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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique style
This is beautifully written. He really is a great stylist. At times it is almost like poetry.

He has led a fascinating life as well. A fighter ace and a greatly respected author. There is a melancholy feel to this autobiography but it is never depressing.
Published on 2 Dec 2010 by The Emperor

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3.0 out of 5 stars stylish recollections, but not as satisfying as his novels and short stories
These recollections are grouped around themes: Salter's family, his time at West Point, his time flying fighters in Korea, later times in the Air Force, a literary friendship with Irwin Shaw, writing film scripts, writing novels and so on.

Salter's style and his world views both come across very strongly. Individual episodes are very memorable - his...
Published 8 months ago by William Jordan


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique style, 2 Dec 2010
By 
The Emperor (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Burning the Days (Paperback)
This is beautifully written. He really is a great stylist. At times it is almost like poetry.

He has led a fascinating life as well. A fighter ace and a greatly respected author. There is a melancholy feel to this autobiography but it is never depressing.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dazzling..., 10 May 2007
This review is from: Burning the Days (Paperback)
I can think of no memoir quite like this: dazzling, perfect prose; a fascinating life recounted; emotionally honest. Questions asked about love, and longing, and loss; about life's purpose. Simply stunning.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SALTER AN AMERICAN UNKNOWN IN EUROPE, 16 July 2010
This review is from: Burning the Days (Paperback)
SO MANY MORE PEOPLE NEED TO DISCOVER THIS AMERICAN AUTHOR.AN EX FIGHTER PILOT,JOURNALIST AND SCREENWRITER.
FEW MEN CAN HAVE LIVED SO MANY DIFFERENT LIVES IN POST WORLD WAR 2 EUROPE AND THE USA AND WRITTEN SO BEAUTIFULLY WHETHER ABOUT SEX,TRAVEL,FREINDSHIP, WAR ,MOUNTAINEERING ,SKIING AND THE ARTS.
"BURNING THE DAYS" REFLECTS HIS LIFE BUT ALSO PLEASE HUNT DOWN "THE LIGHT YEARS " A NOVEL AND "DUSK "A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES.
IF YOU LIKE FITZGERALD,HEMMINGWAY OR THE DESCRIPTIVE PROSE OF CHANDLER YOU WILL LOVE SALTER.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars The man is a genius, 2 Mar 2014
By 
A. W. Skinner (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Burning the Days (Paperback)
I was introduced to the works of James Salter by my son. I am embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of him. He has written some of the most beautiful sentences that I have ever read. I am usually a very fast reader, but I read this exquisitely slowly, because I did not want to rush through it, and there were so many sentences that simply had to be reread to admire their beauty.
I don't like poetry, but some of his prose is the best poetry I have ever read.
This is not an autobiography, but rather a memoir of some of the astonishing people that James Salter has known in an extraordinary life. If you don't know his work, I cannot recommend it highly enough. I shall reread and reread, until I cannot read any more.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Half of it is okay but I gave up, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Burning the Days (Kindle Edition)
The parts about his flying career are interesting. The rest is seems to be written for other authors rather than an average reader like me. I stopped reading it about half way through
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5.0 out of 5 stars A life enjoyed, 11 Aug 2013
By 
Nr S. J. Watt "born2run" (Isles of Scilly) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Burning the Days (Kindle Edition)
A couple of reviewers have referred to "plot" but this is an autobiography and not a novel. James Salter has a consummate talent for drawing the reader into breathless admiration of his skill as quite simply a poet of the human condition. One of the most idiosyncratic, but beguiling autobiographies I've read and recommend highly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars part of his autobiography, 10 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Burning the Days (Kindle Edition)
probably the most beautifully written book i have come across. not being the least interested in army training, or the air force, I found his descriptions utterly beautiful, and couldn't put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Burning The Days, 9 Aug 2013
By 
Ragnar - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Burning the Days (Kindle Edition)
This is the autobiography of James Salter. He went to West Point, mainly because his father had before him, became a fighter pilot and flew missions in many places, including the US, France, North Africa and in Korea during the Korean War. Later he worked in the film industry and wrote stories and novels.

His descriptions of learning to fly and his experiences as a fighter pilot are outstanding. He remembers many fellow flyers, their characters and idiosyncrasies. Some survived, others did not.

His work in film was less successful, in part because so much of it is a process outwith the control of the writer. For example, he has a script which might make it into production provided one of three actresses agrees to star. None of them does, so that's where it ends.

After he has dealt with his life at West Point and as a pilot, a main subject of interest is writers and agents he knew. We meet many of them first hand - Irwin Shaw, for example - and others by way of anecdote. Unlike the part of the book concerning flying, much of this ground has been covered by others, but it is interesting nonetheless. And with respect to Irwin Shaw, the account of his name-change given in this book differs radically from the article on Shaw in Wikipedia. (I would go with Salter.)

Sometimes referred to as girls, women feature lot in this book. But it is striking that a main area of a biography, the writer's family, is dealt with in the most cursory manner. He refers to his wife, briefly, on page 130 0f the Picador edition: `Ann Altemus, good-looking, unspoiled, she was from the horse country in Virginia.'

I think that the character Vivian in his novel `All That Is', was based on Ann Altemus, but with a little reversal. Vivian is also into horses and belongs to the Virginia society set. She agrees to get married in a strangely passive way, as if she had nothing better to do at the time. In real life, Salter married Ann Altemus in an equally passive way, the match having been made for him by another woman, Paula, a woman he tells us he loved.

Salter quotes someone as saying that the trouble with marriage is it lasts too long. However that may be, the couple divorced. I read elsewhere (not in this book) that they were married for twenty-four years and that he later married again.

Why does he give us so little of his family life? There may be a clue on page 323, where he says: `To write of someone thoroughly is to destroy them, use them up.' But if that is the explanation, then he uses up Irwin Shaw, Robert Phelps and one or two others besides. So the more likely explanations are that he doesn't want to explore this subject, or that he does but feels unequal to the task.

This book is written unusually well, though occasionally it is dense and so allusive as to be cryptic. There were sections I read several times and, even then, wasn't sure I'd really got the point. A very good book then, but not to be read quickly.
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3.0 out of 5 stars stylish recollections, but not as satisfying as his novels and short stories, 27 July 2013
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This review is from: Burning the Days (Paperback)
These recollections are grouped around themes: Salter's family, his time at West Point, his time flying fighters in Korea, later times in the Air Force, a literary friendship with Irwin Shaw, writing film scripts, writing novels and so on.

Salter's style and his world views both come across very strongly. Individual episodes are very memorable - his acquaintance with Robert Redford (he finally imagines himself Falstaff when seeing Redford for the last time in public and idolised), his temporary friendship with a sculptor who become paralysed after an accident, and his relations with a wide range of women. And of course it's interesting to find out what Salter's real life was like - he shot down on MiG in combat in reality in Korda. He's also very honest about his reactions eg to Buzz Aldrin, with whom he flew, walking on the moon; and to reading Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. He clearly did just about make it int he world of heroism he writes about..as well as as an author. And it's really interesting to learn how few proposed films are actually made and why so many fall by the wayside...

All that having been said - and I'm glad to have read this, for sure - I would say: read first the novels and the short stories, where everything so often fits together so well.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old man's nostalgia for sex, action and celebrities, 12 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Burning the Days (Paperback)
Self indulgent gossip columnists style, celebrating his days as a fighter pilot, his sexual conquests, the famous people he knew - written in a style that has now become habitual to him, but lacks real perceptive force.
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Burning the Days
Burning the Days by James Salter (Paperback - 2 Mar 2007)
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