News & Reviews

Kirkus (STARRED)
“The breathtaking highs and life-threatening plunges of the most extreme stuntmen on Earth. Keep your mixed martial arts, parcours and BMX bikes; you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen the point-of-view video of these free-flying pilots soaring in their homemade wingsuits over some of the most extreme terrain on the planet. In this riveting journalistic account, freelance writer Higgins chronicles the evolution of the sport from simple parachuting to BASE jumping (the acronym stands for building, antennae, span and Earth, which serve as launch points) to the development of these soaring, superherolike armored flight suits… For anyone who finds these kinds of emotional and precise accounts of risk, ambition and victory irresistible, this is a must-read. A highflying, electrifying story of a treacherous sport in which every triumph is an eye blink away from becoming a disaster.”

Library Journal (STARRED)
“[Higgins’s] action-packed book introduces a global coterie of remarkable characters who have dared life and limb. He describes escapades from Sixties stunt parachuting to more contemporary BASE jumping, in which one takes flight off of selected worldwide buildings and geographical points to the experience of wingsuit flying—the maximum challenge. The author recounts the huge preparations, financial investments, psychological motivations, personal setbacks, and extraordinary aerial accomplishments that have gone into these extreme sports… An engrossing and exhaustively researched account of extremists who challenge failure and death on a regular basis. Highly recommended for ultimate jumpers in particular, sports enthusiasts in general, and all public libraries.

Publishers Weekly
“A new tribe of aerial daredevils write their deeds in blood and glory… Journalist Higgins sings the exploits and charisma of “wing-suit” pilots… The book is mainly a chronicle of death-defying stunts: mishaps are plenty grisly when wing suiters traveling at 100 mph encounter anything denser than air, and the body count is high… [a] tribute to the exaltation of defying death; one extreme parachutist “felt somehow reborn into the world” on his first outing, “as if scales had been stripped from his eyes.” These effusions won’t move everyone to a conversion experience, but Higgins’s account is hair-raising enough to hold the reader’s interest.”

SUSAN CASEY, author of The Wave and The Devil’s Teeth
“Most of us dream of flying, but it is the exceptional person who actually tries it. Matt Higgins takes readers deep into the extreme and fascinating world of BASE jumpers and wingsuit pilots, those rare birds who risk their lives for a few exhilarating, gravity-defying seconds. Bird Dream is a beautifully crafted narrative, equal parts adrenaline rush and soulful meditation. From its first sentence, this book soars.”

JAMES M. TABOR, author of Blind Descent
“Wingsuit fliers like Jeb Corliss and Gary Connery change the definition of ‘impossible,’ often at the expense of life and limb. Capturing the essence of such entrepreneurs of the extreme is like trying to grab sparks. In Bird Dream, Matt Higgins does just that with writing that is crisp, exhilarating, and exhaustively researched. A must-read about ultimate quests—and their costs.”

JAMES S. HIRSCH, author of Willie Mays
“Some people dare to imagine human flight; others dare to don wingsuits and leap birdlike into the void. A breathtaking narrative of outsized courage and irreverent boundary breaking, Matt Higgins’s Bird Dream captures human jumps that defy the rational mind, that duel with gravity’s inexorable pull, and that tango with the ever-present threat of dismemberment and death.” JOE DRAPE, author of Our Boys “Matt Higgins takes us on a thrilling ride with an international cast of visionaries, daredevils, and flat-out wingnuts who are pushing the limits of human flight. Higgins weaves a compelling tale that leaves us awestruck and inspired by those who refuse to be constrained by earthly boundaries.”

STEPH DAVIS, climber, BASE jumper, wingsuit pilot; author of Learning to Fly
“Bird Dream is Born to Run for the wingsuit BASE world. Matt Higgins has managed to straddle the difficult line between maintaining authenticity for insiders and opening this fringe lifestyle to outsiders. As a dedicated jumper myself, I found Bird Dream compelling and absolutely undiluted.”

Radio Programs:

Newstalk Ireland (que to 10 mins) August 8th, 2014)

BBC World Service (August 10th, 2014)

Leonard Lopate – WNYC  (August 11th, 2014)

Hack Triple J Australia (Monday August 18, 2014)