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The Flight of the Phoenix

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  320 Ratings  ·  44 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 501)
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Jul 23, 2012 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  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
Aug 05, 2014 Charlie - A Reading Machine rated it really liked it
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
Jul 31, 2009 Louis rated it liked it
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
Apr 13, 2015 Brent Ursenbach rated it liked it
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.
Jan 30, 2016 B.E. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love the original movie based on this novel - with James Stewart and Richard Attenborough. Love this book, too. Excellent and well worth reading.
Tony Held
Jun 30, 2015 Tony Held rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 06, 2015 Stella rated it really liked it
Loved both the movies. Don't like this narrator much. But the book is awesome.
Some of the language is very good.

"The desert is no longer beneath us but in the air all around us."

"Everybody had the right to go nuts the way he chose."

I quite liked this book. It was interesting in some of the same ways The Martian is interesting. These people were in a hopeless situation and they had to "Science the shit out of this!" It was very difficult to like Stringer, the character who actually was an airp
Ann aka Iftcan
I want to say--I have seen both movie versions of this book, and the original (starring Jimmy Stewart) was the more true to the book version. I enjoyed both, but the book was so much better.

The basic story is the fight of man against nature--and other men, and even themselves. It's set in Libya, well, mostly in the Libyan Sahara, and centers around the efforts of the men to save themselves when their plane crashes. The interactions of the men with each other is interesting as are their characte
May 01, 2008 Meg rated it really liked it
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
Nov 05, 2014 Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 28, 2011 rabbitprincess rated it liked it
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
May 23, 2013 Patrick Baird rated it it was amazing
"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 it was amazing
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.
AV Dept
Feb 17, 2016 AV Dept rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cath
I listened to the recorded book version of the Fliglht of the the Phoenix. Gripping survival story. It would be a good choice for an extended drive.
Alan Bolton
Feb 09, 2016 Alan Bolton rated it liked it
Read this a long time ago but the story is still quite clear.

Very nice idea for the plot IMO.

The recent movie didn't do the book justice!

Chris Conrad
Nov 13, 2014 Chris Conrad rated it liked it
Good but one of those rare times when the movie (Jimmy Stewart version) is actually better than the book.
Mar 27, 2014 Vicki rated it really liked it
Very good. Interesting to read what was going on in their heads. Very believable.
Trudy Pomerantz
Feb 28, 2015 Trudy Pomerantz rated it liked it
It started off a little slowly but improved towards the end of the book.
Jan 10, 2013 Ubiquitousbastard rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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
Jan 11, 2015 Edle Julve rated it it was amazing
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
May 12, 2010 Ice rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
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
Aug 21, 2012 Rob Cummings rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 04, 2008 Leif rated it liked it
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.
Sep 29, 2008 William rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
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.
Apr 12, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it
Good survival story.
Sep 12, 2012 Jeanne rated it it was amazing
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.
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
May 12, 2015 Mike Jennings rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely bloody marvellous.
May 04, 2013 Tori rated it liked it
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.
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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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