"Fate is the Hunter" - Ernest K. Gann

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by drafttek, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    Funny.

    The "No Highway" book was made into a movie, Jimmy Stewart starring, which was a n absolute piece of dung.

    "On the Beach" was also made film, very good, very depressing.
     
  2. CJones

    CJones En-Route

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    I liked the book overall, but the long lists of people's names mixed in along the way made it a bit difficult to stay on track.

    Other than that, though, I liked the first-hand account of some harrowing events in a storied career.
     
  3. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Okay, I really liked Gann's Fate is the Hunter. But I got a second copy for Christmas, so at least one has to go into the PoA Library. PM me if you're interested!
     
  4. freightdog

    freightdog Filing Flight Plan

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    Just read it a few weeks ago, definitly one of the best books I've ever read. I do agree with some peoples feelings that it is a bit on the wordy side, and at points it does go astray with the lists of names. But, the finer points of it more than make up for that. The chapters with the fiord in Greenland, the scud running over the North Atlantic near Iceland, and the four crashes in one day in India were unbelievable. Gann's philosophys on the mindset of pilots are timeless, and I found it very relatable still today, though I am glad that my windshield de-ices with the flick of a switch, rather than having to use the "elephant pecker."

    My favorite quote of the book was in referance to flying through thunderstorms; "A pilot may earn his full pay for that year in less than two minutes. At the time of incident he would gladly return the entire amount for the privilege of being elsewhere."
     
  5. Amelia

    Amelia Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I loved Fate is the Hunter- the first time. And the second time. Reading these reviews has made me wonder where my copy is- it may be time for a third perusal. Some of the stories are better than others, but all make me feel as if I were right there beside him, in an era I otherwise would have missed entirely.
    If you're a big fan of shoot-em-ups and torrid love scenes, and think anything else falls short, don't bother -- this won't appeal to you. I felt it was so real I could almost smell the leather, hear the drone of those big engines. Yep. Got to go unearth my battered paperback and take another look.
     
  6. Mooneymike

    Mooneymike Pre-Flight

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    Reading this post got me to thinking about when the first time I read it was. I honestly can not remember but I will dig it out and reread it, one of my favorites for sure.
     
  7. rottydaddy

    rottydaddy En-Route

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    Go for it... I've re-read my copy about 3 times already. :D
    It is available, BTW, if anybody wants to borrow it.
     
  8. silver-eagle

    silver-eagle En-Route

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    I have Grant's copy available if anyone is interested. PM me with your particulars and I'll get it right out.
    I found it quite enjoyable. It's a look into the early days of aviation you don't usually get to see.
     
  9. Jack Spectre

    Jack Spectre Line Up and Wait

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    But you get more attention with a contrary viewpoint!
     
  10. Jeanie

    Jeanie Pattern Altitude

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    Ok, I'd like to read Fate. Any of you folks out there still have a copy I could borrow?

    PM me or email me - jean@bigbend.net

    Thanks
     
  11. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    Jean:

    Let me hunt mine down; you're pretty well vouched-for!

    Spike
     
  12. Old Geek

    Old Geek Pattern Altitude

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    Gann also wrote "Flying Circus". Kind of a short 3-4 page writeup of each of all the planes he knew about plus some personal flying stuff. Easy and fun reading.

    Call me shallow but I liked the movie "Fate is the Hunter". It had nothing to do with the book, but it did have some really nice character development. Gann also wrote an autobiography which I did not care for at all.

    As to Nevil Shute (Norway), read "Slide Rule". It's an autobiography of his work as aircraft and aeronautic engineer. I also liked "No Highway", both the book and the movie. Finally, if you want to try something really strange, read his book "Around the Bend". I won't even try to give a synopsis.
     
  13. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I liked the book a lot. Don't think I've ever watched the movie.
     
  14. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just curious - what didn't you like about the autobiography? I assume you are referring to Hostage to Fortune.

    It was written in essentially the same style as Fate (which is essentially autobiographical), but covered a much greater period of time (including how he managed to start flying in the first place).
     
  15. Fearless Tower

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    It is a bit difficult to find. You pretty much need to find a specialized movie dealer to get a copy these days. Starred Glenn Ford and the plot line was completely different from the book. Basically incorporated some of the stories from the book but was very different.

    Gann himself hated the way it turned out....he wrote and rewrote the screenplay several times and finally just turned in what he had, but wasn't happy about it. I think part of the problem was that there are so many interesting stories and adventures in the book that it was very difficult to find a way to synthesize them all for just one movie.
     
  16. Anymouse

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    Assuming that we're still talking about Fate is the Hunter, I don't believe Ernie had anything to do with the movie other than selling the rights to the title. His Bio on IMDB shows a book credit, but nothing about the screenplay. Trivia for the movie indicates that Gann demanded that his name not appear in the credits, but as mentioned, he did get a credit for the book. Thing is, the movie had nothing to do with the book. Hollywood just wanted the title. From what I heard, Gann refused to give up creative rights after this movie.
     
  17. Aeleron

    Aeleron Filing Flight Plan

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    Do those guys know how to read?! I thought they just look at pictures.:D

    Actually, I thought the film closely followed the book, just like his "High and the Mighty". I enjoyed just about anything Gann wrote; he, to me, was a pilot's pilot; maybe a Kerouac of the skies. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Read Hostage to Fortune.....in that book, Gann explains how the whole Fate is the Hunter movie deal went down. Unless I misunderstood him, Gann wanted his name removed from the credits because he was so disappointed with how the story turned out....but he did actually come up with the basic movie story. It was one of those things where he wrote and rewrote it several times and was never happy with how it was turning out, but he had an agreement where he needed to provide something so he finally turned in what he had so he could move on with his life.
     
