THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY by Ernest K. Gann

THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A new novel sustains the skywriting of Benjamin Lawless and Island in the Sky in down-to-earth terms as a commercial flight from Honolulu to San Francisco, its passengers and crew, provide some recognizable figures and readymade situations which converge at a common denominator in the toss-up between life and death. There's Sullivan, the pilot, whose experience in the air brings with it only a cumulative fear; Dan Roman, who 'didn't know when to quit' and at 53 is too old for a young profession; Leonard Wilby, the navigator, in love with the wife who will probably ruin him; the Bucks- newlyweds, and the Rices- whose marriage had been spoiled by her money; Humphrey Agnew, obsessively jealous of Kenneth Childs, whose worldly success is matched by his easy ways with women; Korean Miss Chen- who will study at Columbia, and Frank Briscoe, who will soon die of cancer; etc. etc. And as an engine catches fire and a propeller is lost, the passengers are alerted to the ditching ahead, and private quarrels ease off before the larger question mark of survival. On the flight deck, it is Roman who makes the decision to take a chance on reaching the airport- rather than ditching into a nasty sea- and it is his calm and his seasoned judgment which brings the ship in safely.... An old story, for which there are not too many lines-but the processing is sure and smooth.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1953
Publisher: William Sloane