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Flight of the Intruder (Jake Grafton Series) by [Coonts, Stephen]
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Flight of the Intruder (Jake Grafton Series) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

With this well-crafted first novel, the publishers of The Hunt for Red October again demonstrate a sure eye for picking winners in the thriller genre. Jake Grafton is an A-6 Intruder pilot during the Vietnam War who flies his bomber on sorties past enemy flak and SAM missiles, and then must maneuver his plane, often at night, onto the relatively small deck of an aircraft carrier. Former Navy flyer Coonts gives an excellent sense of the complexities of modern air raids and how nerve-wracking it is, even for the best airmen, to technically solve sudden problems over and over, knowing that even a twist of fatea peasant wildly firing a rifle from a fieldcould wipe out the crew. Grafton alternates between remorse over the fate of his unseen Vietnamese victims on the ground and a gung-ho "let's win this war" sentiment that lashes at both policymakers who select less-than-important targets for the dangerous missions and advocates for peace back in the States. The action, though, is realistically detailed and absorbing. 75,000 first printing; $80,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“[Coonts's] gripping, first-person narration of aerial combat is the best I've ever read. Once begun, this book cannot be laid aside.” ―The Wall Street Journal

“Coont's pilots are the real McCoy and his compassion for them sustains his story from first page to last . . . a sometimes exhilarating, often nightmarish tale.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“A winner.” ―Philadelphia Inquirer

“Kept me strapped in the cockpit of the author's imagination for a down-and-dirty novel.” ―St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Extraordinary! Once you start reading, you won't want to stop!” ―Tom Clancy

“Packed with action, emotion, suspense, and tragedy.” ―Clive Cussler

“Coonts makes us see, smell, hear, taste, and feel battle.” ―Cleveland PlainDealer

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 870 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (June 27 2006)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003E4CXOK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,533 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This excellent novel took place in Vietnam. As a controversial time for our country, Coonts captured this theme well. The protagonist, a humble, but typical flying ace, Jake Grafton became sick of the war. He was frustrated with losing friends for a cause he didn't understand. He eventually pairs up with a hotshot navigator/bomber, and they fly up to the "no-fly zone" of Vietnam, (Hanoi) to bomb something "important" for a change. Something worth "going for." The ensuing plot is accented by a casual romance with an American girl Jake met in Hong Kong, which eventually develops as a substitute family/friend during the war. Many flying sequences are included, and the majority of the novel is in a combat naval context.
Stephen Coonts' first novel, Flight of the Intruder, was superb. A Vietnam flyer himself, Coonts depicted historic naval aviation very accurately and compellingly. Not only did he include accurate and detailed facts about the technological aspect of carrier aviation, but a unique and flowing writing style that captures the reader. His beautiful and simple descriptions of the sky, the sea or flight were powerful and intriguing. Action-packed, well-paced, and worthwhile plotline and cast made this novel the best seller that it was. Anyone at all interested in the military or Vietnam would find this novel to be thought provoking and meaningful.
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Format: Hardcover
"Flight of the Intruder" tells the story of Jake Grafton, a young naval aviator respected by his peers but slowly coming apart under the pressures of flying extremely hazardous yet useless missions over hostile territory in Vietnam. (Though carrying more ordinance than any other carrier-based airplane, none of the A-6's weaponry is for defense, and no sidewinders or cannon-shells ever arm the plane). Though the communist north would be hurt by air strikes against its power stations, air fields and harbors, and despite America's capacity to simply erase the country from the map using nuclear weapons, Intruder pilots are sent to fly through heavily defended airspace to bomb probably non-existent targets like "suspected truck parks" and ammo dumps. It's on one of these meaningless missions that Grafton's navigator is killed, and the novel begins with Jake confronting the futility of the war, especially in light of the politically imposed restrictions which put more meaningful targets firmly off limits to Yankee fliers. Short a navigator, Grafton is paired with rotating fillers until being firmly hitched up to the mysterious "Tiger" Cole. While Grafton is one of the Navy's best aviators (shipmates call him "Cool Hand"), Cole has amassed years of experience above him. Between the two of them, their frustration mounts until they plan the inconceivable - an unauthorized bombing of the North's communist party HQ in Hanoi. Resolving to keep the mission a secret, they both know that their discovery is inevitable and that they will have to answer for their actions.
"Intruders" is easily the greatest novel written about the air war over Vietnam, or anywhere.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the story of navy attack pilots during the war in Vietnam. It is also the story of one particular pilot, LT Jake "Cool Hand" Grafton, an A6B Intruder pilot flying off the coast of North Vietnam as part of the Tonkin Gulf "Yacht Club."
This is a first novel by a writer who lived the experiences of his fictional character. When I first read this book about the time the hardcover was first published, I felt as if I was in the ready room with Grafton, Boxman, Razor and the others being briefed before "going downtown" to bomb Hanoi.
The feel for time and place is all here. The descriptions of the life aboard a carrier on station, the shore leave in Subic Bay and Olongapo City all ring true according to my navy veteran friends. As I read, I felt as if I could have been one of the characters Stephen Coonts wrote about.
For a debut novel, this one was extrememly well done. It was the entrant to a series that I hoped Coonts would write, and subsequently did. I like Jake Grafton because he is a man all of us could only hope to be. Most of all, he is a man of honor and integrity and this is demonstrated when he decides to put his career (and freedom) on the line by going after a target "downtown" after President Johnson has called a bombing halt over Hanoi and Haiphong.
Another wonderfully drawn character is LCDR Virgil Cole, Jake's B/N (bombardier/navigator). Cole has seen combat before and has the Silver Star. He trusts no one but himself but, does his job magnificently. In the movie version, the casting for this character was brilliantly handled when Willem Dafoe played the part to perfection. Although the book and the movie differ at the end, the characterization was true to Mr.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are many authors who have scads of good stories in them; others only have one. I'm afraid Mr. Coonts falls into the latter category. "Flight" is the sole good work out of his series of novels following the career of Navy bomber pilot Jake "Cool Hand" Grafton, but it is a doozy. It's a thoughtful, insightful, vividly descriptive account of a man struggling with the frequently conflicting tugs of fear, conscience, and duty as he ventures daily into the hellish skies over North Vietnam. Coonts understands intimately and relates ably the joyful frathouse of a Navy squadron, with its gibes and pranks and silly nicknames, and the closer-than-a-marriage relationship of the pilot and bombardier as they must venture, alone but for each other, into utterly black nights to find their targets. But more than that, it's a tale for the Everyman in all wars, a guy who just wants to live through it, or, failing that, at least die for something worth his life and the lives of his friends. Along with the better works of David Poyer and P.T. Deutermann, and the Vietnam trilogy of Gerry Carroll, "Flight" deserves its place as one of the modern Naval classics, up there on the shelf with Melville and "Mister Roberts".
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