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But for Stanley Woolley, commanding officer of Goshawk Squadron, the romance of Wolley believes the whole squadron will be dead within three months. Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson. Antonia Senior. April 13 , am, The Times. Derek Robinson&#;s novels are rooted in realism. He was shortlisted for the Booker for his novel about the RFC, Goshawk Squadron. This scant crumb from the table of the literary.

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Quaesitor in his review [2] says this book is now regarded as something of a classic and that ‘Robinson searingly conjures up the brutality and insanity of the war’. If he does it properly you will never know.

Goshawk Squadron finds its gosgawk humor and black camaraderie no defense against squadrln Spandau bullet to the back of the head. Mar 11, Ron Decaigny rated it it was amazing. Goshawk Squadron was not a pleasant book, even though it provided a useful historical context.

With so many young men coming and going from the squadron, it is down to Woolley an old man at 23 and a harsh realist who constantly berates the pilots to be our main protagonist. I personally believe there won’t be one of them alive by the end of April. The most unconvincingly realised one, in my opinion, turned out to have been a real historical figure. Goshawk succeeds both as a black comedy kinda like a British Catch, though i know that’s a lazy comparisona mad spiky condemnation of the glorification of war, an exciting boy’s adventure yarn with some really visceral flying action, and a brutal eulogy for those poor bastards and all that needless loss of young life.

Tensions and fears were high squuadron pilots, most of whom had only recently finished school, and they often let off steam in local villages. The Germans launch their final massive offensive, which leads to a relentless bloodbath.

I bought the book simply as part of a project to read all Booker Prize short-listed fiction. This is not a game for “gentlemen”, not a sport. Others praised it for showing the true nature of a war that was brutal mass slaughter and it was no different in the air to other services. Goshawk Squadron follows a front-line squadron of British pilots late in the war.


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No wonder some veterans of the Royal Flying Corps were horrified after reading it. Fascinating behind the scenes of world war 1 goshzwk. The folly of war and the charnal house that was WW1 is stripped bare of any intellegenc or glory and shown for w Thank you John Sandford, he recommended this book in one of his “Prey ” series.

It is very dark but I highly recommend this one. He demanded tight formation flyingso there was a constant risk of collision, which meant everyone was living on his nerves. WW I aviation buffs. As our squeamishness about actual fighting has increased, so our appetite for reading about it, drenched in modernist gore, is glshawk. As well as individual flying skills, he drilled them in the routines for reconnaissance, escort duty, balloon attacks, low level infantry support, and artillery observation.

Let me reconfirm those credentials; and that there is a time and a place for military yarns, too, particularly with Armistice Goshwk coming up. In the air at 50,or even 4, feet, there is no such thing as ‘honor’; only survival. Of the four novels I have read to date from sqkadron Booker Prize shortlist this one is the most readable with the horrors of war being the main message.

This fictional account of one such squadron was squaeron glimpse into history. You are commenting using your Facebook account. This article about a World War I novel is a stub.

Do’t get me wrong this book is deadly serious about it’s subject and clearly illustrates how some people would likely deal with a fate which was zquadron yet unthinkable. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Subscribe now and get unlimited digital access on web and our smartphone and tablet apps, free for your first month. Oct 15, Colin Davison rated it really liked it. Major Wooley tries to give his men a fighting chance by teaching them war is not chivalrous, luck is not your friend, and the best thing you can hope for is to surprise your enemy and shoot him in the back.


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Mar 09, Jur rated it squadrin was amazing Shelves: World War One aviators were more than just soldiers they were the knights of the sky, and the press and public idolised the gallant young heroes. Read the full article. Robinson’s Goshawk Squadron is very well done and brutally realistic, albeit with some rather flamboyantly over-the-top characters.

Jun 18, C rated it really liked it. This is quite a shocking read in that characters with whom you are familiar and may have liked just simply vanish. There is even more of an echo of Catch here, with a very Milo Minderbinderish Sergeant Lacey procuring all sorts of goodies for the squadron using dead men’s chequebooks; we have twitty padres, bullying generals. The dogfights are outstanding in terms of detail and putti The biting humor and depiction of war is sharp as a razor.

Feb 24, Nooilforpacifists rated it really liked it Shelves: Woolley seems a bit muted now, with a certain weariness to his bolshiness; yet, through him, Robinson eloquently makes the case for the necessity of independent thought.

Goshawk Squadron | The Man Booker Prizes

Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson. Thank you John Sandford, he recommended this book in one of his “Prey ” series. Would recommend as an antidote to anyone who loved Biggles as a boy. As a fictional book, I found it to be quite believable as the way war actually is rather than as war is portrayed.

Not to be damned by Woolley was as near to praise as anyone would ever get. I don’t generally like to review as soon as I finish but all I can say is “wow”. This produces better killers but, even so, Wolley believes the whole squadron will be dead within three months.