Into the Abyss by Carol Shaben
An Extraordinary True Story

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In fact, by not fully embracing her subjectivity, Shaben’s proximity to her subject matter starts to look more like bias. There’s a long section on Larry’s life and accomplishments post-crash that feels almost suspiciously celebratory...
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Only four men survived the plane crash. The pilot. A politician. A cop... and the criminal he was shackled to.

On an icy night in October 1984, a commuter plane carrying nine passengers crashed in the remote wilderness of northern Alberta, killing six 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. Larry Shaben, the author's father and Canada's first Muslim Cabinet Minister, was commuting home after a busy week at the Alberta Legislature. Constable Scott Deschamps was escorting Paul Archambault, a drifter wanted on an outstanding warrant. Against regulations, Archambault's handcuffs were removed-a decision that would profoundly impact the men's survival.

As the men fight through the night to stay alive, the dividing lines of power, wealth, and status are erased, and each man is forced to confront the precious and limited nature of his existence.
 

About Carol Shaben

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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.
 
Published May 21, 2013 by Grand Central Publishing. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Action & Adventure, Professional & Technical, History, Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Into the Abyss
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Apr 15 2013

...the bonds formed between the survivors during the ordeal lasted for decades. Shaben’s riveting narrative is filled with heart and the story is well told.

Read Full Review of Into the Abyss: An Extraordin... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 24 2013

...this is a complex, chilling narrative rendered with depth and precision, engaged in both its characters and the larger social moment...

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Laura Eggertson on Nov 30 2012

Shaben, an award-winning investigative reporter, paints a compelling picture of the lax regulations and pressure-cooker atmosphere surrounding commuter aircrafts.

Read Full Review of Into the Abyss: An Extraordin... | See more reviews from Toronto Star

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Hingston on Nov 30 2012

Not only is this flip-flopping confusing, but at one point it also leads to an identity crisis, as Shaben has to awkwardly treat herself as just another character.

Read Full Review of Into the Abyss: An Extraordin... | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Hingston on Nov 30 2012

In fact, by not fully embracing her subjectivity, Shaben’s proximity to her subject matter starts to look more like bias. There’s a long section on Larry’s life and accomplishments post-crash that feels almost suspiciously celebratory...

Read Full Review of Into the Abyss: An Extraordin... | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reader Rating for Into the Abyss
75%

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