Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say
About Ernest K Gann


The Aviator
Copyright © 1981
by Ernest K Gann
GK Hall

Ernest K Gann writes best sellers about flying and fighting — 11, in fact, most of them published in the 1950s; the best known is probably The High and the Mighty, but one still comes across a musty hardcover Fate Is the Hunter or Blaze of Noon on a pine shelf beside the jigsaw-puzzle boxes in a summer cottage Mr. Gann's heroes, whether at war in ancient Masada or World War I France, are usually laconic, fiercely self-reliant loners, cynical sentimentalists, promiscuous with death, faithful to a pal. — New York Times

Fate is the Hunter
Copyright © 1961
by Ernest K Gann
Simon & Schuster

Fate is the Hunter is partly autobiographical, party a chronicle of some of the most memorable and courageous pilots the reader will ever encounter in print; and always this book is about the workings of fate. The book is studded with characters equally as memorable as the dramas they act out. — Cornelius Ryan

Mr Gann is a writer saturated in his subject; he has the skill to make every instance sharp and important and we catch the fever to know that documentary writing does not often invite. — VS Pritchett, New Statesman

This book is an episodic log of some of the more memorable of [the author's] nearly ten thousand hours aloft in peace and (as a member of the Air Transport Command) in war. It is also an attempt to define by example his belief in the phenomenon of luck — that "the pattern of anyone's fate is only partly contrived by the individual." — The New Yorker

Few writers have ever drawn their readers so intimately into the shielded sanctum of the cockpit, and it is here that Mr Gann is truly the artist. — New York Times Book Review

This fascinating, well-told autobiography is a complete refutation of the comfortable cliché that "man is master of his fate." As far as pilots are concerned, fate (or death) is a hunter who is constantly in pursuit of them. There is nothing depressing about Fate is the Hunter. There is tension and suspense in it but there is great humor too. Happily, Gann never gets too technical for the layman to understand. — Saturday Review

This purely wonderful autobiographical volume is the best thing on flying and the meaning of flying that we have had since Antoine de Saint-Exup$eacute;ry took us aloft on his winged prose in the late 1930s and early 1940s. It is a splendid and many-faceted personal memoir that is not only one man's story but the story, in essence, of all men who fly. — Chicago Sunday Tribune

This book is an episodic log of some of the more memorable of (the author's) nearly 10,000 hours aloft in peace and in war. It is also an attempt to define by example his belief in the phenomenon of luck — that the pattern of anyone's fate is only partly contrived by the individual. — The New Yorker

Many of aviation's classic stories can be found in Ernest K Gann's book, Fate is the Hunter. Perhaps the most outrageous occurred as he and his ATC crew departed Agra on a hot summer morning in a C-87 named "Gremlin's Castle" and almost demolished the Taj Mahal. Ernie was a master yarn spinner and his works are must read for anyone who loves flying. Landings

Ernest K Gann, one of the great writers of our time, regards life as war — an undeclared war against fate, the fate that hunts men down. He writes about his own experiences as a commercial airline pilot during the early days of the industry — a time when such a job was a ticking clock just waiting for your time to come to an end. ... There's an old saying that flying is hours of boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror. That is the essence captured by Gann in this wonderfully written account of the early world of aviation. — VFA-13 Shadow Riders

Gentlemen of Adventure
Copyright © 1983
by Ernest K Gann
Arbor House

There is something relaxing about watching an old pro like Ernest K Gann go about his work. ... He gives readers their money's worth. — New York Times

The Triumph
Copyright © 1986
by Ernest K Gann
Simon & Schuster

This absorbing sequel to The Antagonists, on which the television mini-series Masada was based, picks up the story of the Roman general Flavius Silva the morning after his Pyrrhic victory over the Jews, who chose to commit mass suicide rather than submit to Roman domination. ... Ernest K Gann writes with the forward-march precision of a Roman orator and the psychological insight of an ancient Greek dramatist. Especially masterful are his portraits of the gruff, rough-and-ready Vespasian and the wily Jewish historian Josephus. Best of all, he gives us a fresh, realistic look at the love affair between Titus and his Jewish mistress Berenice, a story that flowered in the French neoclassical drama of Corneille and Racine. This is a historical novel in the grand manner, unmarred by lapses into soap opera or sweet-savage formats. — New York Times

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