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.