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The Hunters [Kindle Edition]

James Salter
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Captain Cleve Connell has already made a name for himself among pilots when he arrives in Korea during the war there to fly the newly operational F-86 fighters against the Soviet MIGs. His goal, like that of every fighter pilot, is to chalk up enough kills to become an ace.

But things do not turn out as expected. Mission after mission proves fruitless, and Connell finds his ability and his stomach for combat questioned by his fellow airmen: the brash wing commander, Imil; Captain Robey, an ace whose record is suspect; and finally, Lieutenant Pell, a cocky young pilot with an uncanny amount of skill and luck.

Disappointment and fear gradually erode Connell's faith in himself, and his dream of making ace seems to slip out of reach. Then suddenly, one dramatic mission above the Yalu River reveals the depth of his courage and honor.

Originally published in 1956, The Hunters was James Salter's first novel. Based on his own experiences as a fighter pilot in the Korean War, it is a classic of wartime fiction. Now revised by the author and back in print on the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Air Force, the story of Cleve Connell's war flies straight into the heart of men's rivalries and fears.

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"The contemporary writer most admired and envied by other writers. . . . He can . . . break your heart with a sentence." --Washington Post Book World "Anyone under forty may not appreciate how profoundly Salter influenced my generation. [He] created the finest work ever to appear in print--ever--about men who fly and fight." --Robert F. Dorr, author of F-86 Sabre Darkly romantic. . .beautifully composed. . .a brilliant war novel." --Chicago Tribune

About the Author

James Salter is the author of the novels Solo Faces, Light Years, A Sport and a Pastime, The Arm of Flesh (revised as Cassada), and The Hunters; the memoirs Gods of Tin and Burning the Days; and the collection, Dusk and Other Stories which won the 1989 PEN/Faulkner Award. He lives in Colorado and on Long Island.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 333 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint; Reprint edition (1 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008PSP2AW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,208 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, palm-sweating novel of war 26 Feb. 2007
If you've never read James Salter before and always liked the spare style of Hemingway but longed for an heir with a more modern sensibility Salter is the writer for you. This brilliant, page-turning book puts you in the cock-pit like no other. First published in 1956 and reissued this year alongside 4 other titles, you'll be hard pressed to read a better novel this year - unless you follow it up by reading his Light Years from the 70s. Discover James Salter and encounter a clarity of prose and emotional depth you'll be hard-pressed to match.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one great book 20 Aug. 2007
I've never seen it, but there was apparently a film made of this book in the late 50s, which by all accounts is Not Very Good - the usual Hollywood desire to "give it a happy ending" being the least of its sins.

Which is ironic, because if ever there was a book that could be filmed EXACTLY "AS IS", all dialogue word-for-word, this is it. It's short enough, it has enough action - dammit, it *reads* like watching a great film!

Which, on reflection means that perhaps it doesn't need a "sex-and-CGI"-heavy remake at all. Just read the book - you can do it in one sitting, and believe me, you'll want to - it is THAT great.

It's up there with John Hersey's "The War Lover" and Derek Robinson's "Piece Of Cake" among the best air war novels of all time.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Perfect 12 Feb. 2012
Like a lot of other people I've seen the film of "The Hunters", made in 1958, with Robert Mitchum and Robert Wagner, and ostensibly based upon the novel of the same name by James Salter. Though I'm an aviation fanatic, I thought the film was rubbish, and so felt no great impulse to seek out the novel from which it was drawn assuming, if I thought about it at all, that it was a schlocky paperback written for cretins.
Then, one day, I came across a profile of Salter in "Metro", the free paper. He looked interesting - a U.S.A.F. Korean war veteran who flew Sabres against North Korean MiGs and who later took up writing. A bit like Antoine de St. Exupery, another hero of mine, I supposed. So when I came across a copy of "The Hunters" I bought it. And am I glad I did. It's one of the finest novels I've ever read.

