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on 15 May 2015
A first class book. I knew the basics of this story but not the wealth of detail in this book. I would have liked a little bit more about the astonishing efforts of the flight crew to even reach the airport. I believe that in simulator tests not once have the aircrew reached an airfield. If you're a nervous flyer it's not for you.
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on 18 May 2016
An exhaustive, detailed and moving account of the disaster of Flight 232. The book seriously isn't for nervous fliers and some of the pictures it paints are hard to forget. It delves deeply into the technical aspects of what caused the crash some of which, I thought, would only really be of interest to metallurgists or engineers. In order to keep your interest, the author will jump from a very heavy discussion of technical matters to interspace it with an(other) emotional account from a passenger who survived. The passenger stories are generally done in a minute by minute narrative, running through from the descent, to the crash and the aftermath. Some of it is quite hard to read. Overall it's a gripping account, but drops a star for being a wee bit too detailed on both the technical and graphic side.
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on 7 July 2016
Two and a half decades on from the Sioux City Air Disaster, Laurence Gonzales's Flight 232 weaves an absorbing story of the accident in a book that is very difficult to put down.
This is a brilliant book because of Gonzales's writing, and his ability to build a story. The early chapters tell of the lead up to the accident, builing up to the final moments before pulling back to tell the story from a different angle, and it captures the reader from the off. It's Gonzales's fluid, deep style of writing that keeps you engaged.
The author has done his research too. Many people involved are interviewed: passengers, the flight crew, air traffic control, emergency services, accident investigators, so the detail is honest. The story of the disaster is told from so many perspectives, and it makes powerful reading. At times it is upsetting, in the way you feel for those on the flight. At times it is graphic. But Flight 232 is also a book of heroism, of an impossible challenge and its aftermath, balanced perfectly between the horror of the accident and the positivity of how well so many people came together to deal with it.
Laurence Gonzales explains the technical side of how the accident unfolded, the cause, and the investigation in a way that never becomes boring.
What really makes the book is the stories from the survivors and how Gonzales treats their stories with respect. You get to know so many of those who survived a little, what happened through their eyes - often emotionally powerful and inspiring - and living with it through the years that followed.
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I never expected Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival by Laurence Gonzales to be so absorbing and informative as much as no one expected survivors from the fireball that burst forth when United Airlines Flight 232 somersaulted across the airfield in Sioux City on July 19, 1989. It’s a miracle that as many as 184 passengers of the 296 people who were on board the crumbling aircraft survived. It deserves a place in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

What is stunning about the survivors is that many of the escaped without injuries. In reconstructing the crash, Laurence Gonzales has crafted an epic tale of hope and determination, which is especially noteworthy when all lives are at great risk. The author has painstakingly researched for his book which could be noticed from the minutest details that he has included in so far as the specifics of the technical aspects and history of the aircraft is concerned. Coming as it is to coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the crash, it is well worth remembering the heroes, the survivors and especially the less fortunate passengers whose bodies were made to lie in the field overnight, provoking widespread resentment and condemnation.

Twenty-five years ago, there were many heroes and some truly incredible stories, like passengers walking from the cornfield without any injury. Twenty-five years later, there is only one hero. And it is Laurence Gonzales! He has written a truly fascinating account of the crash and reminds the world of of the fate of the less fortunate passengers and the fortunate survivors who lived to tell their tales.
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on 24 February 2015
Excellent, well packaged , highly recommended
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on 4 September 2014
A must read,especially for those involved with or working in aviation.
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on 24 September 2014
A good idea, but, it becomes mind numingly boreing after the 20th or so survivor story, going over identical ground. Also, the technical detail on the engine analysis adds very little to the story and whether or not the hydraulic lines were protected on later DC10,s is never clarified. On numerous occasions you can see where the author is going, but, boy does he take his time getting there. Disappointing really.
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on 17 November 2014
Excellent read !
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