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  • Gods of Tin

  • The Flying Years
  • By: James Salter
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 3 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

A singular life often circles around a singular moment, an occasion when one's life in the world is defined forever and the emotional vocabulary set. For the extraordinary writer James Salter, recipient of the PEN/Faulkner Award, this moment was contained in the fighter planes over Korea where, during his young manhood, he flew more than one hundred missions.

The editors have gathered selections and photographs from a journal Salter kept during the Korean War, published here for the first time, and assembled selections from two novels, The Hunters and Cassada, and from the author's celebrated memoir, Burning the Days.

As commented in a brief introduction, "It is, as a record of the day-to-day, mission-to-mission life of a young fighter pilot, a remarkable document by any standard. But it provides as well a view into the 'crucible of a writer's beginnings, like pencil studies that precede a painting, in which the essential qualities of the artist's hand are unmistakable.'"

©2004 James Salter (P)2013 Audible Inc.

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  • CS
  • 16-04-21

It's good, but read Salter's other works first

First off, let it be known that "Gods of Tin" is a compendium overview of Salter's writings on military flying. The text draws from his unpublished combat journal, his memoir "Burning the Days", and his semi-autobiographical air combat novels "The Hunters" and "Cassada".

Second, a word of warning. The narrative of the book jumps from combat journal to memoir to novel and back again. While this makes for a very engaging read that serves to show the reader which real life events inspired the events in Salter's novels, in audiobook format there are no cues to let the listener know when the passage switches from journal to fiction. As such, I highly recommend reading "The Hunters" and "Cassada" first, as this will allow you to follow along easily as the text jumps from source to source. If unfamiliar with these two texts, the listener will likely get lost.

The greatest value in this book is to peek behind the curtain and learn more about Salter, who was fairly enigmatic, and the real life experiences that inspired his flying novels. "Gods of Tin" will be the cherry on top after reading "The Hunters" and "Cassada", which are excellent.

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  • Thomas
  • 30-04-18

Closest thing to being there

My son is a fighter pilot. He told me this book is the closest thing to being inside a jet in combat. That added a dimension to the book I will never forget. Highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful