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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

"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.)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    878
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    213
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    66
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Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Well told

What does Robertson Dean bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator did a very good job speaking for Robin Olds. Very good performance.

Any additional comments?

I am in the Air Force and am very glad I found this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Best Military Memoir since U.S. Grant

This memoir was written from various scraps that BGen Olds had jotted down, typed, and placed into his computer over the years, and then masterfully assembled by his daughter and friend into an extremely listenable first person format while he was dying from Stage 4 prostate cancer, (he died from congestive heart failure).

Robin Olds' career stretched from the skies over Germany to the skies of Vietnam, and from the halls of West Point to the mountains of Colorado Springs. A Colonel in his early 30's Olds' fighter pilot mentality went against the prevailing "bomber" and "missile" generals who ran the USAF from the founding of the USAF to the 1990's.

His vivid recollections of air to air combats are textbook, as are his memories of duty in the Pentagon lessons on how NOT to get promoted. Since this is a first person narration, some of his accomplishments are omitted, but all of his antagonist actions towards higher echelons of command are listed in detail.

Unfortunately his tendency to over imbibe is noted. While writing about his movie star wife he is over sympathetic. Her career was already on a down swing when they married and nothing to do with his service.

Mr. Dean's narration is right on save his lack of Robin Olds' slight Texas twang! This is a book that I'll come back to re-listen repeatedly!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A great read. Much better than I expected.

What did you love best about Fighter Pilot?

Filling in all the gaps of what I knew about Robin.

What did you like best about this story?

The accurate account of Vietnam, from a pilots view.

Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but he is a great reader

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I started this book in the morning and stayed up until I finished it.

Any additional comments?

As an old F-4c pilot, I had the pleasure of meeting Robin in Vietnam. Althought he was 21 years older than I, he took time to greet everyone. He was bigger than life, could be because he so damn tall.

This book filled in many gaps of what I knew of him. I found this book to be an accurate account from what I knew.

I know I will listen to his story again and again. I guess I might be reliving some of my story at the same time.

I loved this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

There are (a few) old and good fighter pilots!

What made the experience of listening to Fighter Pilot the most enjoyable?

The story of Robin Olds had to be told! And told it was, masterfully. Treated to the full force of a compelling storyteller the listener gets to hear it as it was. So rarely do we get to know the men or women who fought to keep our country free, this is a real treat. Thanks really have to go to Christina Olds, for without her insistence in discovering her father's stories and preparing this book after his death, we would have lost an amazing story. Instead, today we can sit a spell and hear the tales of flying in WWII and Vietnam almost from the mouth of the man who lived so much larger than life. Robin, sir I didn't know you, but I knew others who flew with you. I wish I could have met you too. But thankfully Ms. Olds brought him to my great pleasure.

This book is not suitable for children as it....well, it tells it like it was! And there ain't no sugar coating the language or events of a fighter pilot. That, my friends, was exactly who Robin Olds was: A fighter pilot; and I think that is exactly the way he'd like to be remembered.

Go ahead, get this one. It is so much more than worth it! Good Listening! JP

What does Robertson Dean bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

This is one that is best heard. His voice brings out the story as you might hear it over a fire burning long into the night. You won't get tired and will want to hear every event.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The fighter pilot. It may not be pretty, but we'll sure as H*** get it done if you'll let us!

Any additional comments?

Get it now!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Jim
  • Jacksonville, Florida, United States
  • 02-26-12

Should be required reading leadership positions!

An excellent account of a legend from his time at West Point through 2 wars (WWII and Vietnam) describing his viewpoints and opinions of American diplomacy and offering some very interesting, poignant, and colorful lessons in leadership technique, both successful and unsuccessful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Jonathan
  • scipio center, NY, United States
  • 12-07-11

worth reading

What made the experience of listening to Fighter Pilot the most enjoyable?

The story is amazing and well read

What other book might you compare Fighter Pilot to and why?

Chuck Yeager tho Chuck is more arrogant. This book is better. Both men fought in wwII and Vietnam

Which scene was your favorite?

The raid on some blast furnace in north Vietnam. The flying is amazing and it is so well described you can see it all.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The waste of the Vietnam war is sickening. The heroism of the men tho they were in a bad situation is touching.

Any additional comments?

A must read for any one who loves stories of flying and men in combat. And a view on Vietnam I doubt you've heard before.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Randy
  • LANCASTER, CA, United States
  • 10-20-11

Robin was Top Gun before there was such a thing.

I loved how England during WWII was described by Robin. I loved the way the English took the Nazi bombing in stride. I love war stories anyway and hearing how a real warrior views war makes this a worthy title to own.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of the best books I have ever listened to!

No, strike that. It is best book I have listened to!
This is one of the most interesting stories of one of America's greatest heroes. I am not talking about some politician or some great leader of civil society, this is about someone who fought for and made this nation what is today. It is brutally honest, graphic and to the point in its portrayal of General Olds life. Not only is his military history given, but also his personal life is laid bare. If you are a pilot, have served in the military and have any feelings left in your body, the last five minutes of this book will make you cry. It did me. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

StevieJ

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A terrific read!

Fighter pilot is one of the most enjoyable and engrossing books I have read in many years. The reader is excellent and the book itself just flows flawlessly. Even though Robin Olds' story spans so many years and involves so many different action and inaction assignments, his ability to make the most of all situations and to write about it in such an exciting way makes this a wonderful treat. One can only assume that his daughter, Christina, contributed greatly to the details and the warmth of the story. Our country needs more committed patriots like him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A fun and interesting read

I purchased this for my husband but found I enjoyed as much or more. Fascinating to learn about the development of the fighter pilot program. A wonderful blend of technical and non technical info. Clearly the lessor aspects of this man's life were glossed over but it's his book! Definitely worth your time. You don't need to be interested in planes to enjoy this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful