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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Takes you back in time to listen to a first hand account., 4 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Spitfire!: The Experiences of a Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot (Paperback)
I bought this having just re-read First Light, Geoffrey Wellum's wonderful narrative leaving me thirsting for more of the same. This is not in the same league really, but a worthwhile read non the less if you simply want to know what it was like flying a Spitfire from 1939 to 41.

In comparing the two, Wellum wrote his masterpiece with the wisdom of his older years, having honed his writing skills to convey not only what he did but how it felt, as dramatic events transformed him from raw recruit to fighter ace. Brian Lane's account, in contrast, is more a series of diary extracts written by a young man in his early twenties in the heat of battle. It is written in the vernacular of the period, with wartime 'let's teach the Huns a lesson' bravado. It concentrates on his wartime flying experiences, does not go into his training and hardly touches on his private life or emotions, so you don't really get to know the writer as you do with Wellum's book.

What this book does do however is make you feel as though you are going back in time, to sit alongside the author in the officers' mess, listening to his first hand account of the sortie he's just returned from, whether it was one of intense life or death combat or a frustrating, fruitless search for enemy aircraft in poor weather or an attempted night time intercept. Like the author's life sadly, it ends prematurely.

My only criticism is the text is littered with typos; stray commas all over the place and full stops mysteriously appearing in the middle of sentences. The proof reader must have gone awol.
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