This fresh look at Hollywood's "Queen of Screwball", Carole Lombard, presents a first-ever examination of the events that led to the shocking flight mishap that took her life on the side of a Nevada mountain in 1942. It also provides a day-by-day account of the struggles of Lombard's husband, Clark Gable, and other family, friends, and fans to cope with the tragedy. In effect, having just completed the first sale of war bonds and stamps in the nation following its entry into World War II, Lombard became the first Hollywood star to sacrifice her life in the war.
The War Department offered Gable a funeral service with full military honors, but he refused it, knowing his wife would not approve of such spectacle. Based on extensive research rather than gossip, this investigation further explores the lives of the 21 others on the plane, including 15 members of the US Army Air Corps, and addresses one of the most enduring mysteries of World War II. On a clear night full of stars, with TWA's most experienced pilot at the controls of a 10-month-old aircraft under the power of two fully functioning engines, why did the flight crash into that Nevada mountainside?
This gripping page-turner presents the story of the people on the plane, the friends and families left behind, and the heroic first responders who struggled up a mountain hoping to perform a miracle rescue. It is a story of accomplishment, bravery, sacrifice, and loss.
©2013 Robert Matzen (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Devoured Fireball in a single day while recuperating from the Toronto International Film Festival. Fantastic job of research, served up as a real page-turner. It would make a great movie." (Lou Lumenick, chief film critic, New York Post)
Researched; Personal; Gripping
Ms.Gilbert does read with enthusiasm.
I appreciated that Mr. Matzen fleshed out some peripheral players in the lives of Lombard and also Gable.
I've always felt I knew Carole; now I feel I know her better.
Hard to believe so long has passed and how touching this story. I really would have loved to get to know the"fireball" Carol Lombard. She really packed a lot of living into a short time!
Avid reader of history, biography, and true crime.
My preferred genre is non-fiction and when I heard a lot of reconstructed dialogue and the thoughts of people who died in the crash, I was prepared not to enjoy this book much. But the book quickly captured my interest and held it all the way through. I would also have preferred the events to be recounted chronologically, but running separate strands was not too distracting. The best thing about this book, for me, is Tavia Gilbert's narration - with her very agreeable voice and her ability to capture and convey all the different emotions she is perfect. I look forward to hearing her again.
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