Review: The Flight Attendant

The Flight Attendant

The Flight Attendant
By Chris Bohjalian
Doubleday Books, 9780385542418, March 2018, 368pp.

The Short of It:

An intoxicated flight attendant with an insatiable appetite for men, goes on a bender and wakes up next to a corpse.

The Rest of It:

Flight attendants visit some pretty exotic places but even with all that promise of adventure, things can be pretty routine while on the job. For Cassie, flirting with the passengers is pretty routine. Sneaking shots of vodka while working is also pretty routine and finding a guy to sleep with as soon as you land? Also pretty routine.

Cassie arranges to meet one of the passengers from her flight for dinner and drinks. Dubai has many luxurious bars and hotels but her only requirement is that the rest of her crew need not know any of it. It’s none of their business anyway, right? So when she wakes up next to Alex, a hedge fund manager whom she hardly knows, and sees the gaping wound to his neck, she panics because she cannot remember the evening and wonders if she was the one to murder him. Was she?

Cassandra Bowden’s alcoholic tendencies is what lands her in trouble but even sober, Cassie is not someone you feel sorry for because she’s somewhat calculated and makes really stupid mistakes over and over again. She is very hard to like and in the end, you won’t like her but that’s okay because the story still had me turning those pages.

However, the story has its weak moments. It’s a little repetitive. She gets drunk often and like The Girl on the Train, I tired of it quickly. I feel like the story could have taken many different directions which was good because I couldn’t tell how it would end but the ending was not realistic to me.

This is a book that I enjoyed purely for its page-turning lure. You’ll want to know the outcome and there are enough setbacks and wild moments to keep you guessing.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

17 thoughts on “Review: The Flight Attendant”

  1. I didn’t like the book much because of cassie. She was just unlikable. And yeah..the girl on the train similarities. I felt the story could have been better. But I really really disliked her

    1. The story took off in many different directions. All of them could have been stories on their own. The idea of an alcoholic flight attendant, forced to serve drinks to passengers day in and day out, on its own is interesting. The Alex/Elena story was interesting. There was just a lot going on and then Cassie being so unlikable didn’t help tie together.

  2. I haven’t read it and, honestly, have not been much tempted to do so. The comparison to the self-destructive behavior of the character in The Girl On The Train is part of what puts me off. My sister had alcohol problems in her life and it’s hard for me to read about individuals who make those awful choices over and over again. Anyway, I did appreciate hearing what you thought. I’m pretty sure that I’ll pass on this one.

    1. I hear you and understand. It’s hard for me to read about these self-destructing characters too. I think it’s interesting how Bohjalian chose to portray Cassie but there is no glossing over the fact that she is utterly unlikable. She has some softer moments where she does worry about what she’s become but they are few and far between. She’s a creature. Thirsting for something. Would not be a friend of mine, let’s put it that way.

  3. You liked this more than me but, I’m still happy I tried it. Reading a short, addictive psychological thriller now “Sometimes I Lie”.

    1. I like Bohjalian so I was willing to give him a chance. I just felt that it came apart at the end and even though I tired of Cassie and her antics, I was turning the pages pretty fast so that’s something.

  4. Yeah, not so much. Cassie is just a wacko and I did not care what happened to her.I also feel that I am starting to read formula books imitating Gone Girl etc. and I prefer having at least one character I like…..I think Miranda/Elena was more interesting

    1. Interesting that you say that because I, too, wanted to know more about Elena and her story. It was only given to us in bits. Even Alex. I was curious about him too.

      I don’t know anyone who felt sorry for Cassie. I mean, who would?

    1. I think sometimes it’s not so bad if the character finds him or herself at rock bottom and fights his/her way back to the top but this is not quite that.

  5. You pretty much summed up how I felt about it. I cannot imagine Kaley Cuoco as Cassie either. The casting upsets me a bit to be honest because it just not her (IMO).

  6. I liked The Girl on the Train but I haven’t really been drawn much to this one, but it seems good for turning pages. Do a lot of flight attendants live this way?

    1. I really don’t know. I imagine it is a job for the young(er) because all that air time and the constant moving from point A to point B would wear me out. I don’t think many would survive drinking like this character did. How she didn’t get alcohol poisoning is beyond me and all that flying dehydrates you too.

  7. Meh. I read the first chapter and decided not to read it. I have a problem with most of his books lately. Too bad.

    1. I was pretty into it but was hoping the ending would help me change my opinion of the main character. It didn’t.

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