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stylish recollections, but not as satisfying as his novels and short stories
on 27 July 2013
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.