A LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER
Riley conjures a Technicolor vision of seventies California and casts Suzy’s ambition as a feminist quest for self-determination. Her exploits build to a climax that suggests the book’s title is not so much an invitation as a challenge.
Riley has a stylish grasp of setting as the axis of place and time, writing about the era with captivating authority, palpable texture and a sure-footed knack for rebuilding a moment out of its pop detritus. Enthusiasts of ‘70s music and literature will tumble into delightful pockets of nostalgia...Ultimately, Riley’s vividly realized setting and Suzy’s firecracker spirit collide in a surprising whiplash climax.
FLY ME, by Daniel Riley... knocked my shoes off. I wasn’t expecting any of it.... The surprises in the last 50 pages made the whole book exciting.... [Suzy Whitman] is capable of anything... She’s taking liberation beyond the boundaries you’d expect.
ONE OF THE BEST SUMMER BOOKS OF 2017: What a trip this novel is... It’s Riley’s debut novel and it’s the perfect balance of grit and gloss.
GREAT READS FOR SUMMER: Fascinating, intense, and passionately told, at times reminding us of another coming-of-age story, Emma Cline’s THE GIRLS... You’ll be hard-pressed to put this one down.
FLY ME is a vibrant, pitch-perfect rendering of decadent beachside youth culture, with its surfing, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and all-day parties.... It’s a well-plotted, tension-filled novel that shows how the curiosity and invincibility of youth might cause an innocent (if tough) young woman to drift into the underworld... Riley keenly portrays the confusion and frustration of youth.
One of the summer’s freshest novels... Suzy Whitman, like Cher and Elle before her, is a classic California Girl. She explores, she subverts, and despite her tireless chorus of critics, she always finds a way back to herself.
A stunning and dangerous ride set in the skies of 1972... Throughout FLY ME, Riley paints a seductive and psychologically intense picture of the times, combining political change, sex, drugs, and a painful coming of age with the idyllic backdrop of a Pacific paradise.
Come for the intoxicating beach imagery drawn from Daniel Riley’s California upbringing, stay for a moody novel of savvy babes and sunburned intrigue. Think THE GRADUATE, but with drug smuggling.
This is an excellent time capsule of ‘70s nostalgia, capturing that devil-may-care beach-culture vibe.
Crackling dialogue, a flesh-and-blood heroine, and Riley nails the era.
One of the Best Books of Summer
10 Summer Book Club Picks Everyone Will Enjoy
Riley has conjured up impeccable West Coast period atmosphere.
Suzy Whitman, FLY ME’s central figure, is one of the most compelling and beautifully realized characters I’ve read in many a moon. And she inhabits an era—the seventies—that has much to say to us in these parlous times of ours. This is a dazzling debut by an important new novelist.
With thin, wild mercury rhythms and electrifying prose, Daniel Riley’s debut announces the arrival of a masterful novelist, giving flashes of Don DeLillo, Joan Didion, Dana Spiotta, even a glint of Thomas Pynchon. FLY ME does for seventies L.A. what Garth Risk Hallberg did for New York City in the same period. This is one to gulp down, and then savor.
Daniel Riley writes like he’s skipping stones—with a beautifully light touch, perfect precision, and something that feels a lot like magic.
Standing right on the corner of Don Winslow and Exile on Main Street, Daniel Riley conjures something remarkable—an unerring fusion of contemporary white-knuckle thriller and rawly elegant period piece, set at the moment the Vietnam-era counterculture cracked open wide enough to fly a skyjacked plane through. If scintillating writing and Hitchcockian dread weren’t enough, Riley also gives us Suzy Whitman, a classical heroine thrust by history and circumstance into the dangerous territory of modern autonomy, with uncharted modern consequences. Absolutely first-rate. I loved this book.
Daniel Riley’s FLY ME conjures the feeling of a long-passed decade in living color, flesh and bone—redolent with risk and possibility. This riveting novel is a window into a world we’ve forgotten we come from.
In his assured debut novel FLY ME, Daniel Riley uses crackling dialogue and meticulously drawn prose to evoke a sun-bleached 1970s tableau that hums with a raw mix of possibility and danger. The kind you’d want to escape into.
FLY ME is a vivid, virtuosic novel. Daniel Riley conjures a place and time as vibrant and compelling as the embattled young woman at the heart of this story.
FLY ME digs under the endless summer sand of Southern California to confirm what every young person suspects: the world is a conspiracy. I cheered as Riley’s heroine, Suzy, broke free from the sinister forces controlling her destiny to chart her own crazy flight plan.