Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums $5 Off Fire TV Stick Labor Day Sale in Wine Shop Popular Services pivdl pivdl pivdl  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Gear Up for Football Baby Sale
Flight of the Intruder (Jake Grafton Series Book 1) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
Condition: Used: Like New
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Flight of the Intruder Hardcover – October, 1986

134 customer reviews

See all 69 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, October, 1986
$0.28 $0.01
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 329 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press; 1st edition (October 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870212001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870212000
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,392,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Coonts is the author of 14 New York Times bestsellers, the first of which was the classic flying tale, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER.
Born in 1946, Stephen Paul Coonts grew up in Buckhannon, West Virginia, a coal-mining town of 6,000 population on the western slope of the Appalachian mountains. He majored in political science at West Virginia University, graduating in 1968 with an A.B. degree. Upon graduation he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and began flight training in Pensacola, Florida.
He received his Navy wings in August, 1969. After completion of fleet replacement training in the A-6 Intruder aircraft, Mr. Coonts reported to Attack Squadron 196 at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. He made two combat cruises aboard USS Enterprise during the final years of the Vietnam War as a member of this squadron. After the war he served as a flight instructor on A-6 aircraft for two years, then did a tour as an assistant catapult and arresting gear officer aboard USS Nimitz. He left active duty in 1977 and moved to Colorado. After short stints as a taxi driver and police officer, he entered the University of Colorado School of Law in the fall of 1977.
Mr. Coonts received his law degree in December, 1979, and moved to West Virginia to practice. He returned to Colorado in 1981 as a staff attorney specializing in oil and gas law for a large independent oil company.
His first novel, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER, published in September 1986 by the Naval Institute Press, spent 28 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists in hardcover. A motion picture based on this novel, with the same title, was released nationwide in January 1991.
The success of his first novel allowed Mr. Coonts to devote himself full time to writing; he has been at it ever since. He and his wife, Deborah, enjoy flying and try to do as much of it as possible.
Mr. Coonts' books have been widely translated and republished in the British Commonwealth, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia, China, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Latvia, and Israel.
Mr. Coonts was a trustee of West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1990-1998. He was inducted into the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 1992. The U.S. Naval Institute honored him with its Author of the Year Award for the year 1986 for his novel, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER. Mr. Coonts and his wife, Deborah, reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By P. Connors on October 13, 1999
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.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rottenberg's rotten book review on July 11, 2001
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.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Philip A. Clifton on May 4, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I believe I have read this book at least ten times. It simply never gets old to me. Granted, the aviation geek in me loves all the technical details and the way Coonts put me right in the cockpit beside Jake Grafton, but what really keeps me coming back to this book is the amazing job of characterization done here. There is not a single cardboard character in this book- Cowboy Parker, Sammy Lundeen, Jake Grafton, Tiger Cole... the list goes on and on. I can't say enough in favor of this book.
Too many other writers would have focused too much on the technical aspects of the writing and not spent enough time making the characters, and not just the machines, real. Coonts, on the other hand, has struck the perfect balance between technical accuracy and glorious storytelling. A must-read in my opinion.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rennie Petersen on March 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is Stephen Coonts' first book, published in 1986. The setting is the Vietnam War in 1972, at a time when the war was still raging but negotiations were under way and it was clear that the USA was going to pull out sooner or later.

The "hero" of the story is Jake Grafton, in some ways Stephen Coonts' alter ego. Jake is a U.S. Navy pilot flying missions over Vietnam in an A6 Intruder, a carrier-based attack bomber. This is exactly what Stephen Coonts himself was doing at that time, making the book somewhat autobiographical. It also makes the story and the descriptions sound totally authentic.

The strength of the book is this authenticity and the fact that Stephen Coonts has strong feelings and opinions about how the Vietnam War was being fought. These feeling and opinions are presented via the characters, especially Jake Grafton.

Jake Grafton is portrayed as a very real person with very real conflicts and problems in his life.

On one hand Jake is proud to be a warrior fighting to defend his country. On the other hand he is disgusted by the mass killings that his bombings cause, and hates what he is doing.

On one hand Jake believes in the warrior code of "keeping the faith" with his fellow warriors and his superiors in the military. On the other hand he feels that the U.S. military has been betrayed by the political leaders who are the highest command in a democratic country's military hierarchy.

The missions that Jake flies are extremely dangerous. First he has to dodge flak and missiles over Vietnam while flying so low he risks hitting the ground, and then he has to return "home" to a dangerous carrier landing at night in bad weather.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?