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Winged Victory [Paperback]

V.M. Yeates
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

30 April 2004
There is no bitter snarl nor self-pity in this classic novel about the air war of 1914-1918, based very largely on the author's experiences. Combat, loneliness, fatigue, fear, comradeship, women, excitement--all are built into a vigorous and authentic structure by one of the most valiant pilots of the then Royal Flying Corps.

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Winged Victory + Sagittarius Rising + Open Cockpit
Price For All Three: 25.73

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  • Sagittarius Rising 10.34
  • Open Cockpit 8.40


Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Grub Street; a edition (30 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904010652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904010654
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Beautifully written with a poet's eye as well as a pilot's eye.' --Southern Evening Echo

'The only book about flying that isn't flannel.' --Anonymous Fighter Pilot, 1941

'Not only one of the best war books...but as a transcription of reality, faithful and sustained in its author's purpose of re-creating the past life he knew, it is unique.' --Henry Williamson, author of Tarka the Otter, written in 1935

'The greatest novel of war in the air.' --The Daily Mail

'Not only one of the best war books...but as a transcription of reality, faithful and sustained in its author's purpose of re-creating the past life he knew, it is unique.' --Henry Williamson, author of Tarka the Otter, written in 1935

A novel - though you would hardly know it - based on the author's experiences over the Western Front in the last year of WWI. Yeates takes you into the mind of a pilot facing fear and fatigue, but also the thrill of combat. --The Week

'Not only one of the best war books...but as a transcription of reality, faithful and sustained in its author's purpose of re-creating the past life he knew, it is unique.' --Henry Williamson, author of Tarka the Otter, written in 1935

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Thing 16 Jan 2006
Format:Paperback
Anyone reading Winged Victory will be quickly aware of the stark difference between this and any war fiction written by one who was not there. Yeates served in 46 Squadron - his flight leader, "Mac" in the book, was the Canadian Donald MacLaren who was credited with 48 aircraft and 6 balloons shot down. The book has completely authentic slang, and many topical references to music hall shows, songs and comedians of the era, some of which would require a glossary for those not familiar with the period (how many will know why an RE8 was known as a 'Harry Tate' or what 'flaming onions' were?) It captures the misery of life in the RFC during the Big Push of April 1918, while still allowing its protagonists to be grateful that they had escaped the trenches. The book stands successfully also as a novel, even outside the genre of historical and military fiction, because of Yeates' great ability to observe and his clear, and at times, beautiful prose. Read this book!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winged Victory 15 April 2003
Format:Paperback
This is one of the most moving and tragic accounts of an RFC pilot's life during the First World War that has ever been written. The book portrays with a vividness and savagery the horror and fear that swallowed Tom Cundall (the main character) during aerial combat.
It stands today as a testimony to the bravery and humanity of the pilots who fought eighty years ago and a stark warning of the horrors of war. That it is out of print is a great tragedy.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
By chance, I came across this book a few years ago, read it, and now treasure it among my favorites.
The author gives an unvarnished account of a young RFC/RAF fighter pilot's experiences on the Western Front during the spring and summer of 1918.
Despite the glamor often associated with the public image of the "dashing airman" of the First World War, he faced a variety of hazards, from anti-aircraft fire, collision in a dogfight, to the prospect of a fiery death from "the Hun in the sun".
In "WINGED VICTORY", the reader is given access to the all the perils, fears, and frustrations faced by the young pilot Tom Cundall, who, each day he went off on patrol, gambled with his life and fought to keep his sanity, never knowing which friends wouldn't return to the aerodrome. Or whether he would survive or be maimed or crippled.
Unlike their German counterparts (who had the "Hennecke" harness in the later stages of the war), the Allied airman was issued no parachute.
"WINGED VICTORY" brings back the immediacy of what it was like to be a British fighter pilot on the Western Front in the last year of the First World War. Highly recommended.
P.S. One minor note: Cundall flew a Sopwith Camel, not an S.E.5A as featured on the cover.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have ever read 25 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have read this book several times and I always find something different in it. It is a book about the abject terror inside the author and his total fear of displaying it,which is conveyed very forcefully. Although fictional in content,it graphically portrays the feelings and fears that the author must have had during his time as a pilot in the Great War. It makes me feel as if I was there,and taking part in it. It was so obviously a very strange way of life with long periods without danger punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Its only flaw is that the more times I read it the more the cynicism seems to break through.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You are there 5 Oct 2007
By Secret Spi TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Winged Victory" is an extraordinary book. It takes a bit of getting into (the style of writing, the slang and the very detailed descriptions of the flying) but once you are there, you are really there, with RFC pilot Tom Cundall and his comrades. The book reads far more like a diary or documentary than a work of fiction and feels authentic through and through. The destruction of one man's personality through the unending pressure of war is incredibly documented. But this is not an ultimately depressing book: the dark humour and beautiful descriptions along the way stay with one as well as the message. It's a book that I'm sure I'll pick up and re-read within a year.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winged Victory by V. M. Yeates 3 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this copy to replace a rather tired paperback copy which I've had since I bought it new over 40 years ago. It is an excellent novel, written by someone who was himself a Royal Flying Corps (RFC) pilot in the First World War. It has a strong storyline and some very exciting passages. It has a moving climax and gives an excellent picture of the first example of aerial warfare on a large scale. Anyone with an interest in flying will thoroughly enjoy this book which ranks with Sagittarius Rising by Cecil Lewis as a "must-have" for understanding what it was like to be an RFC pilot.
As someone else has commented, it is a pity the jacket illustration is of an SE5a when the heroes of the novel fly Sopwith Camels. The same picture was used for the 1961 edition, by the way. I think it is a pity, too, that the new edition doesn't include the very interesting Introduction by Henry Williamson (who knew Yeates) from the earlier edition.
I can thoroughly recommend this novel. David Stallard
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of its type 12 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Winged Victory, by Victor Maslin Yeates, remains the seminal novel about war. It is a book that is steeped in humanity whilst accurately conveying the horror, hardship and cameraderie of being a front-line fighter in a major conflict.
The book is written in third person but is believed to be based upon the author's own experience as a pilot in the old RFC. Whilst the general reader may be initially less enthusiastic about the vivid depictions of flying and fighting than would a student of the period, there is no doubting the superb poetic quality of description throughout. In between the awfulness of combat, Yeates' narrative injects frequent moments of humour and pathos.
I commend this book to anyone who loves great writing. This book deserves classic status. The fact that it is no longer in print is nothing short of a crime.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A total masterpiece
It is the "Nothing New On Western Front" or air warfare in World War I.

