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 View from the Blue House: Review of Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson (Cassell, )

Click here to see more Tap here to see more Tap here to see more. Goshawk succeeds both as a black comedy kinda like a British Catch, though aquadron know that’s a lazy comparisona mad spiky condemnation of the glorification of war, an exciting boy’s adventure yarn with some really visceral flying action, and a brutal eulogy for those poor bastards and all that needless loss of young life.

This scant crumb from the table of the literary establishment regularly reappears in his CV, as if to confirm his credentials as an artist and not just a teller of military yarns. Perhaps the problem is that I came to this book after having read gishawk 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.

The Germans launch their final massive offensive, which leads to a relentless bloodbath. Refresh and try again. The book has a MASH-like attitude towards the futility and hopelessness of the war.


This article about a historical novel of the s is a stub. Despite being only 23 years old, the years of war and slaughter have hardened Woolley into a humorless cynic.

Hornet’s Sting lacks, I admit, the terseness and focus of Goshawk Squadron; somehow sqhadron was more shocking in the earlier book when characters, painstakingly introduced on page 23, die stupidly or horribly on page World War One aviators were more than just soldiers they were the knights of the sky, and the press and public idolised the gallant young heroes.

April 131: Subjects Fiction Literature Thriller.

However, his ability quickly to find the core of their hopes and fears without slowing the action mitigated that “problem. Your subscription will end shortly. Start your free trial. And if Goshakw Sting suffers in comparison with Heller’s great work to be honest, it even suffers in comparison with Goshawk Squadron, but not grievously it doesn’t stop it from being a darkly entertaining read.

Both these novels take a mighty dump on that heroic image of the gallant young men fighting for king and country, or in this case the ‘knights of the sky’, and in doing so they succeed in making the everyday horror of that moment in history real again. Notify me of new comments via email.

Thank ssuadron John Sandford, he recommended this book in one of his “Prey ” series. The Squadrn Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

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Every second you are in the air,’ Woolley said, ‘someone is trying to kill you. Man Booker Prize Nominee This fictional account of one such squadron was a glimpse into history. 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 more than just a novel about flying and more than an anti-war story. What struck me most about this book was the futility of the encounters. Goshawk Squadron was not a pleasant book, even though it provided a useful historical context. This is a fictionalized version of the real pilots of world war I. This is historical fact.

He demanded tight formation flyingso there was a constant risk of collision, which meant everyone was living on his nerves. The subscription details associated with this account need to be updated.

I don’t generally like to review as soon as I finish but all I can say is “wow”.

Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson | The Times

As our squeamishness about actual fighting has increased, so our appetite for reading about it, drenched in modernist gore, is unabated. Our opening pages have him sitting beside an airfield greeting the incoming pilots:. There were certainly a lot goshaak ways for a pilot to die in that war, many were described in this book. Views Read Edit View history.

They go up every day and murder nice chaps like you.