THE LONG HAUL by Rene Puget


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Full of the poetry of flight and unassertively noble men, this short novel from France both charms and excites. It also features an extraordinary woman, Daniele key, called ""Mireille."" Gilbert Marnier, an ex-war pilot, now close to fifty and a family man, is asked to make the world's longest airline flight- from Orly Field in Paris to New Caledonia. Fatefully the pilot is a man whom Marnier taught to fly during the war. All the comforts of the pilot's cabin are extended to Marnier and he shares the camaraderie of the crew. Before long Marnier is again fascinated by flight and he also falls in love with Mireille, the plane's hostess. Mireille, for good reason, has ""chosen to be the eternal wanderer whose horizon is sky, clouds, stars, shared with her flying colleagues."" As a parachute nurse at Dienbienphu, she was wounded by shrapnel, and later, when flying medical supplies with her fiance, watched him as he was shot before her eyes. Now, only her death wish keeps her loft... Typhoons, sandstorms, dead motors, and other dangers bring this to a moving climax. It is all handled with realism, along with a touch of the metaphysics of flight which has drifted through its literature ever since Saint-Exupery.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1964
Publisher: Simon & Schuster