It's the story of Capt. Cleve Connell, a pilot once thought of as a "hot-shot" but, at 31 and with no combat experience, over the hill for fighters in the jet age. He struggles to keep up with the others in the hostile skies over Korea, straining his eyes to see what others always spot before he does, trying to break his duck but never succeeding - except nearly once, when he has to leave the kill he is about to get in order to save another pilot. Through his eyes (and, one suspects, through Salter's own real eyes, from his days in Korea) we see the corruption of the military as one pilot singled out for praise and career promotion is awarded kills he didn't get, while really good pilots get passed over and ignored until they're posted or killed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic 4 Feb. 2004
James Salter's first novel is the story of Cleve, a fighter pilot in the Korean War. When first encountered, there is an intentness about him, coupled with a distinctly fatalistic strain; he is in Korea to make "a valedictory befitting his years", using his flying skills to hunt MiGs. But this is not the reality. In subtle, achingly authentic prose, Salter depicts Cleve's feelings of frustration and helplessness as fellow flyers get kills while so many of his own missions end without incident. Few novels about war are so completely engrossing or well-written. 'The Hunters' is a classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Rediscovery 26 Feb. 2015
This debut novel about an Air Force fighter pilot in the Korean War was heavily based on Salter's own experiences. He flew a hundred F-86 missions during his 1952 tour and kept a detailed diary, which he drew heavily upon for the book. The story revolves around a seasoned pilot with a good reputation who is assigned to a combat zone for the first time. Although confident of his abilities and eager to prove himself, it's hard to become an ace (a designation awarded after five confirmed "kills") when the enemy doesn't come out to engage. As the story progresses, he grows more and more frustrated when his missions fail to result in enemy contact, and a brash younger pilot starts racking up the kills. (One of the most interesting aspects of the book is how the bureaucratic aspects of confirmation of kills plays out, and the PR benefits of fudging the truth outweigh all others. It's hard not to draw parallels with the "body count" legerdemain that became prevalent a decade later in Vietnam.) In many ways, the book can be read as a reflection on how life can sometimes be unjust in denying able and willing people the opportunity to prove themselves. Although I doubt this was intentional (Salter was only thirty when he wrote the book), it is a potent running theme. In that sense it's a "war" book in setting only, and is worth rediscovery. NOTE: There was a film made of it starring Robert Mitchum, but it's apparently quite different from the novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Airwar classic
A surprisingly low-key deft account of war from a personal viewpoint written in 1956 just after the events. Classy Fifties literary style a worthy Penguin Modern Classic.
Published 6 days ago by edtoulouse
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good
Published 9 days ago by Antonio Moniz
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparse, hard and unforgiving
Sparse, hard and unforgiving
Published 12 months ago by Greg Law
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I may not be the best one to write a review as I have reached only chapter 7 and I'm finding it difficult to summon the energy to read further. Read more
Published 13 months ago by JoRo
5.0 out of 5 stars fiction or reality?
A wonderful novel,superbely written,about emotion,honour,courage,fear. The human psychology. Sometimes you can feel youself into the cocktip of a figthers battle.
Published 14 months ago by Antonio Maiorca
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, taut plot, great flying descriptions.
The action, the boredom, and the flying scenes are well described,
Why haven't I heard of this book before ?
Published 15 months ago by N. Webster
3.0 out of 5 stars All the sky is a stage
Only five years after WW2 the struggle to be recognised as an 'Ace' was fought out in the Korean skies. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Officer Dibble
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read
This book is an impressive account of one mans obsession to reach the pinnacle of his profession.
James Salter draws on his own experiences as a jet fighter pilot during the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mr Dave Sadler
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I like aircraft and flyiing, done a bit myself , and am interested in WWII and the Korean War air battles. This book evokes the atmosphere of air combat realistically . Read more
Published 21 months ago by El Massri
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic boy own stuff
Does what it says on the tin. Fantastic read: you know this is true when you check the clock and it is 2am and you think, maybe just half an hour more.
Published 24 months ago by Stephen Kinchington
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