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."
©2013 Winston Groom (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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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"
These three men we're truly amazing people. they were heroes and risk takers who changed history. But not everything they did was fantastic. the author of times seems to be making too hard case for his subjects. Charles Lindbergh in particular. He was clearly an odd duck. he was inflexible , probably an antisemite, and rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. He tried to rehabilitate himself by service at the end of World War 2,. but the other sounds like he is overstating the importance of his contributions. he tends to do this with his other subjects as well. They are usually presented as prescient, and always being proved right in the end.
I did thoroughly enjoy the extensive stories he told about these men, about whom I knew relatively little. Eddie Rickenbacker ordeal in the life raft, and Jimmy Doolittle's air racing career and of course is famous raid on Tokyo what things that I should have known more about but didn't. The author is also very good when he talks about the early lives of these men and the circumstances that shaped them.
"Must listen for historic lovers"
One of the best listens I have done. With the three aviators the history of flight and it's impact on travel and war. I knew about Lindy, Doolittle , and Rickenbacker but the new facts I learned about their lives and contributions were numerous. Reader was great.
"One of the best"
This is one of the best Audible books I have ever listened to. I loved how the story line brought all three main characters together. The behind the scenes history was fascinating. I recommend this book for those who enjoy history, biographies and adventure. I will listen to it a second time because it was that good.
"Sweeping, Interesting and Complete"
Absolutely. It gives a very personal look at some of the greatest aviators there have ever been.
Eddie Rickenbacker. Not the performance so much as the man. A truly spectacular man.
A Holy Trinity of American Flyers
Great listen. Narrator is bit drab but has a soothing voice and allows you to pay attention to the story.
"An Excellent overview"
As a self-educated history admirer, and a pilot, this book was an absolute treasure find. Covering all the necessary details of some of the most influential aviators, it launches the reader into a fascination with each person, making them want to learn more about them.
I would definitely recommend this book, even before most other books I've listened to.
"Great book for all you aviationists out there."
Really enjoyed it. Couldn't put it down. Favorite part of the book was the story of Doolittle's raid.
This book was excellently written and I was completely riveted from beginning to end. You there were numerous nuggets of information that were brought to the surface that I never had any idea of which made the story all the more exhilarating to listen to. It was equally interesting to see how each of these gentlemen crossed each other's pass through out the entirety of their lives and knew each other personally. To be honest when the book ended I was quite sad as I wanted to hear more. A must read not only for those who are interested in aviation but also for those who want to understand what true heroes are about.
The stories about each of these three pilots were fascinating. The plots connect with the stories of World War I, World War II, and the FDR administration and politics. I like books that interweave stories of related people and illuminate a period of history when they lived. It makes for a great cross between a thematic history and a good biography.
"best book on aviation ever!"
this book brought tears to my eyes, tears of pride and adoration! This is a must read for anybody who loves America and flight.
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