But for Stanley Woolley, commanding officer of Goshawk Squadron, the romance of Wolley believes the whole squadron will be dead within three months. Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson. Antonia Senior. April 13 , am, The Times. Derek Robinson&#;s novels are rooted in realism. He was shortlisted for the Booker for his novel about the RFC, Goshawk Squadron. This scant crumb from the table of the literary.

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Some will come at you head-on with an axe. Feb 24, Nooilforpacifists rated it really liked it Shelves: War is not fair.

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Derek Robinson quietly builds the day-to-day details of these mens lives and deaths boshawk a powerful indictment of war. It made me laugh out loud in places, the pilots were so funny when off duty though pity the poor restauranteurs.

Overall, an engaging, well written novel that shows war for what it really is. The number of minor characters, and the lack of differentiation between them for the early part of the book made these characters flat and pale. I would say it was better than Catch, gosgawk.

He abhors any notion of chivalry in the clouds and is determined to obliterate the decent, gentlemanly outlook of his young, public school-educated pilots–for their own good. Goshadk is quite a shocking read in that characters with whom you are familiar and may have liked just simply vanish. As well as individual flying skills, he squqdron them in the routines for reconnaissance, escort duty, balloon attacks, low level infantry support, and artillery observation.

Robinson’s Goshawk Squadron is very well done and brutally realistic, albeit with some rather flamboyantly over-the-top characters.

Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson

He demanded tight formation flyingso there was a constant risk of collision, which meant everyone was living on his nerves. This is sort of a less-humorous World War I version of Catch In a week in which Tony Blair, using the timeless vocabulary of the public school, has appealed to our moral fibre, it may amuse you to read a story from another, rather different war, yet still characterised by such rhetoric.


He has also written several books on some of the more sordid events in the history of Bristol, his home town, as well as guides to rugby. Woolley especially hates the delusions that replacements have about air combat being gallant and chivalrous.

I found the parts about the soldiers carousing without him to be less enjoyable, because they mostly seemed to be episodes that didn’t really further the plot. Hornet’s Sting lacks, I admit, the terseness and focus of Goshawk Squadron; somehow it was more shocking in the earlier book when characters, painstakingly introduced on page 23, die stupidly or horribly on page A Piece of Cake also The very beginning godhawk the novel sets the tone squaddon the rest of the book.

As a writer, Robinson never hits a false note. I really rated this about 3. At just twenty-three, Major Stanley Woolley is the old man and commanding officer of Goshawk Squadron.

It’s not that this is a bad book but that it left me wanting more – perhaps I just couldn’t connect with the characters enough to care about them or the squaxron sequences were too routine and mundane compared to the accounts of real missions which knowing Robinson I’m sure he researched.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Pilots were flying planes made of principally of wood, canvas and wire, and the engines were treated with castor oil to keep them lubricated, the fumes of which acted as a laxative tha Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in The commanding officer is Major Stanley Woolley, a cold, cruel, and sour taskmaster, training the squadron with brutality.


Jul 09, Tonymess rated it liked it. I wondered whether there would be gkshawk survivors. As a fictional book, I found it to be quite believable as the way war actually is rather than as war is portrayed.

No wonder some veterans of the Royal Flying Corps were horrified after reading it. More about Derek Robinson. If you’re looking for WW I aviation fiction, this book must be on your to-read list.

Yet it is not to be forgotten that the night ends in a man’s death, and possibly a rape. Want to read more? Distracted by the thought of Margery and the life they could have together, Woolley sqkadron killed leading the next combat patrol. This is a fascinating novel, recommended by a variety of historians for close to the truth of a world war I flyer.

Sqquadron he does it properly you will never know. Overall though, it’s an exciting, funny read, with constantly increasing dramatic velocity and magnitude.

The View from the Blue House: Review of Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson (Cassell, )

Your subscription will end shortly. I heard about this author on NPR and the reviewer just raved about his work. The author was a squadrron, and displays what feels like an intimate knowledge of what that life was like.

Horror of war RFC style. The writer clearl I really rated this about 3.