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Saucer Mass Market Paperback – January 20, 2003

361 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Saucer Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This work, which is hard to pigeonhole, will elicit various reactions. Some researchers find an ancient flying saucer in the Sahara desert, the U.S. air force becomes involved, then an Australian multibillionaire takes the craft. Anyway, there is excitement, romance, some technical details, rather flat characters, and more than a little satire thrown in. Definitely not Coonts's greatest work, it is still rather intriguing. Dick Hill, who is a well-respected narrator, does a superb job; he takes what is at best a mediocre piece of literature and makes it exciting. His voice characterizations for all the cast are consistent and quite expressive. Hill's commendable performance illustrates well the saying that it often is not what one says but how one says it. Public libraries may wish to consider.
Michael T. Fein, Central Virginia Community Coll., Lynchburg
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Rip Cantrell, doing seismic surveys in the Sahara, stumbles across a 140,000-year-old flying saucer in working condition. The air force sends beautiful ex-test pilot Charley Pine to investigate. Rip and Charley then have to fly for their lives, learning saucer-piloting as they go, from grabby, demonic Australian billionaire Hedrick, who wants to sell the saucer to the highest bidder. Eventually Rip and Charley get help from Rip's Missouri tinker uncle, Egg, and eventually the Air and Space Museum gets the saucer after, in the manner of thrillers, Hedrick and other would-be saucer-grabbers get theirs. Coonts doesn't always reach the highest level of logic here, but his knack for pacing and action is sound, and his sense of humor is ready for such developments as the effect of the saucer's antigravity on a pop-foul ball. He treats the romance of Rip and the eight-years-older Charley affectionately, and he shows a soaring passion for flying. The rather lighthearted thriller-cum-romance-cum-sf-novel could be called Rip and Charley's Excellent Adventure. Coonts stalwarts will find that reading this reminds them of his nonfiction book about flying an antique biplane, The Cannibal Queen (1992), rather than one of his Jake Grafton yarns. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Saucer (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312983212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312983215
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Rennie Petersen on April 15, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm sure I would have loved this book if I were 16 years old. I'd have given it 4 or 5 stars and thought that the 22-year-old hero, Rip Cantrell, was "too cool for school", as Rip himself puts it.
Unfortunately (?), my age is such that I review books based on how I think most adults will see them, and I'm afraid that results in me labeling this book as being "juvenile" and giving it only 3 stars.
Rip Cantrell finds a real genuine flying saucer buried in the sands of Northern Africa. Together with a couple of other guys he digs it up. The flying saucer is 140,000 years old! And it still works!! All it needs is some fuel, which happens to be plain water!!!
A pretty woman turns up and Rip demonstrates his savoir-faire by insulting her. "Do you really like him or just need sex?" he asks her when she admits that she has had something going with the guy she's together with. We can rest assured that this love-at-first-sight relationship will blossom and become a major driving force in the story.
Everyone wants the flying saucer, especially the American military and an Australian media mogul (very loosely based on Rupert Murdoch), and both are willing to use serious force to get what they want. Soon Rip and the pretty girl are on the run, flying the saucer on a fantastic journey across continents and oceans. And then things start to get really exciting.
After the public becomes aware of the existence of the saucer there is widespread panic. The military and the politicians are all up in arms, and are depicted as being a bunch of idiots. So it's not just exciting but also rather humorous at times.
Actually, the book presents a fairly good story, and I liked it. But the tone is definitely juvenile.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By E. J. Biddinger on March 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have been a fan of Stephen Coonts's writing since I picked up "Flight of the Intruder". His excellent character development, thought provoking plots, and fast pacing is exactly what I like in a novel.

"Saucer" opens with a mystery and it ends in a mystery. In between it takes the reader and characters through a whirlwind of greed, deception, discovery, murder, government conspircy, politics, love, loyality, and ethics. Mr. Coonts does an excelent job placing his characters in very difficult situations, then giving readers enough time to ask themselves what they would do before moving foward with the story. While slowing down the pace, the anticipation and reflection on the characters' situation added tremendously to the story.

While this story of fantastic technology and flying sacuers pushes into science fiction, Mr. Coonts firm grasp on the ethics and challanges of possessing this technology brings the novel back into the realm realistic fiction.

I really liked this book, but I did have trouble connecting with the characters. To me, the characterizations seemed a bit more shallow, more static than the dynamic shades of grey found in Mr. Coonts other works.

Overall, this is a very thought provoking diversion that takes the reader on a wild ride of a story.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By P. Alther on November 6, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Being unfamiliar with Stephen Coonts' other works (aside from Saucer: The Conquest), I cannot give a review based on past experiences with the author and this may not be one of his best works. So, before beginning this review, I wanted to let it be known that I am unfamiliar with his other works and writing style and am reviewing this based purely on the work itself.

That being out of the way, I loved reading this book. To be fair, this is by far not the best book I've ever read (not even close), but it was an enjoyably fun read that was literally tough for me to put down, and this is how I based my 5 star rating. It's a cooky, thrilling adventure. Is it goofy at times? Of course! That's what makes it fun.

Personally, I read so many academic books at this point of my life that it's nice to curl up to a more light-hearted book and allow yourself to relax.

I definitely recommend reading this book, as well as the sequel. If you're interested in saucer like novels, I would also recommend Steve Vance's The Asgard Run. Cheers!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ilmk on June 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Coonts' latest offering is the kind of novel you buy for that long plane journey, train ride or simply sitting outside one afternoon. Lacking depth in its plot, characterisation, it more than makes up for it with its sheer 'hold on for the ride' exhilaration.
Rip Cantrell, who is working in the Sahara for a seismic surveying company during a summer vacation, spots a glint of metal and unearths a flying saucer in under two days - which in itself is no mean feat - then promptly, under the misguided notion that 'finders keepers' steals it from under the arguing governmental types with an ex-army pilot, Charley.
What follows is a nonsensical speed ride across Missouri, earth orbit, Australia (bad guys come from here for a change), Eygpt, and an American stadium. A joy ride, par excellence, a literal rollercoaster, Coonts eventually takes his hands off the throttle to briefly explain the origins of this hundred, forty thousand year old craft, throws in a navigation system born of virtual reality and your ever-reliable anti-grav system to create an adventure where a scheming corporate magnate steals the saucer for huge financial and territorial gain in a lottery.
Our erstwhile hero saves the day and then neatly ends giving all this wonderful technology to the people of planet Earth whilst the governments of the world look on.
So, an enjoyable ride. Coonts finally does what other sci-fi authors haven't yet done - produces a flying saucer, removes the mystique and says: let's take it for a ride. All in all, it's hardly a thought-provoking novel, but it is a good fun read on that transatlantic flight.
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