Gann, Ernest. The High and the Mighty. New York: William Sloan Associates, 1953.
Reason read: August is Aviation month.
Ignore the dated details like being introduced to your flight crew before boarding, stewardesses taking your coats as you settle into your seat, it being permissible to smoke once en route and so on…and you will have the classic tale of impending tragedy. The story unfolds in the typical fashion. Readers are introduced to the crew, warts and all. Then, the passengers and all their bad habits. Typical of a suspense thriller is the sense of foreboding. Something is wrong but no one can quite put a finger on the exact problem. Everyone, passengers and crew alike, noticed something “off” but either can’t articulate the worry or just pass it off as part of an overcautious imagination. As a result everyone on board flight four-two-zero keeps mum until it’s too late. It’s extremely interesting to watch the fear build in lead controversial character, Dan Roman.
As an aside, I have a 1953 copy of The High and the Mighty and it is covered in stains and full of small rips. This was a oft-read book!
Author fact: Gann wrote many, many other novels. I am reading Fate is the Hunter and Hostage to Fortune as well.
Book trivia: Best seller. Also made into a movie in 1954 starring who else? John Freaking Wayne. Need. To. See. This.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called what else? “Flying High Above the Clouds” (p 89).