston

Book review: Waypoints

The cover of Adam Ouston's WAYPOINTS: a shot of an orange sky with an airliner proceeding from behind clouds, contrails behind.

Waypoints by Adam Ouston
My rating: four stars

So you know Harry Houdini, right? The straitjacket-and-locks guy? Big hater of spiritualist fraudsters? Escapologist, man with a dynamic gaze? Eventually bought low by a sucker punch? You know, this guy:

It’s a look, I’ll give him that.

Well, it turns out that prestidigitation and being a momma’s boy weren’t the only things he was interested in: he also had a brief flirtation with aviation. Including Australian aviation: on a trip out here (organised at great expense), Harry was keen to be the first to attain powered flight on the continent.

(He ended up being third, though that didn’t really stop people blowing his trumpet, so to speak.)

This quest for aviation supremacy – and one man’s quest to reenact it as a sort of psychic salve – form the basis of Waypoints, Adam Ouston’s novel of uncommon energy and beauty.