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Run of the Mill Stories, No Real Meat to Any
on 30 July 2015
As my first meeting with Richard Pykes works, I had bought this as I had hoped it contained stories of interest about the Cold War operations of the Lightning fighter force.
Unfortunately, the stories told fell somewhat flat for me, they were all very routine, engine flames outs, ejection over the sea, hydralic failure, even a broom handle left inside a fuselage, they are stories to be told, but are they the devil may care stories of Fighter pilots? And I'd have to say no. They're the stories of routine, of boredom, of trying to make-light of the millions upon millions of pounds spent on the Lightning force, which only ever shot down one aircraft, and that is only rumour and was a friendly Blue-On-Blue engagement, which didn't even involve an RAF pilot!
Some of the stories are pretty badly written too, you have tales start and they weave a web, and then drop the thread and wonder off to talk about something else, whether the posturing is intentional hyperbole or not I found I read the storties rather flatly, and I'm amazed to see a second tome in the Lightning series, and sad to say I also purchased the "Phantom Boys" book in the same range, and I believe flatly that I've not had a very good read with the Lightning Boys, so fear for a boring session or two trying to read that next book.
As such, I'm not going to be buying Lightning Boys 2, and indeed I don't recommend this book to anyone except ardent aviation fans, or ex-RAF Lightning Pilots, they pretty much are the only audience, and casual Aviation Readers such as myself are simply not going to be overly interested in this book.
And this is where I have to pull real fault, the book is described as coverage of the activities of the Lightning force, the aircraft and chief interceptor for the RAF, the only fully British Mach 2.0 fighter, and the stories told are very very boring, one story which was interesting turned out to be a recollection of a dream, at which point I figured the dearth of interest was complete.