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Publisher's Summary

Twelve miles above the Pacific Ocean, a missile strikes a jumbo passenger jet and leaves the flight crew either crippled or dead. This is the story of how three survivors must achieve the impossible and land the plane. Master storyteller Nelson DeMille and veteran pilot Thomas Block collaborated on Mayday, the most terrifyingly realistic air disaster thriller of all time.
©1979, 1998 by Thomas H. Block and Nelson DeMille, All Rights Reserved (P)16 9; 1998 Time Warner AudioBooks, A Division of Time Warner Trade Publishing

Critic Reviews

"Strong and electric!" (Washington Post) "Truly horrific...delicious terror. Mayday is a novel for the true connoisseur of disaster novels." (The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Douglas
  • Thompsons Station, TN, USA
  • 02-15-03

Great adventure! Hard to put down.

I wouldn't give many books five stars, but this one is well deserving. Although updated from the original written in the late 70's (which I haven't read), the story is by no means old. The characters are well defined, and the story line keeps you hooked and wanting more.

The author throws in enough twists to keep you on your toes and unable to predict the next move. Granted, not everything is 100% believable, but is entertainment after all. I have read other DeMille books and highly recommend him as an author.

28 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Not enough superlatives to describe this book.....gripping, most definately comes to mind. I found myself searching for things to do that did not require thought so I could continue listening to "Mayday"....I just didn't want to turn it off. As one who does not like to fly, I found myself even more convinced that staying on the ground is prudent. And, "Mayday" will make everyone think twice about the motives of corporate leaders when disasters strike.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Thrilling Listen--Hard to Put Down

This novel will make you think twice before getting on another airplane. I listened to it years ago, and recently listened to it again. Although written in 1979, the time before all our current technology-- makes no difference to the thrilling, edge of the seat experience you get here.

Imagine flying at 62,000 feet (where there is no oxygen to breathe) and having a hole torn into the plane by a missile. It doesn't disable the plane, but the resulting horrible effects on the passengers and crew is chilling. The few people left that were not affected, not only have to try and get control of the airplane - but face threats from the other passengers who have become brain damaged.

There were several different issues that came together simultaneously to cause the plane to be hit - and the resulting actions of some of the military, airplane executives and insurance company representatives will make you mad enough to scream. There was a movie made of the same name-but be assured, this novel is not like the movie at all-so don't let that keep you from this experience.

Nelson DeMille and Thomas Block did a great gob collaborating on this thriller. Scott Brick does a pretty decent job of narrating too. It is a good novel for a long car trip, or when you have several hours to listen, because you really won't want to stop.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jilda
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 05-06-09

You'll keep thinking about it long after finishing

Absolutely amazing, thought provoking and chillingly real. An updated version of a timeless novel by one of the great authors of this century! The book starts quickly and keeps going and going!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A1.. Excellent story!

I’ve recently finished listening to this book for a second time and as I love well written fiction (and non fiction) stories about air disasters, Mayday most certainly didn’t disappoint me. I wish Audible would stock more of this genre.

I disagree with the many negative comments we see here about the narrator as I found the narration to be excellent, but I guess that just boils down to personal preference. Happily, the books sample audio gives you a good idea of what to expect so be sure to check that out before you buy.

The story doesn’t take too long to get you hooked and the author avoids a lot of pointless dialogue just to fill in pages. He has a great imagination which led to me totally enjoying the story. Can’t recommend this book highly enough. Get it!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anthony
  • Farmington, CT, USA
  • 07-11-03

Great Book -- Suspenseful -- Nice plot.

Great book. I'm into Airplane type books and suspense novels. The authors involve corporate and military scandals in which a layperson would never think of.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Updated for modern date and quite good.

Although the original was published some years ago, the story has been updated to modern age. Without this revision it would have been dated, with it its a very good thriller. You have the typical story of a unexperienced pilot flying a modern jetliner, but also several twists have been added to increase the "thrill". Telling would give it away, so I won't. I was slightly hesitant when I added this book, but in the end I could not stop listening. As usual, Scott Brick does an excellent job at narration. If you like flight books, you will love this. If not, it's just a good plain (sorry for pun) thriller.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Silly fun...

Calling this book "the most terrifyingly realistic air disaster thriller of all time", as the Publisher's notes do, is misleading. The story is anything but realisitic! It would be more accurate to describe the book as a cross between Conspiracy Theory (for evil conspiracies), Gilligan's Island (for ridiculous plot threads) and Night of the Living Dead (for, what else, the "living dead" - a term even used in the book!). Given all that, I found it to be an enjoyable book that I wanted to keep listening to, if only to see what sillyness happens next. If you want a serious thriller, take a pass on this book. If you don't mind silly fun, however, then Mayday is an immersive yarn.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 11-23-15

Want sheer suspense? This is it!

I just wrote a review for DeMille's The General's Daughter, my favorite of his standalone novels despite it being a mystery thriller with little action or suspense. Mayday, written by DeMille with aircraft pilot Thomas Block, is all about suspense.

The novel is set inside a large passenger airliner that has been struck by a missile over the Pacific Ocean and is at great risk of going down. For sheer suspense that continues unrelenting for hours, I know of no book that matches Mayday.

Who is the best person to narrate an ongoing sheer suspense novel? Scott Brick, of course.

Very highly recommended!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


If you could sum up Mayday in three words, what would they be?


Who was your favorite character and why?

The substitute pilot, the main cabin attendant, & the 13 year old girl on the plane. Why, because they carried the main part of the story with some sense of humanity!!!!

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

I have found that listening to Scott Brick has caused me (GREAT) listening to most all of the books that he has been a part of .... and will continually to do so with pleasure!!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

How rotten & self centered some people can be to others. Such as the ones in the management of the airlines & the US Navy Commander! The insurance person are like most insurance companies --- "receiving premiums are great but paying claims are to be avoided @ almost any cost!"

I served in the US NAVY --- & thank GOD THAT I NEVER RAN INTO A FELLOW Commander such as the one in this story!

Any additional comments?

Kept me awake nights --- could NOT put it down!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful