Hostage to Fortune Hardcover – May 1 1979
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The second problem is the book is overlong. His early childhood is told in way-too-much detail. It's all interesting and well-written, but I found myself slogging ahead at times waiting for him to grow up.
It turns out that aviation formed only a small part of his life, so aviation enthusiasts beware. In fact I recognized several incidents he flits over in "Hostage" that had whole chapters in "Fate". Mostly Gann seems to have been an amateur fisherman, sailor, anything to escape from his wife and kids.
What I found as a revelation is how many books, screenplays and movies this guy wrote. WOW. In his later years he was cranking out best-sellers like clockwork, although some of the movies seem to be tied up in John Wayne's estate and aren't viewable any more ("The High and The Mighty", "Islands in the Sky"). "Soldier of Fortune" is a staple on TV, and "Fate is the Hunter" with Glenn Ford shows up sometimes too (not nearly as good as the book). "Twilight of the Gods" is on often too.
Overall, if you have no special expectations and plenty of time this is a good book to read. If you were hoping for an inspiring life story or lots of aviation stories, you'll be disappointed.
If you love sailing, do all you can to find a copy of Ernie's "Song of the Sirens." You will forever thank me if you are so lucky to find one.
In "Fate is the Hunter" Gann alludes to other interests and adventures, especially in sailing. In "Band of Brothers" it is clear that he really has been to the Orient, as I have. I found out some years ago, in a "Flying" magazine article I think, that he was involved in directing and writing for Hollywood both before and after his airline years. It is also clear in "Fate is the Hunter" that his thirst for adventure drove him, and that he was sometimes his own worst enemy. "A Hostage to Fortune" reflects all of these things, and he kept my interest throughout. I found myself hollering at him for some of his dumb life decisions as I read on, but he was definitely a man driven by his passions. He has led an adventurous life, and met some interesting people. That must be partly why his fictional characters "feel" right to me.