Gifted storyteller Winston Groom, the best-selling author of Forrest Gump, has written the fascinating story of three extraordinary heroes who defined aviation during the great age of flight: Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, and Jimmy Doolittle. These cleverly interwoven tales of their heart-stopping adventures take us from the feats of World War I through the heroism of World War II and beyond, including daring military raids and survival at sea, and will appeal to fans of Unbroken, The Greatest Generation, and Flyboys.
With the world in peril during World War II, each man set aside great success and comfort to return to the skies for his most daring mission yet. Doolittle, a brilliant aviation innovator, would lead the Tokyo Raid to retaliate for Pearl Harbor; Lindbergh, hero of the first solo flight across the Atlantic, would fly combat missions in the South Pacific; and Rickenbacker, World War I flying ace, would bravely hold his crew together while facing near-starvation and circling sharks after his plane went down in a remote part of the Pacific.
Groom's rich narrative tells the intertwined stories - from broken homes to Medals of Honor (all three would receive one), barnstorming to the greatest raid of World War II, front-page triumph to anguished tragedy, and near-death to ultimate survival - of these three men who took to the sky, time and again, to become exemplars of the spirit of the "greatest generation."
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Great listening experience!
The Aviators is one of the best audio books you can hope to buy this year.
The format of The Aviators is broken up by approximate decades or time periods, and by biographies of three noted, early aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Lindbergh, and Jimmy Doolittle.
This format was especially good for me because it kept the story moving and kept the story interesting. I never got bogged down with one guy for too long, or one time period for too long.
It was interesting how one main event--say for example WWII, could be seen from three unique perspectives, by three unique participants.
The narrator, Robertson Dean, is excellent for the material. His voice and manner seem somewhere between a newscaster and a good storyteller.
This might make a very engaging documentary--Ken Burns style.
Let's face it--the book was seventeen great hours of listening. What would they do? Give us a 1-hour documentary on this? Give me a break--there is too much great history here.
The Aviators is a great choice as an audio book purchase. Even if you're not old or blind, you can still enjoy it while driving or doing some other activity you don't have to concentrate on. I'm sure I will return to enjoy this audio book several times, eventually.
Too much a hagiography
- Joseph Valenzi