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Fate is the Hunter Paperback – 1 Jul 1986

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Product details

  • Paperback: 390 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Touchstone ed edition (1 July 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671636030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671636036
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 606,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"This purely wonderful autobiographical volume is the best thing on flying and the meaning of flying that we have had since Antoine de Saint-Exupery took us aloft on his winged prose in the late 1930s and early 1940s. . . . It is a splendid and many-faceted personal memoir that is not only one man's story but the story, in essence, of all men who fly."--Chicago Sunday Tribune

Book Description

The copper-bottomed classic from a memorable and courageous pilot. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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IN THE beginning many of us were scientific barbarians. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
About a hundred years ago I walked into a bookshop in a small English town and found a hardback copy of "Fate". It was gathering dust on a high shelf - something that had been ordered and never collected the lady bookseller said. That was at the beginning of my flying career. I tried, and nearly succeeded in tracing EKG's footsteps around the globe. True the equipment was a bit more modern and we had inertial nav over astro nav, even so it was all very memorable - especially when I got to make a pencilled notation on the page of that book indicating the date I'd been there. The career has ended now, and I more or less resemble that battered hardback copy that resided at the bottom of my flight bag for nearly 17,000 flight hours. So, thanks for a story of flight and flying men that will never be beaten, EKG. My privilege to have shared the same sky. Any co-pilot slots available at our equivalent of "Fiddlers Green", I'll be along shortly.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 July 1998
Format: Paperback
I have read and re-read "Fate is the Hunter" so many times that the pages are loose and falling out. You are not just reading the best aviation book of all time, you are in the cockpit behind the master himself, as he savors the illicit thrill of a zero-zero takeoff from a fog bound Presque Isle airport in a C-47 during the war, taking a load of steel girders to Goose Bay. Just after takeoff, the girders break loose and slide to the rear of the aircraft, which starts a climb so steep that the plane is shuddering in a stall. As Gann and his co-pilot are pushing the control column forward as hard as they can with their feet a crewmember is trying to move the girders back up the near vertical floor.
Gann's writing so inspired me that I wanted to become an airline pilot, but my flying ability was just slightly better than Bixby, his inept co-pilot that almost collided with the Taj Mahal, another fascinating story later on in the book. I became a dispatcher instead, an occupation I truly loved, which was also inspired by Gann's interaction with the dispatchers of his line.
I wrote Ernest Gann at his home in Friday Harbor, Washington and tried to convey just how much I enjoyed "Fate is the Hunter" and what an impact it made on my life. I received short note from him. It was very gracious and humble, and is one of my greatest treasures.
I also highly recommend "Hostage to Fortune", a chronology of Gann's incredible life from a rebellious young man that could never follow his father into business and be chained to an office, through a lifetime of adventure, to his retirement on Red Mill Farm, on an island in the Pacific northwest.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 May 1999
Format: Paperback
Everyone here has given this book five stars and I am no exception. Pilots know that flying is not just transportation but a way of learning who you really are, the stuff you are made of. This book is clearly Gann's masterwork. After reading the chapter on thunderstorms, I thought that there was just no better aviation writing and I still had half the book to go. Of course, then came the chapter on flying in ice. This alone is worth the price of the book and is probably the best aviation story every told. My hair stood on end for days... A great blend of flying, adventure and good writing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Feb. 1998
Format: Paperback
The first book I ever read that puts you in the cockpit, sweating to cross the Blue ridge Mountains, or to clear the Taj Mahal. Over 50 years later, the essence of airline flight has not changed, and Gann understood why pilots will aways be at "The tip of the Arrow" My mothergave me this book when I was 14, and it led to a career as an airline pilot with a major
carrier...I have an original 1961 edition of this
book, one of my most prized positions, and I re-read it from time to time; as a great literary
work, and as a bedrock of what it means to
live and work in the sky...because of men like him, a generation of pilots found their calling.
Not just an aviation book, it addresses the ran-
domness of fate in all walks of life. Very highly
recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. W. Collins on 19 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This account of one man's flying career, from barnstorming to international multi-engine flights, gives one an idea of the circumstances for would-be non military pilots in the 1930's. It follows his career from novice through mail-flight pilot to his work for Air Transport Command and ends with his work for Trans-Oceanic Although this airline is not mentioned by name.

There is a exhaustive and engaging account of the attempts to locate, supply and ultimately rescue a colleague who has crash landed on an ice-floe between Canada and Greenland.

Mr Ganns writing tends towards the florid and overly precise which means the reader is obliged to concentrate fully if he is to get the full meaning of the phrasing. Sometimes this will necessitate reading the section again in order to fully understand what the author is trying to communicate. He effects to have used real names in the book, (surname only) except where using such would cause offence. However he sometimes goes out of his way to avoid mentioning the names of companies. One is known enigmatically throughout as the "The Steamship Airline", which according to his memiors was actually very good.

The dangerous nature of the enterprise is illustrated by the hundreds of names of aviators who now as he puts it, have their wings "forever folded".
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