Robin had a great heart
It must have been great to serve under him
Would recommend this book to anyone interested in air combat
Say something about yourself!
A member of the "Greatest Generation", a graduate of West Point, a talented fighter pilot, a principled commander and one very lucky guy. Robin Olds had an interesting life. He got to do exactly what he wanted to do, fly fighter planes. He did it very well, was lucky, and survived to tell the story. He married a Hollywood star, tragic mistake, although it lasted longer than most such marriages. A good life.
The last third of the book takes place during the Vietnam War He fought bravely and did a good job of fighting the Vietcong and protecting his pilots. He ultimately ended up as frustrated with the Executive Branch and the Diplomatic Service as the rest of us.
I have no trouble with this book, though often they way it is written seems very self-serving. Old's accounts of flying in WW2 (see his account of flying alone over Berlin) and Vietnam are fascinating.
HOWEVER, this book, as so many others was ruined by the choice of narrator, Robertson Dean. Dean joins the pantheon of Michael Pritchard, Sean Pratt, and Norman Deitz, of narrators who can ruin any book with plodding, monotonous, wooden narration. The great tragedy is that these guys are given so many masterpieces to narrate: Dean ruins "The Power Broker" by Robert Caro (contrast his reading with Grover Gardiner's great performance in "Master of the Senate"), Pratt ruins the three volumes about the Third Reich, and Deitz has ruined many many volumes over the years, including "I, Claudius."
Honestly, many of these books are imperishable, and the only hope is that some other reader will be given a chance at them. It's gotten to the point that I will pass on a book if I see any of the names above (or Scott Brick, who is awful for different reasons).
Life during war
The operation bolo segment in Viet Nam was technically accurate and interesting to an aviation history buff
A short warning. This book contains the strong language that is associated with those that fight wars. It is a good story of a maverick fighter pilot and his travails both during and after war. A summation of a life lived both in and out of the cockpit and the toll this lifestyle can have on one's family and relationships. Aviation history buffs will find this an engaging read about a legend in the fighter pilot community. A Viet Nam war aficionado will find this a good look into the air war side of that conflict.
Robertson Dean's narration enlivened this straight talking man's man, cadet athlete, and articulate warrior. A detailed account placed the reader in the cockpit, ducking bar fight fists, and wilting under the gaze of scrutinizing superiors. What surfaced was a mix of heart, head, loyalty, pride and disillusionment.
There was a wonderful chapter about how this old WWII fighter pilot outwitted North Vietnamese MIG 17 pilots.
There was the time this base commander who, because he was in a flight suit in a bar, wasn't recognized by a couple of drunk lieutenants who ripped off his patches and tackled him to the floor.
Leadership is timeless.
Thank God for men like Robin Olds and those who served with him...this story is enough for even the manliest of men to feel like a 7th grader. Wonderfully told.
What a great book. This guy was everything that makes an American an American. I highly recommend this book!
Great book for history buffs, aviation buffs -- also a great story. Makes you want to buy the paper edition
This is a good book if you like military history. I gave it a four because I do enjoy miltary history.
As a pure biography I would give it a three as average. It had some very exciting and interesting portions but overall I was disappointed because of the other reviews I had read.
While Robin Olds has no doubt lived an action packed life, I found this book to be a little disappointing. For me, there was just too much "pilot" speak - levels of elevation, ground speed, and such. I was also hoping for more insight as to the inner workings during the Vietnam War, but he steers clear of anything controversial. So, not a bad book, but really nothing special.