Coming from the eloquent and prolific writer Martin W. Bowman, I eagerly ordered this book, his latest offering on the Hawker Hunter and awaited its delivery with great expectations.
The book arrived in very quick time and on unwrapping the package I took my first look at the (very small size) book. The glossy full colour hard cover is well presented although I was confused that the advertised title is 'The Hawker Hunter Story (Story of)' and the cover of my edition shows simply 'The Hunter Story'.
The photographs are very good, covering a large range of Squadrons and marques, many are previously unpublished and a large number of them from the collection of Ray Deacon, himself an author of a Hunter book. Probably because of Ray's association with the Middle East, there are very many photos from Muharraq, Sharjah and Khormaksar, some of which I have never seen before. Other photos together with the suppliers names bring back memories of my time with the Hunter.
Bowman has included a number of 'Did you know' sidebars in the book that would be interesting if they were all accurate, unfortunately however, there are inaccuracies in the information that a little more research could have prevented. This also applies to the main text and some of the captions. I realise that this can happen with any book, but there appear to be more than should be found in this size of book.
The book is very nice, it is not too expensive, has a number of never-seen-before photos and is a good read, however, the text does not really give any fresh information, contains inaccuracies and has the feel of a young enthusiasts publication like the old 'Observers' children's books (although I loved my collection of Observer books).
Having overcome my initial disappointment with the book, it will go on my bookshelf to join the rest of my collection of Hunter publications, mainly for some of the unique photographs.
For the majority of general readers, I would recommend the book. However, for the real enthusiast, its use is more for the photos than the text. There's not much new information here.
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I like this book. A nice 'potted history' of this beautiful piece of 1950s aeronautical design, if indeed it's right to call a weapon or war 'beautiful' This book is not a super exhaustive study of the Hunter, but the mixture of important facts, and photographs worked well for me. Bear in mind the purchase price when judging this book, in my opinion, it's good value, and if like me, you're a fan of the Hunter, give this little volume some shelf space in your library.