Hailed as the finest combat aviation novel to emerge from the Vietnam War, Flight of the Intruder spent twenty-eight weeks on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list and became one of the top twenty bestselling first novels of all time. An instant classic, the book was translated into more than twenty languages and made into a major motion picture. Its hero, Jake Grafton, became a household name and the star of many more Coonts’ bestsellers.
Without question, the strength of the book lies in its flying scenes when Jake Grafton straps himself into the cockpit of his A-6 Intruder. Jake’s love of flying is contagious whether you are hearing the book for the first time or listening to it for the third. No one better captures the world of Navy carrier pilots than Stephen Coonts. An Intruder pilot who flew combat missions off the deck of the USS Enterprise in the Vietnam War, Coonts lived the life he writes about, and he puts readers inside the hearts and minds of the pilots to reveal a world unknown to those outside the naval aviators’ fraternity. Few will forget the book’s final gut-wrenching scene when Jake’s once-innocent love of flying gives way to guilt and frustration and the need to give meaning to the deaths of his comrades.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Excellent story; my husband spent his career as an engineer supporting the A-6E Intruder as well as the F-14, F-8, A-7, P-3 and a few other aircraft. He enjoyed the read. He said that based on accounts related to him by flight crews during the 'Nam conflict, the adrenaline-filled scenarios and technical details were portrayed pretty accurately with good character development. He kept the interest throughout the story with totally believable characters and the duality of life for flight crews forced to play by political rules. Par for the course for Stephen Coonts' work!
I've read this book, I don't know how many times. I read it first as a high school freshman in 1990-1991, as the movie was coming out and the Gulf War was in the news. I read it over and over again until my parents got the letter from the county library with the fine for being so overdue. I remember finally watching the movie when it got to VHS and thinking at first how great it was, keeping exactly with the story in the book, right up until when Jake lands on the carrier. Then Hollywood decided to go all to $#!t with the script. DO NOT JUDGE THIS BOOK BY THE MOVIE! It really is a great read.
Historical fiction based on events in which I participated. That fact probably skews my opinion, but I thought it worked well in the balance between history and fiction. The characters were types that I knew while involved in these events.
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