A smash bestseller that spent over six months on the New York Times bestseller list, Flight of the Intruder became an instant classic. No one before or since ever captured the world of Navy carrier pilots with the gripping realism of Vietnam veteran Stephen Coonts, who lived the life he wrote about. More than a flying story, Flight of the Intruder is also one of the best novels ever written about the Vietnam experience. It's all here—the flying, the dying, the blood and bombs and bullets, and the sheer joy—and terror—of life at full throttle.
"Gripping...Smashing. —The Wall Street Journal
Grazing the Vietnam treetops at night at just under the speed of sound, A-6 Intruder pilot Jake "Cool Hand" Grafton knows exactly how precarious life is. Landing on a heaving aircraft carrier, dodging missiles locked on his fighter, flying through clouds of flak—he knows each flight could be his last. Yet he straps himself into a cockpit every day.
Then a bullet kills his bombardier while they're hitting another ‘suspected' truck depot. Jake wonders what his friend died for—and why? Hitting pointless targets selected by men piloting desks just doesn't make sense. Maybe it's time to do something worthwhile. Something that will make a difference...
"Superbly written." — Washington Times
Jake and his new bombardier, ice-cold Tiger Cole, are going to pick their own target and hit the enemy where it hurts. But to get there and back in one piece is going to take a lot of nerve, even more skill, and an incredible amount of raw courage. Before it's over, they're going to fly into hell.
"When Grafton is at the controls of his Intruder, the novel comes alive with a jolt."
— Washington Post Book World
With this well-crafted first novel, the publishers of The Hunt for Red October again demonstrate a sure eye for picking winners in the thriller genre. Jake Grafton is an A-6 Intruder pilot during the Vietnam War who flies his bomber on sorties past enemy flak and SAM missiles, and then must maneuver his plane, often at night, onto the relatively small deck of an aircraft carrier. Former Navy flyer Coonts gives an excellent sense of the complexities of modern air raids and how nerve-wracking it is, even for the best airmen, to technically solve sudden problems over and over, knowing that even a twist of fatea peasant wildly firing a rifle from a fieldcould wipe out the crew. Grafton alternates between remorse over the fate of his unseen Vietnamese victims on the ground and a gung-ho "let's win this war'' sentiment that lashes at both policymakers who select less-than-important targets for the dangerous missions and advocates for peace back in the States. The action, though, is realistically detailed and absorbing. 75,000 first printing; $80,000 ad/promo.
An eye opening novel focused on the mental and physical stresses affecting the lives of pilots and support crews aboard an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam war. The main character was committed to his actions though he wrestled with the limits imposed on them all. The flight scenes had my heart pounding...
Very compelling story of Naval Aviators of Vietnam War
Stephen Coonts who flew A6 Intruder Navy bombers during Vietnam War, wrote a very compelling story of what it was like. I believe this to be his personal story written as a fiction. I recommend it highly.