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Summary

Captain Cleve Connell has already made a name for himself among pilots when he arrives in Korea during the war there to fly the newly operational F-86 fighters against the Soviet MIGs. His goal, like that of every fighter pilot, is to chalk up enough kills to become an ace. But things do not turn out as expected.

Mission after mission proves fruitless, and Connell finds his ability and his stomach for combat questioned by his fellow airmen: the brash wing commander, Imil; Captain Robey, an ace whose record is suspect; and finally, Lieutenant Pell, a cocky young pilot with an uncanny amount of skill and luck.

Disappointment and fear gradually erode Connell's faith in himself, and his dream of making ace seems to slip out of reach. Then suddenly, one dramatic mission above the Yalu River reveals the depth of his courage and honor.

Originally published in 1956, The Hunters was James Salter's first novel. Based on his own experiences as a fighter pilot in the Korean War, it is a classic of wartime fiction. Now revised by the author and in audiobook form on the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Air Force, the story of Cleve Connell's war flies straight into the heart of men's rivalries and fears.

©1956, 1997 James Salter (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Style versus Content?

Frustrated masculinity rendered in stream after stream of fantastic metaphor. Expertly read by Joe Barrett, Salter's story of military success and failure, simmering male rivalry is more episodic than knuckle-whitening plot intensity. That said Salter's lyrical descriptions of the lightning fast air skirmishes and dogfights, as well as the poignant final lines, live long in the memory. Fantastic!

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  • Nicholas
  • 25-10-15

The Hunters

Just a beautifully written book and a great introduction to James Salter. I would highly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • EB41
  • 04-02-20

Superb for any reader

Fighter pilots will find this book extraordinary in its capture of real flying and combat Non Aviator’s will enjoy the straightforward eloquence that captures a life few can understand.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peta Seaton
  • 04-03-19

Breathtaking

Puts you in the mind and cockpits of flying men through beautiful language, finely drawn narrative and characterisation

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim_ [13]
  • 18-11-16

Incredible

So much detail into the thoughts of pilots and the torment they go through. Today's generations wouldn't live through the ordeal like those did 75 years ago.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Retired Ph.D. Sociology Professor
  • 26-03-18

Predictable but good

You could tell how this story was going to proceed but was still interesting. Learned about air war with North Korea

1 person found this helpful