"Roy Hilman was a famous aviator and Australian hero. A pilot in the Great War, a stunt flier in early Hollywood, a trans-Pacific pioneer and a national celebrity, Hilman was a man drawn upwards by dogged, dazzling ambition. Seemingly unbreakable, idolised by a nation, he was also menaced by shadows.
"Roger McDonald puts this Roy Hilman of popular legend and official biography into human perspective in Slipstream, a richly perceptive, many-layered exploration of the tensions between reality and illusion in the life of a man who was also a myth.
"In the foreground of the novel are the people closest to Hilman: his wife Olga, seduced by the velocity of flight and the man who controlled it; Charles Coulter, Hilman's sponsor, abandoned by Olga for the man he backed financially; Claude McKechnie, Hilman's official biographer, a young man in search of an idol; Leonard Baxter, who braves public outrage and sacrifices his career for the love of another man's wife. All are bound together by intrigue and colliding emotions, their complex responses to Hilman coloured by their own dreams and desires.
"Against a background of business, politics and flying, this absorbing novel examines the price of fame as it is expressed in the life of Roy Hilman, a figure whose haunting power is inseparable from the pure fascination of flight itself."