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Hornet Flight Mass Market Paperback – November 25, 2003
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Follett, an old pro at World War II storytelling, vividly evokes the period, creating a sense not of historical re-creation but of urgently unfolding news. His cast of characters is memorable, including Harald Olufsen, a brainy 18-year-old pulled into the Resistance half against his will, and--typically for Follett--several central, well-drawn women. The plot does have some predictable elements: for example, from the time Harald first encounters a tiny wood-and-linen biplane called a Hornet Moth, half-rotted and stored away in a Danish barn, we know that it will heroically take to the skies. Then, when the very outcome of the war begins to turn on Harald getting a certain roll of film from Denmark to England, well... you can see where things are headed. But it's great fun to watch them develop, and Follett throws in just enough unexpected shocks to keep you off balance. Though it lacks the intensity of Eye of the Needle, Follett's finest and best-known book, Hornet Flight offers generous helpings of suspense and a climax that could hardly be more satisfying. --Nicholas H. Allison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"Hornet Flight" is that sort of delight. I was an early Follett fan, devouring "The Eye of the Needle," "The Key to Rebecca," and "The Man from St. Petersburg." His strengths--his characters, his detailed research, his pacing--kept me coming back for more. Then, as Follett branched into other areas of fiction, my interest wavered.
The WWII theme of this latest book brought me back, and I discovered that forgotten "five dollar bill." The story revolves around young Harald Olafsun, a Danish man faced with the occupation of the Nazis and the bland apathy of many of his countrymen. When he realizes that the Nazis have a new technology that gives them the edge in air-battles, when he finds himself entangled in a budding resistance movement, he uncovers his own courage and the surprising resilence of his fellow people...and the treachery of some of her trusted authorities. Soon, Harald and an attractive Danish upperclass girl come to the realization that they alone have the ability to get invaluable info to the British by way of a dangerous flight in a dilapidated Hornet Moth.
"Hornet Flight" is not the most valuable thriller I've ever found, not the slickest or most modern, but it's a nice surprise all the same. Follett's old skills are evident--characters we can believe, well-balanced pacing, and the details to make wartime Denmark seem touchable. I'm sure glad I dug into these old pockets. You just never know what you might find.
Follett is no stranger to World War II yarns, but he approaches this thriller with a new and refreshing perspective. Rather than painting the Germans as rabid Nazis, he portrays them only as menacing background. The real villain is a Danish detective with a very complex personality, determined to break the spy ring and extract personal vengeance from Harald and his family. The hero is imperfect, yielding a clever idea one moment and staggering into a pitfall the next. This heightens the realism and suspense. In fact, Follett downplays his normal gunplay, using the space to develop a very rich ensemble of characters woven into an intriguing and rewarding story.
"Hornet Flight" neither begins nor ends with explosions. The reader ends up enjoying the journey as much as the destination.
You know how it's going to end even before you start thanks to too much information on the description page but it's still a rollicking fun ride. It hit me just right during these blase winter days.
However, the overall plot is extremely predictable. You can see just what is going to happen after reading the first 25%. The details however revolve time and time and time again on a whole series of coincidences which is very out of character for Follett. I liked most of his books because the story line follows a logical flow with interesting bobs and weaves stemming from an initial premise. This was more like a low budget movie where things happen by coincidences and characters survive by inches or seconds so many times it becomes unbelievable and ridiculous.
The climatic seen of the flight to England has to be the absolutely worst piece of writing ever by Follett. The events are ridiculous, the characters repeatedly make stupid errors, and the whole thing plays like a cheap B movie. For instance, are we to believe that the only character who knows how to fly the plane falls asleep during a night flight over water half an hour after almost being shot out of the sky -- and the inexperienced person that's awake lets her sleep? Or the king of them all, are we to believe the character waits till the airplane is within minutes of running out of gas before remembering to add the extra can of gas he has in the cockpit -- which he could have done 4 hours earlier? Or how about delaying a day the flight that will change the war and save thousands of lives so that the main character can go to the ballet?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good Story. The only problem is that it ends right at the point where you want the story to continue.Published 26 days ago by Bernard
Quick moving story combined with some interesting historical and technical backgrounds. Good imagery which added to the reading experience.Published 1 month ago by Michael J Hill
If you love to read.....Ken Follett is your guy. The book I received was brand new and delivered very fast.Published 1 month ago by CindyG
Keeps your attention, interesting plot about the Danish Resistance in WW2 .Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer