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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, but not for the obvious reasons
I found this book absolutely absorbing and very hard to put down, despite some shortcomings.

I bought it because I wanted to know how it was possible for someone to fall out of an aeroplane at 17,000 feet and survive. To know how it felt, one moment to be sitting in a plane, a teenager beside your mother, thinking about Christmas, and almost the next to find...
Published on 30 May 2012 by Frequent Traveller

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not an easy read
A lengthy and tedious read with a very small amount of information about the main topic of the book. For me it was more about the writers relationship with the Peruvian jungle and the setting up of a research station there rather than the event of a plane crash and the author's survival experience. Although interesting to read of the fauna and creatures in the jungle,...
Published 23 months ago by MnM


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3.0 out of 5 stars Good story badly written, 20 April 2012
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This review is from: When I Fell From the Sky: The True Story of One Woman's Miraculous Survival (Paperback)
This is more about the author's life than an adventure story about her escape from a plane crash. Nonetheless her life-story is interesting and her jungle escape is covered in reasonable detail. I don't know if the translator is to blame but the book is appallingly written; tenses are confused, the English often sounds directly translated from the original, the construction of the narrative is erratic and there are plenty of typos. Having said all that, it's a light, quick read and the author is personable. Borrow it from your library!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a book!, 1 April 2012
This review is from: When I Fell From the Sky: The True Story of One Woman's Miraculous Survival (Paperback)
This is the long sad story about how Juliane became the sole survivor of a plane crash in Peru in the early 70s. The book is more of an autobiography that simply a retelling of the story. And how the past and present day are interwoven is achieved brilliantly, and her own and her parents love of natural history shines through all the chapters.
Juliane becomes famous and is much pursued by journalists and film makers, some of whom she cooperates with, though she is concerned that many contain mistaken reports and also misrepresent her character, feelings and conduct after the crash - did she look for other survivors and so on.
While the book is well written and Juliane does express her feelings and fears about seeming distant and objective about what happened, while in truth she recognised that at the time she was, of course, traumatised, there are two instances that this reader felt were incomplete, albeit reading it quickly when I received it on my kindle.
Because Juliane's mother 's body had not decomposed, like the others, when they were found weeks after the crash, both she and her father suspected that her mother had lived on for 6 or 7 days. But the expression of sheer horror that she did not adequately search for, or find her mother or the other passengers, is not expressed. The only expression of guilt concerns why she should live and her mother not, or indeed the two young men she chatted to when boarding the plane. Juliane prefers to explain these guilt feelings as typical of all persons placed in the situation and asking, why me?
But this is different, if her mother was alive and couldn't move, the expression of sorrow at not staying behind, as maybe a mother would have done, if the circumstances were reversed, doesn't seem to be there. That sense of maybe I should have done more, doesn't seem to be explored.
The other unsatisfactory loose end, for this reader, was a failure to explore in more depth her father's reaction to her after the accident. She reports that he accuses her of not mourning adequately her mother's death, she is sent back, against her will to study in Germany. And her father refuses to allow her to fly out to see him the following Christmas. For his part a couple of years later he leaves Peru, returns to Germany and never goes back, while evidently valuing the rich research opportunities there, sending research students and his daughter to carry out further observations. But he leaves Peru without saying goodbye to his friends and colleagues. Maybe it was too difficult, but the nature of her father's grief and behaviour is unclear, just suggestive from this account.
I would strongly recommend this book not only because it's a unique story of survival but it is also rich in its descriptions of the rain forest, conservation and to a degree German culture.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Scotland, 25 April 2012
This review is from: When I Fell From the Sky: The True Story of One Woman's Miraculous Survival (Paperback)
I first heard about Fr. Dr. Diller's story when the BBC aired Werner Herzog's documentary "Wings of Hope" a few years ago. It was her own personal story of survival under incredible circumstances which initially intrigued me. However, having now read her story in her own words (and in her native language German), I find it inspirational on many levels. Through her story she reminds us that, even in the face of unthinkable challenges, our instinct as human beings is not only to survive; more importantly, our duty is to face the dangers with which we are all now confronted - the erosion of the rainforest, dwindling habitats for our flora and fauna and the resulting ecological and humanitarian consequences. It is to Fr. Dr. Diller's credit that she has turned her own personal tragic experience into one which should have us all thinking of our place, role and responsibilities on this fragile blue planet. Her survival, both through the horrendous plane crash and subsequent jungle trek, has taken her on a journey from which we can all learn. What I took from the book was that it is not just about the survival of one person - though that alone is a blessing and I'm very happy she's here to tell the tale; it's about the survival of the small patch of earth which saved her and which, with the help of others, can save us all over the long term, only if we look after it. This is a very personal story which is told very openly in the first person, but which leaves us thinking of the wider context in which we live. Fr. Dr. Diller mentions that she does not wish to tell anyone how to live their lives - her story is anything but preaching - but we should be grateful that she highlights how precious (and fragile and wondrous) life, in all its forms, is. A joy to read.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bored, 18 April 2012
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A. J. Beaumont (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When I Fell From the Sky: The True Story of One Woman's Miraculous Survival (Paperback)
The first chapters were so boring I binned this book. Sorry but I wanted to read about this ladies miraculous survival from a plane crash, not read all that boring waffle in the first chapters all about her life from year dot. I read as much as I could take and still hadnt got to what I bought the book to read about. Not for me and wished I hadnt bothered.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I fell from the sky, 29 July 2012
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Great start, but unfortunately lost my interest further into the book. Bit less exciting reading about her up bringing in the jungle. To be fair lost interest therefore didn't finish the book, may have improved further in?
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When I Fell From the Sky: The True Story of One Woman's Miraculous Survival
When I Fell From the Sky: The True Story of One Woman's Miraculous Survival by Ross Benjamin (translator) (Paperback - 19 Mar 2012)
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