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Into the Abyss - Carol Shaben

Into the Abyss

Author Carol Shaben

  • Published: 2012-10-16
  • Category: Specialty Travel
4.5 Stars
From 62 Customers Review
Price: $13.99


On an icy night in October 1984, a Piper Navajo commuter plane carrying 9 passengers crashed in the remote wilderness of northern Alberta, killing 6 people. Four survived: the rookie pilot, a prominent politician, a cop, and the criminal he was escorting to face charges. Despite the poor weather, Erik Vogel, the 24-year-old pilot, was under intense pressure to fly--a situation not uncommon to pilots working for small airlines. Overworked and exhausted, he feared losing his job if he refused to fly. Larry Shaben, the author's father and Canada's first Muslim Cabinet Minister, was commuting home after a busy week at the Alberta Legislature. After Paul Archambault, a drifter wanted on an outstanding warrant, boarded the plane, rookie Constable Scott Deschamps decided, against RCMP regulations, to remove his handcuffs--a decision that profoundly impacted the men's survival. As they fought through the night to stay alive, the dividing lines of power, wealth and status were erased and each man was forced to confront the precious and limited nature of his existence. The survivors forged unlikely friendships and through them found strength and courage to rebuild their lives. Into the Abyss is a powerful narrative that combines in-depth reporting with sympathy and grace to explore how a single, tragic event can upset our assumptions and become a catalyst for transformation.

Top Customer Reviews

  • Into the Abyss

    From Bjacq13
    amazing storytelling. I am from the same hometown as the author and was in grade five at the time of the plane crash. I remember it a bit and I remember the Shaben family and grew up with Dave Heggie's boys! Excellent read!!!!
  • Great book

    From sb8506
    This is probably the fastest book I've ever read. Very interesting and well written.
  • Into the Abyss

    From frsky now
    This book is written in a way which is concise, easy to understand and keeps the reader abreast of events as they happened, chronologically, which makes for an easy read. Sadly, the book brings to light a few negative facts about human nature, that appear far too often, all around us. Firstly, the fact that there cannot simply be an accident anymore-if there is, somebody is to blame, somebody has to be wrung through the mill-somebody has to pay. I was astounded by a survivor of this unfortunate accident having the unmitigated gall to launch a lawsuit, to serve his financial needs while he fulfilled his "bucket list". What a turkey! Secondly, there just doesn't seem to be enough support for those unfortunate people who try to supply a service for the better good of society-they are never commended when their service is outstanding, especially in a winters, desolate, harsh vastly unexplored wasteland. There is however legions of "holier than thou" antagonists who gloat in their ability to point out everything that is WRONG when things don't go according to plan. Shaben did a very good job of vividly re-creating the tension and grief related to that cold Northern Alberta night, when flight 402 accidentally terminated. It will live on as a testament to the hard work, co-operation and determination of a few, but unfortunately will bring to light, through time, some of the aforementioned negative quirks of human nature.
  • Into the abyss

    From Sam1948
    From the first to the last page this book carried me deeply and personally into the story. Thank you Ms Shaben. I am not afraid to fly as a passenger in small planes, never have been. My fear of flight is nested in huge airliners. Thank you for this book. It gives us on the ground a positive spin on flying as an art form an passion. Shame on all the small aircraft company owners who let safety slide. Don't do it. The cost is too great.
  • Moving, insightful and terrifying

    From Hank the Harp Man
    Came away from this book feeling privileged to have had a front row seat at an amazing and awful event. To hear how the survivors lives played afterwards was uplifting.
  • Into the Abyss

    From Fishtohunt
    An easy read, but would not recommend this.
  • Into the Abyss

    From MaryJane G
    I loved this book! It was compelling and beautifully written - I couldn't put it down. The author has taken a story I knew only from newspaper headlines and crafted a compassionate, gripping, thorough and seamless biography of the both the event, the circumstances leading up to it, and the lives of the four survivors both before and after. This book left me very grateful to the author for having written it and left me wanting more!