IN THE COMPANY OF EAGLES by Ernest K. Gann

IN THE COMPANY OF EAGLES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

We must award Mr. Gann (The High and the Mighty, Fate is the Hunter) the EAAA--Exciting Aeronautical Adventure Award. What a storyteller! This flying time is set in World War I. The ""Eagles"" are French Airman Paul Chaney and German Sergeant Sebastian Kupper who are fated to become the lofty dualists in the rising climax. Chaney has vowed vengeance on Kupper because of a supposed act of barbarism which he witnessed. But before the two combatants meet, the story meticulously explores the daily actions, philosophies and psychology of both men. Kupper is a slowly disintegrating Ace, a moralist in a split second game that allows no room for hesitation or doubt. Chaney is a man obsessed by his own private war against Kupper, personalizing the ordeal, and in a sense escaping the greater psychological effects of the devastation surrounding him. There are some interesting minor characters: Kupper's aide whom Kupper feels embodies ""the emblem of war-- the helpless, confused, fundamentally barbaric creature swept up and carried on by events and evils over which he had not the slightest control:"" Chaney's bumbling mechanic who provides comic relief and Chaney's Group Captain Jordan, a lovable, frustrated, patriotic ""orphan"" as far as bureaucratic aptitude went. But the essential excitment lies of course in the missions and in the skirmishes with flak leaping from the page. You feel like you've been there.

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 1966
Publisher: Simon & Schuster