Robin Olds did not write this story. He put together all of the notes, pictures, journals and materials but his daughter and friends wrote it after his death., having said that, this is a fantastic story about the life and times of Robin Olds.
The story line is exceedingly well done. The imagery is vivid and paints great atmospheres around parts of the story and the individual short stories in the book. This is one of those stories about people that cut through what he did, and can be transposed into life lessons in all parts of business life, school and work. His leadership messages have teeth and meaning. Robin’s anecdotes are entertaining and they help the reader understand the man.
The book has no deep meanings, there are no morals to learn, there is no preaching about war, values or nearly anything else. This is just a good read, a well written and entertaining book.
We are RV'ers traveling the USA. I love Romance, Mysteries, and Thriller Novels. Good listening while on the road.
My husband who was a Navy Pilot over Viet Nam listened to this and wrote this review...
For anyone who flew this type of airplane, it brings back a lot of memories of how when your up there flying, you have the power to survive, be a hero or totally screw up considering the circumstances. This was a great story. The ending was based more on Politics than flying, which was was a bit disappointing.
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