From: Victoria, Australia
Thanks, Reg... I just ordered a used copy of this book.
Hi Brad, I hope you enjoy it. I certainly did.
Please let us all know what you think when you have finished reading it.
I have attached a review for anyone else thinking of having a look at this book as well.
Review "Angels Twenty" on Amazon.com by John Hernandez on October 20, 1999
Back in 1977, Edwards Park published the sparkling "Nanette", a fictionalized account of his days as a neophyte P-39 pilot in New Guinea. "Angels Twenty" could almost be considered the non-fiction companion volume. There is no shortage of action-packed fighter combat oral histories on today's shelves, and readers interested in combat anecdotes of the P-39 and P-47 may be appeased by this book, if not sated. Yet Mr. Parks offers something more, well, soulful -and wrly humorous. The author is a gifted story-teller, and the perspective he offers may be one unfamiliar to the public: The anti-hero fighter pilot. The author's adventurous journey from uncertain tyro to capable veteran is refreshing and memorable (an underlying theme seems to reflect a great truth: In the flying business, there is little that is more satisfying than earning the respect of your peers). I was completely absorbed by the mirthy and genuine "Angels Twenty". I was left feeling as though I'd just finished hearing Mr Parks recount his tale fireside. I was also reminded of the closing words to the introduction to "Nanette": "That was the way we were". Mr. Parks' work is eminently enjoyable, and could perhaps offer insight to my largely untried generation.
Ted Parks subtitled his earlier novel "Nanette: An Exaggeration" and though it covers much the same material as a fiction novel, it focuses on his relationship with his aircraft. It has good reviews so I thought I would order a copy and read it as well.
An extract of Ted's writing is in the review below and shows he really is an entertaining author.
Review "Nanette" on Amazon.com by A Customer on February 15, 1997
As an avid reader of WWII fighter pilot first-hand accounts, especially from the Pacific Theatre, this is one of the very best available. Edward is concise, a powerful wordsmith, and you will be hooked after reading just the Introduction (one-third page) and the first couple pages of the first paragraph. He was the typical WWII Army Aviation cadet, and fell in love with his Bell P-39 Aircobra.
He starts, "Nanette was an airplane. That should be made clear right at the start. She was not a very good plane; actually she stank. But she did a lot for me, I realize, as I look back on her. All the planes of that old war had distinguishing looks and personalities. The P-40, the Warhawk, was knobby and arrogant, a tomboy. The P-38, the Lightning, was lean and coltish, a rich debunte. The P-47, the Thunderbolt, was massive and dull, a peasant girl. The bombers had their distinctions, too, but I didn't know much about them. Of all the fighters, two could really excite a flyer. One was the P-51, Mustang, lovely to look at, honest, efficient, hard working and dependable. In those days she was thought of as a wife, and I know men who married her, back then, and are still in love with her. The other was the P-39, the Aircobra. It was slim, with a gently curved tail section, a smoothly faired in air intake, and a perfectly rounded nose cone with its ugly, protruding cannon. But the Aircobra was lazy and slovenly and given to fits of vicious temper. It was a sexy machine, and rotten. Nanette was like that, and I was a little queer for her."
You can find a lot of books by fighter pilots, but you won't find many better to read than this one.
P.S. Edward Parks flew in the South Pacific with the 35th Fighter Group, 41st Fighter Squadron, known as the "Flying Buzz-saws".
< Message edited by Reg -- 1/11/2017 9:41:14 AM >
(One day I will learn to spell - or check before posting....)
Uh oh, Firefox has a spell checker!! What excuse can I use now!!!