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Fly for Your Life: The Story of R.R. Stanford Tuck, DSO, DFC (Fortunes of War) [Paperback]

Larry Forrester
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Cerberus Publishing Ltd; New edition edition (27 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841450251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841450254
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 593,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book but... 9 May 2003
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent biography of the famous fighter pilot and captures much of the spirit of an era that is lost forever. The photographs are very good. My only disappointment however, having read the original version (published I think in 1956) some years ago, is that large chunks of the story have been edited out. There is, for example, no mention of Tuck's spell in the merchant navy, or of many aspects of his pre-war RAF service. Aside from this though, a good read and a worthwhile buy.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tuck's Luck 11 Mar 2003
Format:Paperback
Bob Tuck was fortunate in his choice of biographer. Larry Forrester writes with an easy style, capturing the tension, the excitement and the laconic humour of RAF life from the 1930s through the Battle of Britain and into the early fighter offensives into France. Tuck was blessed with more than his share of good fortune, surviving a number of perilous scrapes, and yet on occasion Tuck suffered tragedies bordering on the bizarre, something that Forrester refers to as "Tuck's luck in reverse".
Forrester brings characters to life without straying into caricature, and he deals effectively and sympathetically with the hero's imprisonment as a prisoner of war and his subsequent escape through the Russian winter, with appalling privations on the one hand but madcap encounters and hints of sexual adventure on the other.
Forrester does his job with great competence: Tuck's life unfolds at a compelling pace. Forrester concedes that there is a lot about Tuck that he cannot penetrate, but this serves to emphasise the enigmatic, multi-dimensional qualities that other biographies of famous pilots have tended to miss (Sailor Malan and Bader spring to mind).
In the end the subject matter is a biographer's dream: Bob Tuck. Brilliant pilot. Born leader of men. High-scoring Spitfire pilot. Public hero and close friend of great British aviation figures like Douglas Bader and Jeffrey Quill.
This is a good book, and worth reading. It describes a fascinating service career and analyses the man without wasting time in deconstructing him. It also contains a lot of interesting detail, some of it social and some of it technical, that lends colour to this well-constructed tale.
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4.0 out of 5 stars WW2 memoirs. 13 Oct 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Halfway through the book now. This copy is an obvious reprint of the original, and has been optically scanned. This has introduced some classic typo's, such as words with iog or log in them, ie biography, are printed as b109graphy, (the Me 109 was a German fighter of the era), words with me in them, ie aerodrome become aerodroMe (the abbreviation for Messerschmitt), and Dornier ha mysteriously become dormer! Full stops and hyphens are scattered randomly within the text. Finally - forgive the language - bulls*** has been changed to bullshine - although this may be an original deliberate typo to hide the language!
At first these are amusing, but after a while it gets rather wearing.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read the book in norwegian for the first time many,many years ago when I was young, and have read it over again many times.
The "Fortunes of war" edition gives a few new perspectives and stories, and a few new photoes, but leaves out parts of Tuck's life that is essential. F. inst. his younger years at home in Catford outside London, when his "Nanny" Aksinia teaches him russian, which eventually would help him along and keep him out of a lot of trouble on his run from the prison camp. Nor is it mentioned his time in the merchant navy onboard the SS "Marconi", a time which matured him and gave him his nickname Tommy Tuck and his skills with the knife. I have just bought from Amazon another two different copies of "Fly for your life" in the hope of getting the whole story of this extraordinary man.I am an aviation enthusiast and it thrills me that this book is so accurate when it comes to technical details of the aircraft presented, both american, british and german. All in all and interesting issue of the famous book, but not entirely up to standards.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fly For Your Life 28 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The true story of one of the most iconic pilots of the Second World War, Fly For Your Life covers the heroics of Bob Stanford Tuck who as one of Churchill's "few" defended the skies over Britain during the testing times of 1940. The book shares with us Tuck's early life in the RAF where he had a rather ignominious start to his career and was almost rejected as a pilot due to poor flying skills, before we are launched into the roller coaster ride of Dunkirk and The Battle of Britain. After this we follow Tuck's flying adventures through 1941, until being shot down in early 1942 and taken into captivity. Imprisoned in Sagan, the camp where the Grerat Escape took place he meets up again with many of his fellow pilots from the Battle of Britain period, including Douglas Bader another celebrity from 1940. Ultimately Tuck escapes and we are told how he spent much of the reaminder of the war evading recapture and fighting alongside the Russians as they poured West towards Berlin. A nicely balanced and well written tribute to a real "boys own" character who survived the Second World War before retiring from the RAF and becoming a farmer in Kent. Great book thorughly enjoyable read.
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