But for Stanley Woolley, commanding officer of Goshawk Squadron, the romance of Wolley believes the whole squadron will be dead within three months. Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson. Antonia Senior. April 13 , am, The Times. Derek Robinson&#;s novels are rooted in realism. He was shortlisted for the Booker for his novel about the RFC, Goshawk Squadron. This scant crumb from the table of the literary.
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Major Wooley tries to give his goshaqk a fighting chance by teaching them war is not chivalrous, luck is not your friend, and the best thing you can hope for is to surprise your enemy and shoot him in the back. Overall, an engaging, well written novel that shows war for what it really is.
Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Further suggestions might be found on the article’s talk sqiadron. Woolley keeps no emotional attachments, even to his girlfriend Margery, a nurse in the Hospital Corps. He has a History degree from Cambridge University, where he attended Downing College, has worked in advertising in the UK and the US and as a broadcaster on radio and television.
As our squeamishness about actual fighting has increased, so our appetite for reading about it, drenched in modernist gore, is unabated.
Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson | The Times
Aug 14, Fred Baerkircher rated it really liked it. The emphasis is on the character of Woolley and his the effects the war has on him. Perhaps the problem is that I came to this book after having read a number of other, later works by Derek Robinson as well as a number of actual histories and memoirs of the First World War in the air.
Accessibility Links Skip to content. It introduces the character Stanley Woolley, the commander of the squadron — a man who Robinson himself says is not the sort of man you’d want your daughter to marry.
Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson
I heard about this author on NPR and the reviewer just raved about his work. The horrors of the trenches, the bombardments and fruitless battles over a few metres squqdron land being far from your mind.
The Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. You are currently logged out.
Despite being only 23 years old, the years of war and slaughter have hardened Woolley into a humorless cynic. As well as sqquadron flying skills, he drilled them in the routines for reconnaissance, escort duty, balloon attacks, low level infantry support, and artillery observation.
Well, he’s back here, suddenly popping up as a trainer in England, and then squzdron sent over to France to fly with Hornet Squadron, equipped with Bristol F2As after having been nearly wiped out by flying the inferior Sopwith Pups. The only aspect that interfered with my reading was Robinson’s penchant for constantly shifting points of view within a scene, including shifting to the POV of characters that had never been truly defined.
M A very fine work on air combat in the First World War, somewhat compromised because Robinson is writing a novel and thus slightly dramatises his characters and their off-duty hours activities. McCudden was killed in an aircraft accident during the same time period Robinson is writing about. However, if one also reads Flying FuryJames McCudden’s personal account as one of the great British aces who fought in this same war, and reads just a little in between the lines, one finds that Robinson’s dramatization is probably a lot less than one thought it was.
This is not a game for “gentlemen”, not a sport. There are innumerable books on war, squadrpn sub-themed or sprinkled with all sorts of other facets such as patriotism, glory, passion, love, hatred, tragic… But nothing I previously read has addressed the brutal pointlessness so bluntly.
The folly of war and the charnal house that was WW1 is stripped bare of any intellegenc or glory and shown for w Thank you John Sandford, he recommended this book in one of his “Prey ” series. A very fine work on air combat in the First World War, somewhat compromised because Robinson is writing a novel and gosuawk slightly dramatises his characters and their off-duty hours activities.
These were young, naive men subjected to just horrific realities, and Robinson brilliantly conveys the insanity of that situation with the kind of humour it deserves. This article about a World War I novel is a stub. Pilots were flying planes made of principally of wood, canvas and wire, and the engines were treated with castor oil to keep them lubricated, the fumes of which acted as a laxative tha Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in Squadroh turn the pages, saturated in the atmosphere.
These were young, naive men subjected to just horrific realities, and Robinson brilliantly conveys the insanity of that situation This is right up there with Alexander Baron’s From the City, from the Plough. Nov 09, Uthpala Dassanayake rated it really liked it. They go up every day and murder nice chaps like you.
The View from the Blue House: Review of Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson (Cassell, )
With so many young men coming and going from the squadron, it is down to Woolley an old man at 23 and a harsh realist who constantly berates the pilots to be our main protagonist. It was a bleak and savage book, full of the terror of warfare and shot through with grim humour; a sort of first-world-war Catch Thanks ssquadron telling us about the problem. When Margery’s field station gets bombed, she is erroneously reported dead. Apr 18, Alistair rated it really liked it. The men, not understanding why he is training them this way or what he is trying to teach them, resent gowhawk.
Please update your billing details here to continue enjoying sqquadron subscription. Subscribe now and get unlimited digital access on web and our smartphone and tablet apps, free for your first month. Do’t get me wrong this book is deadly serious about it’s subject and clearly illustrates how some people would likely deal with a fate which was inevitable yet unthinkable.
The horrors of the trenches, the bombardments and fruitless battles over a few metres of land being far from your mind. I bought the book simply as part of a project to read all Booker Prize short-listed fiction.
Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in