Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Book Review: CHICKENHAWK - Robert Mason

I have just finished this wonderful book by Bob Mason. Many people say it is the best book to come out of Vietnam and I can see why such claims are levelled at it. When you search for it on the Internet, it is clearly an aviators favourite.

I can't recommend this book enough to anybody interested in flying or in true life human war stories. This book will live with me for the rest of my life. It is stunning. It is upsetting.

For anybody unfamiliar with it, it chronicles Bob Masons experiences as a Huey (helicoptor) Pilot in Vietnam between August 1965 and July 1966. Incredibly, during this time, he flew over 1,000 assault missions.

For me, the prologue and epilogue are the best I've ever read. The former sadly speaks perhaps firstly to an innocent naivety in pursuing a passion (at all costs). The latter, to the sacrifice and tragic consequences of that innocence.

Bob Masons story is on the Internet of course and he has his own website with Photography from Vietnam. His wife Patience has a PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Dissorder) blog. I've added links to both sites on my blog here under Chickenhawk. I stumbled upon his work while browsing for Aviation books. I'm so fortunate I did. It is a courageous book and a thought provoking sad journey. I finished it about hour ago. I still have the lump in my throat.

Thank you Bob Mason.

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