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The Flight of the Phoenix

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  282 ratings  ·  39 reviews
No way out ... Twelve men survived the crash when a blinding, unexpected sandstorm sent their Skytruck air freighter plummeting to the Earth. Now they are in Hell, stranded and alone in the empty wastes of the Sahara, facing a slow, agonizing death under the unrelenting Libyan sun. Two of them have the skills to avert a terrible fate: the brilliant, obsessed engineer Strin ...more
paper, 320 pages
Published November 30th 2004 by HarperEntertainment (first published 1964)
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Bill
Jul 23, 2012 Bill rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bill by: nobody, I had seen the movie first
Shelves: fiction, adventure
My first experience with The Flight of the Phoenix was seeing the original movie version which was released in 1965, starring James Stewart and Richard Attenborough. It's always been one of my favourites, a battle against the harsh desert after a plane crash in a sand storm. At the time I had no idea it was based on a novel. While in Dubai back in 2005, the remake starring Dennis Quaid came out and for all that it was glitzier, I enjoyed it again. Since then I've seen the original and the remake ...more
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
My dearly departed grandfathers favourite book of all time.

It follows a place crashing in the desert and the crews attempts to build their way out. An almost certain early inspiration for Andy Weirs The Martian, phoenix is a scientific and mathematical journey through survival.

We go way beyond water rations here to the point of how much can be produced each night using condensation, how many people that have, who is working, efficiency of working at day vs at night. The same with food and other
...more
Louis
I was surprised to see this in the new mp3 book collection at my library. I had never read this title, although I have read other books by Trevor. My main criticism of this book is that it was too much like real life. People trapped in the desert for a month with declining resources are bound to re-hash the same arguments or have the same boring things happen to them time after time. But I don't need to read about them more than once, and this happens in this book. I enjoyed the movie, but it al ...more
Brent  Ursenbach
Enjoyed the read as the original movie with Jimmy Stewart is a great movie. The movie, with Stewart's incredible performance as Frank Towns, the pilot, is better than the book.
Tony Held
Trevor notes at the beginning that "There are certain men who, when faced with the choice of dying or doing the impossible,elect to live. This story is written in honor of their kind."

