Wow, what a shocking and very enjoyable story the author of this book provides to those interested in well researched and well written documentaries. While I was reading the book, I felt like I was watching a show play out on the Discovery or History channels. The writing was just right for me. If you want a compelling story that provide you with a battle between big corporations and the little guy, this is the book for you. In so many ways, I felt like I was reading a piece of fiction, and what is even more unbelievable is that this is a true story. I highly recommend this to any interested in such subjects.
I am a pilot and really wanted to read this book based on the author’s description, yet I believe that even people without any knowledge of aircraft would find this story enjoyable. It really is a story of one man’s journey and all that happened to turn this life upside down. The author provides additional details via his website that helps to fill in some gaps for those who are not knowledgeable in the subject or would like to understand or clarify parts of the story.
The author did a very good job is describing the various situations and setting the scenes so the reader is almost able to visualize the actions the plane took along with the actions of the crew, etc. Even in the parts of the book that would seem to be less action based, the author does a great job of keeping you involved by describing the surroundings in detail. I thought the author did a good job of including details on the various characters involved and even down to their physical appearances and reactions to the various situations. I enjoyed the extra non-airplane related details such as with Hoot’s marriages, health related issues, places he lived, and even some of his hobbies. What an amazing man for all he accomplished.
Without being overly technical, but technical enough for people who understand aircraft and the physics of flight, the author is able to give the reader a sense of the forces and other events that took place at the time of the incident. For me, I would have liked to have had more third-party validation of the data and events as this gives credibility to the story, however even without them you quickly know the author has done his research and documents his conclusions well. I also liked that he included transcripts in a few areas which you know come from the official documents released by the NTSB and FAA.
The story overall was very nostalgic for me as I remember the days when smoking on flights was allowed in the “smoking section”; near the back of the plane. I remember the time before social media and cell phones. How different this story may have been, either for the better or worse, if these newer means of communication were available during this event. For some reason this one piece of data stuck with me, when the author mentions that most people from the flight were given only $7.50 reimbursement after the incident for a meal, but this was refused because there was not an agreement between the airline and the establishment.
I like how Fred Filbrich narrated the book and his smooth yet engaging voice kept me listening for hours on end. He was able to provide good inflection throughout the various parts of the book and unlike with a fiction book, he did not need to act out the different characters. I would be willing to future material from this narrator.
I will say that the book does have a few audio issues that I would have liked to have been corrected prior to the title being published. I will say that these were not bad enough to impact the overall story, but I did want to say that I had hoped for some editing first. Throughout the book the narrator swallows, which I understand is necessary, but other books I have listened to either filter this out or have it removed. At the end of the chapters there are often clicks, bumps, etc. which are not cleaned up. Do not let these items listed prevent you from listening to the story, even without perfect audio the story is still great.
This book was provided to the reviewer by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for posting a non-bias review