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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) and ©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
  • Sammy
  • Eddy, TX, USA
  • 12-19-05

Mayday Is Magnificent

Mayday grabs you by the throat and makes it impossible to stop listening as it rockets you from 62,000 feet to sea level in a throbing, nerve wrenching trip of life and death. Just when you think that the tension and chaos can't continue, their intensity grows. When a huge, supersonic transport is mistakenly targeted by an errant missle being tested the the United States Navy in violation of the latest arms treaty all hell breaks out. In a desperate race of survival an amateur pilot must sieze control of the giant transport after the flight crew is either killed or incapacitated. In a battle against huge odds a man, a woman and a child's life hang in the balance when the military decides to cover their mistake by shooting the airliner down at the same time that the airline management and its insuror are also plotting to have it crash to avoid liablility for the three hundred passengers who have been irrevocably damaged by oxygen deprivation caused by the accident. Burn the midnight oil and take a trip you will long remember. The story will have you crying Mayday too as it thrusts you into the thick of the action. It will have you squirming in your seat and grabing for the operating controls of the aircraft right along with the characters as they careen from one emergency to another against impossible odds.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Amazing prophetic book

These two thought of an aircraft story long before the craft existed. This was an edge of your seat story right up until the end. I like the way it ended with no clear statement. It is up to your imagination how it plays out but the story itself has ended as it should. I also enjoyed the interview of the writers at the book's conclusion. Tidied up a lot.

  • Overall
  • Sandi
  • Amityville, NY, USA
  • 09-20-05

Good Book Bad Reader

I could not get past the reader's monotonous tone. I finished the book but would have enjoyed it much more with a different reader.

  • Overall


Excellent... ahead of its time.

  • Overall
  • Rick
  • Kissimmee, FL, United States
  • 06-22-05

Once you think Fiction and not reality

I had a hard time at first acepting the events that unfolded, but once I just stopped thinking and just listened to the book I began to enjoy it. It was not as good as Lion's Game or Up Country but it was a good way to spend time in my car.

  • Overall

Great story nearly killed by poor narration

I'll echo many of the sentiments here in that the story is gripping and an enjoyable read. You can tell it's early Demille, rough around the edges, but you see how he's going to evolve into Lions Game, Gold Coast, Night Fall, etc.

That said, the narration and sound engineering in this book is just awful. Because the story is so great, you can (with patience) tolerate the reader's stiff delivery. Just when you get into a rhythm though, the sound level drops or other distracting changes in the audio come along.

Great book, just be warned about the audio quality. The story is worth it though. (Thankfully!)

  • Overall
  • Dennis
  • Memphis, TN, USA
  • 06-09-05


This is an absolutely fantastic book. I loved every second of the recording. I have now listed to many of the DeMille books and this is one of my favorites. I couldn't not put down the iPod at 2 am in the morning as the story was so gripping that I just wanted to have more and more. The description of every event is very graphic and the decompression scenes are horrifying. Every chapter is absolutely captivating and you'd want to listen to the whole book all at once. Strongly recommend. Especially if you are an aviation enthusiast as I am.

  • Overall

Great Book

Yes, the reader of this book is as bad a C3PO. However, the book is well written. The great author makes up for the robot read. I love it.

  • Overall
  • Jeff M
  • Titusville, Florida, USA
  • 01-17-05

OK book, could have been better

I am a avid flyer fan and must admit the detail of the book was very good. However the narrator, put me to sleep sometimes. Also some of the scene's were predeictible, and I agree what's with a dog chomping on a bone in an airplane that has been blown out basically. Would i listen this again. Prob, but wouldn't go out of my way to look for it.

  • Overall
  • Stephen
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
  • 02-29-04


Plays like a "Lifetime" TV movie; overly meladramatic, longwinded and cheezy. OK I guess to listen to while doing something more productive like using cardio machine. I would try "Airport" as it's a much more well written written novel.