Trevor beautifully explores this theme in "The Flight of the Phoenix" without robbing his plot of any suspense, because his characters have to work hard to earn their escape from the desolate stretch of desert their plane crashes in during an fierce sandstorm. Who are destined to die and who are destined to make t
...more
Meg
May 01, 2008 Meg rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
Still on my "fiction guys love" kick, I thought I would do an adventure/survival that is a perennial favorite. Actually, one of my guilty secrets is that I have loved many a good survival story in my day, and certainly I adore action. In fact, the only thing I hate about reading survival stories (beside generally feeling the need to hide the cover from any nearby literary fiends) is that I always want to eat the whole time people are starving (when I read Alive as a pre-teen, I think I ate every ...more
Lynda
I listened to this book on Playaway. The narrator's flawless performance made this a fascinating, almost spellbinding experience. The Flight of the Phoenix is one of those timeless classics--It is an excellent study in human nature, and illustrates the importance of never giving up hope.
rabbitprincess
Apr 28, 2011 rabbitprincess rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of the movie, aviation buffs
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: the Jimmy Stewart adaptation
Shelves: bibliotheque, 2011
I picked this up from the library after seeing the 1965 film with Jimmy Stewart, to see how the adaptation compared with the book. It was a good film and the book was a similarly solid work. Lots of fascinating geeky technical details related to aircraft, yet still a fairly quick read. Most of the characters are well defined or at least have several easily discernable characteristics, although there are a few, such as Loomis, who don't feel very fleshed out. Trevor does better in his evocation o ...more
Patrick Baird
"Flight of the Phoenix" by Elleston Trevor is a terrific, taut read. The lean prose is a perfect match for the story: a cargo plane crashes into the Libyan desert, stranded hundreds of miles from civilization with no hope of rescue, the survivors rebuild the plane from the wreckage and fly out. It was made into a great movie in 1965 starring Jimmy Stewart (a personal favorite) and if you enjoyed that film, you'd enjoy the original as well. One thing that sets the book apart from the film is the ...more
Kevin Hanks
Sep 09, 2008 Kevin Hanks rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kevin by: Dell Hanks
This book was fantastic! I loved the characters and their interactions. The different relationships and how they communicate and deal with the problem at hand is absolutely fascinating. My favorite aspect of the characters is how there is no traditional "hero" of the book. Each character has his strengths and flaws and I found myself hating and loving each character at differing points of the story. And somehow, despite all their weaknesses, and using their strengths they do the impossible.
I've
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Chris Conrad
Good but one of those rare times when the movie (Jimmy Stewart version) is actually better than the book.
Vicki
Very good. Interesting to read what was going on in their heads. Very believable.
Trudy Pomerantz
It started off a little slowly but improved towards the end of the book.
Ubiquitousbastard
I kind of expected a lot of violence, and what I got was a lot of surviving in the desert. Okay, some of the characters are a bit off and possibly psycho, but that really never comes to fruition. I was really just bored reading this, hoping that the Bedouins or something would start shooting them, anything to get the plot going. Even the bickering wasn't all that interesting, because the characters themselves were not all that interesting. Maybe if they had resorted to cannibalism I could have c ...more
Edle Julve
Realmente fantástico y crudo. Realista.
James M. Madsen, M.D.
Mar 26, 2008 James M. Madsen, M.D. marked it as to-read
Shelves: fiction
When I was growing up, I was captivated by the abridgment of this novel in a Reader's Digest. The tale of a desperate struggle for survival against the elements in the face of seemingly unsurmountable odds was of a nature with the stories of Shackleton and St. Exupery. The idea of reconstructing the plane, and the diagrams in the condensed version of the novel, also appealed to me. The original movie version (not the remake) is also one of my favorite movies. I obviously need to read the actual ...more
Ice
A cargo plane crash lands in the Central Libyan desert during a violent sandstorm. Twelve men and a monkey survive. They stare without hope into the desert sky: search planes will not seek their unscheduled flight. One man proposes the impossible--to build from the wreckage an aircraft capable of flying them 200 miles to the nearest oasis. But the pilot refuses to cooperate and this struggle becomes the pivot for survival or death.
Rob Cummings
I've watched both movies, and I usually don't read a book once I've watched the film version. This book was worth that exception. Throughout the book Elleston challenges the survivors with one obstacle after another. None more formidable that the lack of water. His depiction of the starting of the engine was in and of itself worth the rest of the book. It thrilled me that they had survived and were going home.
Leif
This short novel is a decent exploration of how social relationships interact with basic human needs in extreme circumstances. The original (Jimmy Stewart) film based on the book did a good job of capturing some of these relationships, but the book emphasizes even more realistically the extreme heat, fatigue, and stress that the environment can visit upon us humans, and the mental derangement that can result.
William
A nice, exciting adventure tale of survival in the desert after an airplane crash and escape (for some) by the implausible construction of another plane from the remnants of the crash. This is such a riveting story that Hollywood has twice attempted a film version. A quick read that is a good page turner with plenty of stock characters that we all enjoy loving or hating.
Andrew
Good survival story.
Jeanne
An awesome story of ingenuity in the face of unrelenting hardship. A plane with 18 passengers goes crash lands in the desert with little help of rescue. A passenger who is a plane engineer and the surviving passengers reconstruct the damaged plane using one engine and the wings from the original plane to construct a plane that will hopefully fly them all to safety.
Mel
Jul 27, 2011 Mel added it
Definitely a "thesis" on the effects of stress, water and food deprivation, and PTSD on the mind. It was not a quick read though it's not a long book. The last half was definitely a lot more intriguing and more of a page turner than the 1st half. Makes me want to watch the movie with Jimmy Stewart in it to see how it was changed and dramatized.
Mike Jennings
Absolutely bloody marvellous.
Tori
May 04, 2013 Tori rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: modern
With a bit of repetitive inaction and some very harsh but infrequent language this book doesn't get close to books I've really enjoyed reading (found it for cheep at a library book sale, but probably won't hang on to it, I don't see myself reading it again) but it wasn't the worst book I've picked up either.
Julianna
I have never been in any kind of desert, but this book made me feel like I was there. It sucked me in, and I went through the ordeal with all of the characters. It was an interesting read until a twist came into play, then it got really good. From that point on, I sat on the edge of my seat.
Bruce
A fun one to listen to. The reader for the audiobook was very good, and had a unique voice for each character, which added a lot. Not overdone - just right. The story is a good one, and with some nice complexity to the characters and interactions without being over-the-top.
Dean
This is not my usual type of book. I probably would not have started it were it not for Thom’s recommendation. However, I really enjoyed it. The author has done a fantastic job of creating believable characters. I found myself rather sad for the old British soldier.
Nadir
After reading this book I felt the original version of the film (the only one I've seen) was pretty faithful to the text. I rate both as 'worth your time' - not for the technological part, but for the study in psychology such an event (plane crash) presents.
Erik Graff
Apr 01, 2009 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adventure novel enthusiasts
Recommended to Erik by: Lajla Stousland
Shelves: literature
This was one of the many books my paternal grandmother had up in her Michigan cottage. At the time of its reading I thought it quite an exciting adventure--better, certainly, than its latest movie incarnation.
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Author has published other books under the names: Adam Hall, Mansell Black, Trevor Burgess, Trevor Dudley-Smith, Roger Fitzalan, Howard North, Simon Rattray, Warwick Scott, Caesar Smith, Lesley Stone.

Author Trevor Dudley-Smith was born in Kent, England on February 17, 1920. He attended Yardley Court Preparatory School and Sevenoaks School. During World War II, he served in the Royal Air Force as a
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“The wind had flung the sand thirty thousand feet into the sky above the desert in a blinding cloud from the Niger to the Nile, and somewhere in it was the airplane.” 0 likes
“The Army had your soul, once you’d been in it all those years—there were things you couldn’t shake off so easy, because they’d gone deep into you, and it was painful when they came out, because of the roots they’d grown, right deep down in your guts.
Name and number? Watson, 606. Smarten up there, Private Watson! You’re a soldier now, you know, not a bloody jelly fish! Get that salute right, private! Sir! Sir! Sir! Corporal, what’s your unit? Corporal Watson, dress that man! You are in charge of this rabble, Corp’l Watson? Sir! Report to my quarters, Sarnt Watson, oh six hundred hours! You should know better than that, Sergeant—now get those men in order! Sir! Sir! Sir!
Hold, Watty.”
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