THE PITCHER AND THE WELL by Anonymous
Kirkus Star

THE PITCHER AND THE WELL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The whole of life in a minute of time,"" is the author's ambition in this work, and he magnificently fulfills his quest. By an anonymous RAF navigator-bombardier, this true, wild, marvelous, skin-prickling account of the air war over Europe during WWIT is as exciting and moving a blood bath as anything since The Ilaid, or perhaps earlier. The nameless narrator lies dying of burns in a German POW hospital. He is swathed in bandages, not permitted to see himself, and spends his last days and hours dictating these memoirs to his front gunner, Don, a fellow POW. The last pages dictated, which were incoherent, are mercifully not included by the editor (the narrator's Squadron Leader, who insists upon maintaining confidences). The navigator reflects upon his RA career, sexual affairs and childhood. Mission upon mission upon mission is described with such tension, immediacy and madness that the account is a constant tennis of climaxes, relieved only by weekend reductions in London. The navigator spent years bombing the Continent and yet died before D-Day. A piece of lost time imprinted like a flak pattern on a fuselage, his is a memorable memoir from the middle of the battle.

Pub Date: May 13th, 1963
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin