Synopses & Reviews
Set during the height of World War I in January 1918, Goshawk Squadron follows the misfortunes of a British flight squadron on the Western Front. For Stanley Woolley, commanding officer of Goshawk Squadron, the romance of chivalry in the clouds is just a myth. The code he drums into his men is simple and savage: shoot the enemy in the back before he knows you're there. Even so, he believes the whole squadron will be dead within three months. A monumental work at the time of its original release, Booker-shortlisted Goshawk Squadron is now viewed as a classic in the mode of Catch 22. Wry, brutal, cynical and hilarious, the men of Robinson's squadron are themselves an embodiment of the maddening contradictions of war: as much a refined troop of British gentleman as they are a viscous band of brothers hell-bent on staying alive and winning the war.
About the Author
Derek Robinson is a policeman's son from a council estate who crossed the class barrier by going to Cambridge, where he got a degree in history and learned to write badly. A stint in advertising in London and New York changed that, and in 1971 he finally got it right when Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His equally acclaimed trilogy of World War Two novels are Piece of Cake, A Good Clean Fight and Damned Good Show. His other novels include The Eldorado Network and Artillery of Lies.
Derek Robinson has also published non-fiction on a variety of themes, from the laws of rugby to the nuclear tests on Christmas Island in the 1950s. His most recent book is Invasion, 1940, a revisionist history of the Battle of Britain. He lives in Bristol.