Synopses & Reviews
Ernest K. Gann’s classic memoir is an up-close and thrilling account of the treacherous early days of commercial aviation. In his inimitable style, Gann brings you right into the cockpit, recounting both the triumphs and terrors of pilots who flew when flying was anything but routine.
"This fascinating, well-told autobiography is a complete refutation of the comfortable cliché that 'man is master of his fate.' As far as pilots are concerned, fate (or death) is a hunter who is constantly in pursuit of them. . . . There is nothing depressing about Fate Is the Hunter. There is tension and suspense in it but there is great humor too. Happily, Gann never gets too technical for the layman to understand."
"Fate Is the Hunter is partly autobiographical, partly a chronicle of some of the most memorable and courageous pilots the reader will ever encounter in print; and always this book is about the workings of fate. . . . The book is studded with characters equally as memorable as the dramas they act out."
"This book is an episodic log of some of the more memorable of [the author's] nearly ten thousand hours aloft in peace and (as a member of the Air Transport Command) in war. It is also an attempt to define by example his belief in the phenomenon of luck -- that 'the pattern of anyone fate is only partly contrived by the individual.'"
The New Yorker
This book is an episodic log of some of the more memorable of [the author's] nearly ten thousand hours aloft in peace and (as a member of the Air Transport Command) in war. It is also an attempt to define by example his belief in the phenomenon of luck -- that "the pattern of anyone fate is only partly contrived by the individual."
"This purely wonderful autobiographical volume is the best thing on flying and the meaning of flying that we have had since Antoine de Saint-Exupéry took us aloft on his winged prose in the late 1930s and early 1940s. . . . It is a splendid and many-faceted personal memoir that is not only one man's story but the story, in essence, of all men who fly."
"Mr. Gann is a writer saturated in his subject; he has the skill to make every instant sharp and important and we catch the fever to know that documentary writing does not often invite."
"Few writers have ever drawn their readers so intimately into the shielded sanctum of the cockpit, and it is here that Mr. Gann is truly the artist."
About the Author
Ernest K. Gann is the author of numerous books, among them The High and the Mighty, Twilight for the Gods, The Aviator, and The Magistrate. He lives in Anacortes, Washington, and continues to write and publish prolifically.
Table of Contents
THE TIP OF THE ARROW
AN UNDESIRED RENDEZVOUS IN THE NIGHT
I THE INNOCENTS
AND OF THE FACTS OF AERIAL LIFE
II A NOVITIATE
TANGLED AND STUMBLING IN THE ROBES OF HIS ORDER
III HUMILITY LEARNED
IN WHICH A MASTER IS TOLERANT
IV A CAPTAIN
V THE SEASONING
WHERE THE MIND IS HONED AND SWEAT IS FOUND TO MIX WITH ICE
VI OF NUMBERS
AND THEIR POWER TO REDUCE THE PRESUMPTUOUS QUICKLY
DOUBTFUL OF STATION AND INTENTIONS
VIII RULE BOOKS ARE PAPER
THEY WILL NOT CUSHION A SUDDEN MEETING OF STONE AND METAL
THE TORTUOUS ROUTE THERETO
X A LONELY, UNLOVED SHIP
FINDING HAZARD THE MORE BITTER WHEN MATCHED WITH TRIFLES
XI THE NUMBERS
IN A WICKED, VENGEFUL MOOD
EXHAUSTING, UNRELENTING, MURDEROUS COLD
IN MOST MEN THERE LURKS A LESSER MAN, AND HIS PRESENCE SMELLS IN THE SUN
WHERE IS THE MAN WHO SURVIVES WITHOUT
XV A HOLE
SO SMALL, BUT OF EXQUISITE DESIGN
XVI A PRETENDER
HOW ONE FINE MAN IS ILL-USED BY FATE AND ANOTHER DARES DECEIVE IT
XVII A CERTAIN EMBARRASSMENT
THE URGE TO SHIFT BLAME BECOMES EVEN UGLIER WHEN THE ACCUSED HAS LEFT THE FEAST
XVIII TRAGEDY AND ESCAPE
THERE IS A DEGREE OF MERCY BEYOND WHICH ANY MAN IS RUDE TO INQUIRE