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Flight by Thorpe, Adam ( Author ) ON May-03-2012, Hardback Hardcover – 3 May 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 3 May 2012
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Vintage (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224089013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224089012
  • ASIN: B0092HZ35O
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Product Description

Bob Winrush used to fly passengers, then worked for years as a 'freight dog', flying consignments of goods and sometimes people to all the corners of the world - including bush-strips in war zones: 'real flying,' as he called it. Until, one day, he walked away from a deal that didn't smell right - something a freight dog should never do. Now working as a private pilot for an Emirate prince in Dubai, he finds that moment of refusal catching up with him. Caught between those who want to find out more and those who want to cover their traces, he becomes a marked man, and flees to a remote Scottish island. Pursued by both armed assassins and a ruinous, bitter divorce, he struggles to re-fashion himself in this barren, beautiful place, taking on another identity. But back in the world of smuggled AK-47s and heroin, the stakes are rising. Despite the presence of Judith, the alluring environmentalist, memories of his uglier flights return to haunt him. Even in the furthest Hebrides his past is with him, and the predators are closing in. Adam Thorpe's tenth novel is an extraordinary amalgam: a vertiginous, page-turning thriller and a masterful work of literary fiction. Fast, funny and very frightening, "Flight" shows a new facet of this most brilliant of writers.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a pure thriller, Flight is slow and has a character of looming menace rather than seat-of-the-pants action. But this less is more style allows Thorpe to explore interesting avenues as our middle aged protagonist comes to terms with his failed marriage and career. He led an exciting and lucrative life as freight dog flying in consignments of dodgy goods to war zones with no questions asked. While in hiding on a remote Scotish island he has plenty of time to reflect on what went before and on what really matters to him. This is well written, humorous and thoughtful - my first book by Adam Thorpe but not my last.
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By Wynne Kelly TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 May 2013
Format: Paperback
Another great read from Adam Thorpe - one of our writers who is worthy of much more appreciation and recognition. His work continues to surprise the reader. Flight is quite different from the other books of his that I have read.

It is best described as a literary thriller. Bob Winrush (not Windrush!!) works as a "freight dog". This is a pilot who takes goods and people round the world on an ad hoc basis - sometimes to places that most of us would avoid. Some of his cargoes in the past did not bear too much scrutiny and he knows that his is not the most ethical of jobs. After walking out in the middle of a particularly dodgy deal he gets work as a pilot to a very rich Dubai prince. But trouble comes calling and it seems his past is catching up with him.....

Bob soon realises that someone is after him. His situation is not helped as he is in the middle of a divorce. With the help of his old buddy McAllister he changes identity and retreats to a Scottish island. But even there he is not safe. Is he being betrayed by McAllister?

Adam Thorpe has created a great main character in Bob - basically a decent guy but with some flaws. He takes a moral stand against transporting drugs but is willing to carry armaments to dubious war zones and even on some occasions armed men taking part in civil wars.

This is not a fast-moving thriller with lots of fighting and shooting. The tension builds up gradually and is suffused throughout with lashings of black humour.

An excellent read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the book with high expectations given Thorpe's reputation as a "literary author" but was soon disappointed. The first half of the book seems to be fairly typical clichéd thriller with a central character who's a sexy but world-weary pilot (freight dog) with a slightly dodgy past. But at least the first half of the book moves along. The second half is set in a Scottish bog and not surprisingly the story gets bogged down with much waiting around for something to happen.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have always enjoyed Adam Thorpe's original fiction and was intrigued to see how he would get on with a thriller. A success all round displaying his many skills.
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Format: Hardcover
Pilot Bob Winrush returnes home after the flight and finds his wife, Olivia, is engaged in tantric sex with her masseur. Bob grabs his gun and almost kills a man, shooting into the air.

After that incident, a family man Bob divorces his wife and moves into his apartment. Winrush (his name is often mistakenly pronounced as Windrush) is a pilot, freight dog. He once was a captain on passenger flights (when he met his wife, she was a flight attendant), and then switched to cargo flights. He flied with dangerous goods in all over the world, and its cargo, too, was hardly safe. On airplanes he was carrying napalm, AK-47s, ammunition, serving shady customers. He and his team, as a rule, received money in brown envelopes on arrival. He always carried a golden rule of freight flights - to ask no questions. But about two years before the described events, Bob gave up a job and went out of the deal, flying only halfway. He never cooperated with the Taliban, suspected something was wrong and refused. Walking out of a deal, too, is not tolerated in this business. Bob has received several threats after that, but that was it.

Now Bob is working as a private pilot for an Emirate sheikh, lives in Dubai, often meets with local woman named Leila. Then someone just startes digging in the two-year business, Sheikh is asked questions about Bob, and Sheikh fires the pilot, when they are steamed in a sauna in the tail of an airplane. When he gets home, Bob notices that someone was in his apartment. His captain's logs of flights are missing. Bob remembers the day of the flight, his team. Bob decides to return to the UK and books a plane ticket. The next day, Bob is contacted by Israeli journalist Sharansky, who is investigating the transport of weapons.
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Format: Paperback
The past is catching up with Bob Winrush. His marriage is over as a result of his inconsiderate arrival home early when weather cancelled one of his jobs as a cargo pilot to find his wife in bed with another man but when an investigative journalist starts to dig into some of the content of Bob's previous cargo trips, his life is quickly placed in grave danger. His problems stemmed from having walked away from a particularly morally dubious trip to transport arms to the Taliban some years ago, although it turns out that his moral line in the sand is somewhat blurred. He has knowingly transported guns and military personnel in his time. He's sort of the aeronautical equivalent of white van man.

Winrush is a familiar character from anyone who has seen Hollywood action movies. He's a tough guy with a soft heart. In fact at one point one character laments that they are not in a movie, which is somewhat ironic as, short of wearing a white vest, he screams Bruce Willis character. In fact it would make a strong action movie - perhaps "Fly Hard"?

Adam Thorpe's style is a cut above many action books though. Certainly it is likely to appeal more to male readers I suspect, but it maintains the suspense and feel of someone being after Winrush without him knowing precisely who this might be. When he finds himself hiding out from persons unknown in the Scottish islands, the tension in particular is tangible. There are admittedly some elements of cliché. He seems to have an endless supply of women falling at his feet, from a good time girl in Dubai to the wife of a fisherman in Scotland. He appears as unselective about his female company as he has been about the content of his plane.

There is though, one element to this book that I did struggle with and it comes in two parts.
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