It's a huge, detailed book, but it's not boring at all. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Fonseca
4.0 out of 5 stars Smacks of reality
I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the early warfare aviators. The harsh realities of flying when they had no idea where they were most of the time, had no... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Roger
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!
This narrative, although under the premise of a novel, is a sobering read of life as a pilot on the Western Front. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jonathan Stewart
4.0 out of 5 stars Real, gritty take on the first air war
This is a tremendous book. The author is the real thing, a pilot from the first world war and it shows in the detail and the language used by the characters. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Historyisbunk
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Overlong but still compelling account of aerial combat in WW1 by someone who clearly understood and experienced it. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dangermouse
5.0 out of 5 stars The best there is. Amusing, sad, wonderful..
Aged 15 in 1962 I acquired this book and was completely mermerised. I laughed and I cried and was deeply moved. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Ralph Cook.
5.0 out of 5 stars Aces Falling
A valuable narrative of the Air War above the trenches of World War 1,brought to life by the accounts of the Airmen who fought the battles in stringbag aircraft (without parachutes... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Anne Earls
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not Biggles
The author was a WW1 fighter pilot, and elements of the book are probably autobiograhical. Its a good read, showing the protagonist's ongoing downhill progress as he gradually... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Will
5.0 out of 5 stars The grim reality
This is a wonderful war book and is one of the only books that I have read more than once in a fifty plus years of reading. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2012 by kindletime
5.0 out of 5 stars Nike Apteros
The finest of the Great War memoirs, and yet written in novel form. Its also very probably the most technically accurate account, given that this quality is rarely to be found... Read more
Published on 4 Dec 2011 by aforandy
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