  19. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Huh?

    The movie High and the Mighty followed the book practically like a script. Fate is the Hunter...not so much.
     
  20. Anymouse

    Anymouse Pattern Altitude

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    I may have to read that.
     
  21. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Speaking of Fate is the Hunter...anyone recognize the airplane?

    Someone just posted this on WIX:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  22. j1b3h0

    j1b3h0 Line Up and Wait

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    I think "Fate is the Hunter" is a must read for pilots. While my english teacher mother would probably not wax poetic about his prose, I think Gann was one of the few writers to really put his finger on what 'Captain sense' is all about. And I say that speaking as an experienced airline captain. There were many fine writers (St, Exubery springs to mind) who wrote about flying in flowery language, but clearly spent a lot more time writing than flying.

    I first learned about Gann's book when I recieved "The Best Book of True Aviation Stories" Doubleday, now out of print. The book, which I got as a birthday gift in 1968, has a chapter from 17 great aviation books. Stories from Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Lindbergh, Tony LeVier, Basil Rowe, Richard Bach, John Glenn and many others, provided me with hours of reading pleasure - as well as aquainting me with much aviation history. Might be able to find it on ebay.
     
  23. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    21 copies available used on Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Best-Book-Tru...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327005354&sr=1-1
     
  24. Leviticus

    Leviticus Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm new to this board. Have been lurking for quite a while, but finally registered, and, being the rabid bibliophile that I am, zeroed in on this sub-forum pretty quickly.

    "Fate" is easily my all-time favorite flying book; the best ever written, IMHO. It's been interesting to read the preceding three pages with the few "meh" comments.

    Also interesting are the observations that it's too wordy. I always thought exactly the opposite was true~ that it's a work of vigorous and economical prose which conveys a great deal within the confines of its chapters.

    Ah well, to each his (or her) own, I guess. Second best Gann book is his memoir, "A Hostage to Fortune." Third best is his book "Song of the Sirens," which describes his other great obsession which was sailing. The rest of his long list of novels don't even come close.
     
  25. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not to derail the thread, but Welcome, Leviticus!
     
  26. Anymouse

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    Fate is the Hunter is definitely my favorite Gann book. Second favorite would be Blaze of Noon, which is one of his earliest works. The movie, if you can catch it on AMC, TCM or some such channel, is pretty good as well. It actually follows the book pretty close.
     
  27. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    I surely hope you mean the movie, Blaze of Noon, follows the book, because the only, and I mean ONLY, thing that the movie "Fate is the Hunter" has in common with the book, is the title.
     
  28. Anymouse

    Anymouse Pattern Altitude

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    Yes!! Sorry for the confusion.
     
  29. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Great book. I know the prose is a bit overly-dramatic; but what amazing stories!

    Read it with a favorite beverage, and imagine your father (or grandfather) telling the stories to you, sitting in front of the fireplace, while he waxes poetic, semi-reluctantly revealing the stories of his life. Enthralling.
     
  30. Wingsofglass

    Wingsofglass Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just finished this book. I'm happy to send it to the first person that PMs me provided they agree to post back here when they are done with it and send to the next POAer.

    As an aside I went to a retirement ceremony at the Hill Air Force Base museum yesterday. Standing in front of a C47 after just reading this reading book really makes you appreciate how crazy/skilled these guys were.
     
  31. Headspace

    Headspace Pre-Flight

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    I loved that movie. There should be more Napoleonic war movies.
     
  32. Dave Krall CFII

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    Just very intently re-read it the third time, about every 7 years now. His command of the English language is outstanding. His use of "many names" ( always just last names) is necessary as he describes first his impressions of fellow pilots and then later, often their deaths in pairs. I wonder how his lame critics on this would write of them instead?

    I'm trying to find my copy of his "Flying Circus" (excellent paintings for each chapter, IIRC) and will buy another if I can't find it plus, try his "Hostage Of Fortune".
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
  33. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    This 3rd reading, I actually searched online (to no avail) for at least some pix of those old charts of South America!
     
  34. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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  35. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    Yeah, went through all those, even called EAA to see if they had one in their EK Gann Museum and nobody even KNEW about the museum until I tracked down their librarian! She made a special trip to his exhibit in their warehouse and confirmed no charts.

    There should be some 1930s era charts viewable somewhere....
     
  36. tinerj

    tinerj Line Up and Wait

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    Fate is the Hunter is not the best aviation book I've read.
    Fate is the Hunter is not the best aviation movie I've seen.

    But which one, movie or book, is better than the other?

    Here's a question to ask someone when you want to know the most interesting place they've visited. "Where have you been that you'd like to revisit?"

    So here's the question: Would I rather see the movie for the third time (I've already seen it twice), or would I rather read the book the third time (I've already read it twice)

    Answer: I'd rather see the movie again.
     
  37. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's surprising, because Gann really hated the movie.
     
  38. John Baker

    John Baker Final Approach

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    I love the way Gann writes, I have most of his published books. It is hard to find books by him. Mine are all paperbacks with yellowing pages, except for three or four hardbound copies. He has without a doubt, established himself as my all time favorite author. He brings you right into his adventures with him. He manipulates our language like a concert pianist. He was truly amazing.

    -John
     
  39. tinerj

    tinerj Line Up and Wait

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    Fate is the Hunter is available through most Internet used book services. www.abe.com lists many copies for $1.00 plus shipping.

    His autobiography, A Hostage to Fortune, (a book I thoroughly enjoyed), is also available as a used book for $1.00 plus shipping at www.abe.com.
     
  40. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    Reminds me of a scene in the classic "captain 'ron" movie