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The shepherd by Frederick Forsyth
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The shepherd (original 1975; edition 1979)

by Frederick Forsyth

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4891230,108 (3.85)40
Member:othersam
Title:The shepherd
Authors:Frederick Forsyth
Info:Corgi (1979), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth (1975)

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
5239. The Shepherd, by Frederick Forsyth (read 20 Jan 2015) I much appreciated The Day of the Jackal which I read 6 Feb 2010 so I decided to read this slight fiction by Forsyth. It tells of an RAF pilot flying home in 1957 from Germany for Christmas. He loses his radio and other aspects of his plane. It is fearsome, but since the story is told in the first person we know he will survive--and he is guided to safety by a World War II plane piloted by a long dead flyer. So, I never having much use for fantasy, the story is not so noteworthy. Maybe if his being saved had been supernaturally aided the story might have been more acceptable to me. But it is a pleasant and at times exciting story. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jan 20, 2015 |
Forsyth wrote this story as a Christmas present for his wife, Carole. It tells of a 20-year-old RAF fighter pilot returning from Europe to England on Christmas Eve 1957. When the electrical system fails on his Vampire jet over the North Sea, his training is brought into use to find the way. Unfortunately a thick fog bank obscures everything below him and he is forced to fly in triangles in an attempt to attract attention. The 'Shepherd', a WWII Mosquito guides him to a safe landing, just in time. Forsyth has written a simple story with intelligence and expertise. This short book, filled with fabulous illustrations by Lou Feck, is a perfect Christmas story, one to read again and again.

At nineteen, Forsyth was the youngest fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force. His knowledge of flying is manifest in this excellent story. ( )
3 vote VivienneR | Jan 4, 2015 |
I enjoyed reading this short story but it was a little bit underwhelming in the end.

It's probably a half an hour read at the most, padded out a bit, in the version I read, with stylised black and white illustrations which, to be fair, were nicely done and added to the atmosphere of the story.

The problem is, the story itself is a bit slight. It was obvious to me what was happening (though the author does his best to offer rational explanations as he goes until the supernatural 'twist' is revealed) and I must admit I was expecting there to be a bit more to the story.

The supernatural 'twist' as presented is the obvious ending almost as soon as the situation is set up and so it was a bit disappointing - I thought there would be some kind of clever subversion or expansion of the idea in the last few pages.

To be honest, I wouldn't recommend paying full price (it's £6 on Amazon, which is definitely not value for money) for The Shepherd, but if you happen to find it in a friend's bookshelf, a library or a charity shop it's worth reading. ( )
  GraemeShimmin | Aug 7, 2014 |
Product Description It is Christmas Eve, 1957. Flying home, on leave from Germany, he is alone in the cockpit of the Vampire. Sixty-six minutes of flying time, with the descent and landing destination Lakenheath. No problem, all routine procedures.
Then, out over the North Sea, the fog begins to close in. Radio contact ceases and the compass goes haywire. Suddenly, out of the mist, appears a World War II bomber. It is flying just below the Vampire, as if trying to make
contact. About the Author Frederick Forsyth is the author of a number of bestselling novels including The Day of the Jackel, The Odessa File, The Dogs of War, The Devil's Alternative and The Fourth Protocol. He lives in Hertfordshire, England. www.frederickforsyth.co.uk ( )
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
I stumbled across a Frederick Forsyth interview on TV one day (it was about gravel pits encroaching on his Bedfordshire village) and thought, if the man speaks like this he has to be worth reading. Then I discovered the average length of a Forsyth novel, and wavered a bit.
Then I discovered The Shepherd. It's a gem of a tale, beautifully told, nicely revealed, and short enough that there's not much more I can say about it without giving something away.
If you don't want to start on a Forsyth doorstop without a little reassurance that his voice is one you can live with for the duration, this is an excellent starting point ( )
  AlexBrightsmith | Jun 6, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frederick Forsythprimary authorall editionscalculated
Feck, LouIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my darling wife Carole
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For a brief moment, while waiting for the control tower to clear me for takeoff, I glanced through the Perspex cockpit canopy at the surrounding German countryside.
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The Shepherd is not the same book as Great Flying Stories.
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It is Christmas Eve, 1957. Flying home, on leave from Germany, he is alone in the cockpit of the Vampire. Sixty-six minutes of flying time, with the descent and landing ? destination Lakenheath. No problem, all routine procedures. Then, out over the North Sea, the fog begins to close in. Radio contact ceases and the compass goes haywire. Suddenly, out of the mist, appears a World War II bomber. It is flying just below the Vampire, as if trying to make contact.… (more)

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