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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The book was squsdron at the time of its publication for its quality and was nominated for the Booker Prize for Fiction in Please update your billing details here to continue enjoying your subscription. Published Goshwwk 29th by Robinson Publishing first published A Piece of Cake also The very beginning of the novel sets the tone for the rest of the book.

Despite being only 23 years old, the years of war and slaughter have hardened Woolley into a humorless cynic. Get The International Xquadron for free for your first 30 days for unlimited Smartphone and Tablet access.

He has also written several books on some of the more sordid events in the history of Bristol, his home town, as well as guides to rugby. Towards the end the book started to concentrate on two pilots, but even that was no guarantee either would survive.

I bought the book simply as part of a project to read all Booker Prize short-listed fiction. A novel about the air war over the Western Front in Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize goshhawk For a full review visit my blog at www.

Please update your billing information. Fascinating behind the scenes of world war 1 flyers. No trivia or quizzes yet. Thank you John Sandford, he recommended this book in one of his “Prey ” series. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here The writer clearl I really rated this glshawk 3. I would say it was better than Catch, myself.


Derek Robinson is a British author best known for his military aviation novels full of black humour. Yet it is not to be forgotten that the night ends in a man’s death, and possibly a rape.

Goshawk Squadron

There were certainly a lot of ways squaeron a pilot to die in that war, many were described in this book. This is more than just a novel about flying and more than an anti-war story. It’s not that this is a bad book but that it left me wanting more – perhaps I just couldn’t connect with the characters enough to care about them or the combat sequences were too routine and mundane compared to the accounts of real missions which knowing Robinson I’m sure he researched.

Are there any similar novels about WW2 aviators? It is very dark but I highly recommend this one. Woolley keeps no emotional attachments, even to his girlfriend Margery, a nurse in the Hospital Corps. If he does it properly you will never know.

Robinson makes a revealing comment in the author’s note at the back: In this novel, the war above the trenches is just as grim, dirty, and pointless as the war in the trenches.

Read the full article. The savagery of war is not shirked and deaths are treated without sentiment or even dwelt upon. With the proper remembrance of those who gave their lives on both sides, it’s worth reading Goshawk Squadron before talking of heroes. 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 goshawj.

Shortlist – Goshawk Squadron – Derek Robinson | Messenger’s Booker (and more)

This novel is filled with comic dialogue, mischievous adventures, false court martials to avoid French Legal prosecution, ill-fated love and with no happy ending in site. Let me reconfirm those credentials; and that there is a time and a place for military yarns, too, particularly with Armistice Day coming up. Jun 18, C rated it really liked it. 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 that was countered by alcohol.


Want to read more? 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.

Goshawk Squadron was not a pleasant book, even though it provided a useful historical context. Find out more about OverDrive accounts. 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.

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I’m writing this as we approach the centenary of the end of World War One. This page was last edited on 7 Februaryat Open Goshzwk See a Problem? The biting humor and depiction of war is sharp as a razor. Well worth the read. Aug 14, Fred Baerkircher rated it really liked it. Pilots are introduced, only to be sacrificed minutes later.

Major Wooley tries to give his men 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.

Goshawj first read Goshawk Squadron about 20 years ago, at the insistent recommendation of a friend.