Great Flying Stories

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Finding out how to fly was man's last great adventure, Frederick Forsyth writes, and in this wonderfully entertaining volume he gathers and introduces an extraordinary array of tales of our love affair with flight. H. G. Wells's My First Aeroplane hilariously evokes the days when a flying machine was a proper toy for a gentleman. The Unparalleled Adventures of One Hans Pfaall by Edgar Allan Poe is a weird fantasy - part Baron Munchhausen and part Rip Van Winkle. W. E. Johns's Spads and Spandaus recounts an American flier's baptism by fire at the hands of the famed Baron Richthofen. H. E. Bates, Flying Officer X, contributes How Sleep the Brave, the adventures of a bomber crew shot down over the North Sea and their struggle to survive in a pitching dinghy. Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, is represented by Cat, in which a strange Persian cat keeps watch over the comings and goings of a USAF squadron. In They Will Never Grow Old, Roald Dahl takes us into the tight cir of a British air squadron in the Middle East in World War II and spins the haunting story of a pilot who is given up for lost and returns, under the most mysterious circumstances, to describe a flight beyond this world. Rounding out the collection are tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Len Deighton, J. G. Ballard, F. Britten Austin, and John Buchan. In the words of Frederick Forsyth's stirring introduction, The last of the lonely places is the sky, a trackless void where nothing lives or grows, and above it, space itself. Man may have been destined to walk upon ice or sand, or climb the mountains or take a craft upon the sea. But surely he was never meant to fly? But he does, and findin out how to do it was his last great adventure.