A larger-than-life hero with a towering personality, Robin Olds was a graduate of West Point and an inductee in the National College Football Hall of Fame for his All-American performance for Army. In World War II, Olds quickly became a top fighter pilot and squadron commander by the age of 22—a double ace with 12 aerial victories.
But it was in Vietnam where the man became a legend. He motivated a dejected group of pilots by placing himself under junior officers and challenging them to train him properly. He led the wing with aggressiveness, scoring another four confirmed kills and becoming a rare triple ace. With his marriage to Hollywood actress and pin-up girl Ella Raines, his nonregulation mustache and penchant for drink, Olds was a unique individual whose story is one of the most eagerly anticipated military books of the year.
Christina Olds, the daughter of Robin Olds, holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Vassar, is a member of the Air Force Association, and is the first honorary lifetime member of the Red River Valley Association.
Ed Rasimus is a retired USAF fighter pilot who holds a B.S. in political science and an M.S. in both political science and international relations. He has previously written two books on the Vietnam air war, When Thunder Rolled and Palace Cobra.
©2010 Robin Olds with Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Massively welcomed by his legion of fans." (Walter J. Boyne, author and former director of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.)
A little disappointed considering the topic and all of the great reviews.
Good book for his close friends and family members who can appreciate all of the detailed conversations he had with various people he interacted with over the years, as well as, all of the details about his many jobs in the military.
I was looking for more of a historical - non fiction - novel type of book about his air combat missions, the pilots that served with him, and the role of air combat in WWII & Vietnam. These topics were barely covered as the author details Robin Olds' life from college through 30 years of military service and all the many jobs he held. I might have enjoyed an abridged version.
With that said, Robin Olds was an amazing fighter pilot and our military needs more soldiers like him and David Hackworth. Search Robin Olds on YouTube for reenactment videos of his air combat missions against MIG fighters.
Narration was superb.
A remarkable story of a unique individual. We may never see another like Robin Olds. I did enjoy this story; well written and narrated.
This is not the absolute best listen I've had but I would recommend to anyone who is interested in fighter pilots, US airforce, non fiction etc.
I found myself most interested in the Vietnam portion of the book. All in all though this man had an amazing life and the whole story is interesting. My least favorite part was his West Point early days. If you find this point less than enthralling, stick with it the book ramps up.
Robin Olds obviously as this is his bio
Nothing extreme, just interest in the man after seeing some of his exploits on "Dogfights" on history channels and some interviews I came across on youtube.
If this stuff interests you I'd say this is a worthwhile listen
I immediately connected with the maim character. I could appreciate his professionalism.
He kept the story on the man and his development.
Generals Ohls made me feel as if I was hearing an adventurous life from him.
Last scene. Fitting closure to the book. Although I know he had passed on to a fitting reward
Because of medical reasons I read very slow so audio has opened many new doors for me
Hazardous Duty by Col. David Hackworth Both are great heros that know the strong feelings of combat veterans
Mr Dean seem to be deep into the story at all times
This book will draw all the emotions from veterans and non-vets
I am retired military after twenty years 1955-1975 with 18 months of Vietnam action and this book tells the story of all combat experienced folks
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.
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
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.
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