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Flights of Passage: Reflections of a World…
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Flights of Passage: Reflections of a World War II Aviator

by Samuel Hynes

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  1. 00
    The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (napgeorge)
    napgeorge: Two books which show the boredom and horror of war. The only two books I have read which reflect what war felt like for me.
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An excellent look at what war is really like. A great nonfiction read to complement "The Cellist of Sarajevo." ( )
  napgeorge | Apr 7, 2013 |
I first heard of this book when I listened to a rebroadcast of a 1989 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program on what it was like to fly in wartime. Symes was one of the flyers interviewed and the interviewer mentioned his book. After some searching, I found it via inter library loan.
Ironically I was reading Hynes other book about war entitled The Soldiers' Tale when I heard the interview.
I found this book surprisingly unsatisfying. It may be the negative view of women that appears through the book or the way he avoids making any comment on the racism of the South. His descriptions of flying and the various aircraft he flew are well done.
  lamour | May 26, 2012 |
I didn't discover this book until around 2003, I think it was. I'd just read Hynes' other memoir, The Growing Seasons, and wanted to know what happened next. I ordered Flights of Passage and absolutely loved it! I've read it a couple more times since then and even wrote to Sam asking him what happened next? More story, please! He did tell me that he was reactivated briefly by the USMC during the Korean War, but never got to Korea. Said he thinks he may have been the only active duty marine at that time working on a dissertation in English Lit. Sam showed up as one of the principals on Ken Burns' PBS special, The War. His presence and his part of the narration added a special kind of added "class" to the production. He tells me he's been working most recently on a book about aviators from the First World War. Hope he gets it done soon. I know I'll read it. Sam Hynes makes good writing look easy. ( )
1 vote TimBazzett | Apr 30, 2009 |
Candid, elitist(from a commissioned marine flyer) perspective on war in the Pacific. Often reads like the frat house goes to war. Let's drink all night and fly in the morning. His reflections on his crew, never saw them except when flying, never shared a meal and disparaged them with his comment about how they rode in the back, probably reading their comic books. accurately forecast his future role as a professor at Princeton. WW2 in the Pacific was ugly, often boring with moments of terror but it was clearly better to be a marine pilot than a doggie, or a crunchie as they called the ground troops. More personal and realistic counterpoint to Ambrose's book, The Wild Blue, about the men and boys that flew bombers in Europe. ( )
1 vote jamespurcell | May 5, 2008 |
3448. Flights of Passage: Reflections of a World War II Aviator, by Samuel Hynes (read May 23, 2001) I read Hynes' three books (The Edwardian Turn of Mind, read Oct 17, 1993; The Auden Generation: Literature and Politics in England in the 1930s, read Nov 4, 1993 and A War Imagined: The First World War and English Culture, read 21 Sept, 1999) on the cultural history of England from 1900 to 1940. This is an entirely different type of book, being the story of Hynes' "war" from 1943 to 1945 (he was a Marine flyer). His description of the lassitude and dreariness of the non-flying time is poignant, and I thought the final pages of the book oddly moving. Flying means nothing special to me, yet I found this is a memorable and moving book, despite a dismay one cannot help but feel at the intellectual emptiness of the lives of the men in wartime as described. ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 23, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 087021215X, Hardcover)

Flights of Passage: Reflections of a World War II Aviator, by Hynes, Samuel. 8vo.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:08 -0400)

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