I first must declare an interest here as one of my photographs of this fabulous aircraft has by a complicated route found its way into the book.
Having recently had the disappointment of reading a much-hyped history of the Battle of Britain and finding it to fall far short of the claims made for it, I approached this book with lower expectations than I might previously.
I have read most of the author's earlier books and found them fascinating; but they largely deal with the human side of WW2 aviation's aftermath. This book deals with the machinery of that period, specifically a crushed, rusted and sand-filled wreck of a Spitfire found on a beach in Calais long after the war, then continues to cover its no-expense-spared restoration.
It could have been a rivet-counters' charter to publish such a book, but Andy Saunders has neatly side-stepped all of the traps and produced a tale that you can't help rushing through, even though anyone with an interest in aviation well knows the magnificent outcome.
The book is readable, interesting and reveals many aspects of a complex restoration that I certainly had never conceived would have existed. Each chapter brings new interest and fascination.
Added to that the photographs (my one apart) are stunning.
For me it could well have been longer and still held my interest. I am sure there are many facets that have been ommitted in the interest of readability for the non-obsessed.
But whatever, it is a book that can proudly take its place on my shelves and will be referred to whenever I discuss restoration and originality.