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3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,269 Ratings  ·  273 Reviews
Twelve miles above the Pacific Ocean, a missile strikes a jumbo passenger jet. The flight crew is crippled or dead. Now, defying both nature and man, three survivors must achieve the impossible. Land the plane. From master storyteller Nelson DeMille and master pilot Thomas Block comes Mayday, the classic bestseller that packs a supersonic shock at every turn of the page... ...more
Paperback, Revision of 1979 original, 480 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Grand Central Publishing (first published November 5th 1979)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 11, 2012 Bejon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: other
I don't give out a lot of 5's, so I really need to explain this one for this very reason in addition to this book is way outside of my usual reading genres. I've always felt that if the author can properly evoke an intended emotional response in a reader, then the book is fairly well written. And while this book does stray outside of the realm of possibility on a number of occasions, I don't necessarily discount stories that take creative liberties. Isn't that why they are called stories?

With a
Kevin Bresnahan
Apr 16, 2012 Kevin Bresnahan rated it it was amazing
The book is stated as "one of the greatest air disaster novels of all time". They weren't kidding, as it is tremendous in its drama, horror, suspense, and redemption of the human spirit. A missile is inadvertently shot through a giant passenger airplane in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The utter deveastation is heart wrenching, and almost all either die or are incapicated. Only three people are coherent enough to follow through: a recerational pilot, a flight attendant, and girl adolescent. T ...more
Sep 02, 2011 Drucilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b
If you're into planes or disaster scenarios, you should definitely pick up this book. It's written by a pilot so the descriptions of the plane, protocols, etc. are extremely detailed (almost too detailed for the average person). It's actually pretty gory in some parts and that turned me off although I can see why some of those parts were in the book. The book has characters you'll cheer for, characters you'll hate, and even those you'll feel sorry for. I've heard that some people have problems w ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok This is just what you want to read when you are flying in a couple of days, kinda like reading Jaws before a week at the beach. A secret missile test goes awry over the Pacific Ocean and hits a jumbo passenger jet. The missile is not armed but goes through the fuselage. The oxygen masks fall and all that crap but it doesn't do much good. The plane loses elevation, and everyone is without oxygen for a little too long, except for a few people who were trapped in locations where the oxygen level ...more
Pushkar Marathe
Aug 28, 2012 Pushkar Marathe rated it it was amazing
One word ... Epic.
This book is a masterpiece. And the details in the book are authentic too, since author Nelson DeMille has teamed up with his pilot friend, Thomas Block.
The duo have done a fantastic job.
The action starts right from page one, and then keeps you engrossed throughout the book.

The book does contain some gory scenes which makes it not suitable for children.

Plot: (beware, spoiler ahead) An illegal missile is being tested; the plane becomes an unfortunate target. With the pilots de
May 19, 2013 Skip rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller, e-books
As a big Nelson DeMille fan, I was happy when I finally snagged this library ebook, but I have to say it was a big disappointment. Excruciatingly slow at points, the basic plot is a Navy violation of an arms treaty causes a missle to inadvertently transect a supersonic jet at 62,000 feet, causing death or brain damage to all but five people, who are either in the lavatories or sub-deck flight attendant station. Meanwhile, nobody seems to want the jet to return safely as the Navy seeks to cover i ...more
Joe Kucharski
Jun 28, 2014 Joe Kucharski rated it it was ok
The story behind the story is probably known well enough by now. Thomas Block, pilot by day, writer by night, pens an air flight disaster novel back in the seventies with the help of his good friend, and superstar novelist in the making, Nelson DeMille. The story is a success and twenty plus years later, DeMille does a re-write to bring the tale into modern times, or at least modern by late 20th-Century standards. Here’s the kick, though, DeMille gets top billing on the re-release, and partner, ...more
Johnwink fooks
Jan 28, 2014 Johnwink fooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May day may say mayday

I felt like yelling May day throughout the entire book, one f the best I have e read in some years. it is so different than any aircraft thriller than I have ever read, until the very end. Will be reading more by this author right away.
Linda Wells
Dec 04, 2014 Linda Wells rated it it was amazing
Mayday is an exciting story from beginning to end. The story was believable and gripping, and I finished the book at 3:00 a.m. today. If you like suspense, read Mayday. You're in for a "wild ride."
Angus Whittaker
May 24, 2014 Angus Whittaker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
This is some of the best disaster fiction out there. At first, it seems to follow the basic pattern of such novels: there's some sort of disaster, and a few people are randomly picked to survive, and have to find a way to get back home. Mayday, however, deviated from this basic formula.
The plot can be easily summed up: Flight 52, a huge airliner with around 300 people aboard is hit by a missile illegally test-fired by the US Navy. At 62,000 feet, the oxygen deprivation is so severe that almost
Aug 19, 2011 Darlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this audiobook for review from Hachette Audio. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

This is my first DeMille novel, and it won't be my last! This heart-pounding thriller will have you gripping the edge of your seat!

I had no idea that this book was actually originally written in the 1970s. In order to update aviation procedures and technology, it was updated and re-released in the 1990s.

A commercial airliner (Trans-United Airlines'
Jina Howell-Forbes
Nov 21, 2013 Jina Howell-Forbes rated it really liked it
Shelves: unusual-story, action
A Military screw-up causes a passenger plane to be hit by a missile. While an amateur plot, a flight attendant and a 13 year old girl try to fly and land the plane safely, military personnel, an insurance agent, and an airline executive, plot to undermine a successful landing to save their own backsides. This novel is Nelson DeMille at his best. A tight, suspenseful story with lots of twist and turns, corruption within the ranks of those in power, interesting interpersonal relationships, and a n ...more
Dec 26, 2015 Dollie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I hadn't read a Nelson DeMille book in several years. I used to read a lot of his stories and I enjoy them very much. This one was about a plane disaster, so of course I gobbled it right up. Besides the life and death situation on the plane, there were several other things going on. Everyone seemed to want that plane to fly right into the ocean. It was a pretty intense story and I liked it a lot.
Apr 16, 2013 Cbancroft83 rated it it was amazing
The first Nelson DeMille novel I ever picked up was "Plum Island" and I was blown away! Because of Goodreads, I discovered this book, which is a collaboration between DeMille and his lifelong friend and aviation expert Thomas Block. DeMille was very wise to have his friend help him with the aviation parts of this gripping novel. It works so well and draws you in to a world at 62,000 feet above the surface of the earth and super sonic speeds! Suddenly, that world is rocked by a wayward missile an ...more
Apr 18, 2012 Kitty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that can be discussed on so many levels. It is fast paced and more about being "very afraid" of government cover ups and big business-$$$, than the fear of flying. Because that is a true fear on its own. It is full of agonizing and gut wrenching decisions by all involved. I could hear myself saying, "Don't go down there!; What are you thinking?; Should you really be saying that out loud?" As well as, Yikes, yikes, yikes! My head can't wrap around the aftermath of the ending and th ...more
Stephen Terrell
Jun 22, 2016 Stephen Terrell rated it really liked it
What happens if one of those hokey but "can't not watch" disaster movies of the 1970s (Airport, Towering Inferno, Posieden Adventure) meets The Walking Dead?

That's pretty much what you have with Mayday. Yeah, it's a bit far fetched. No, it's not great literature. But like one of those giant roller coasters that can take your breath away, it is a damn good thrill ride of a book. It's perfect for the beach -- but maybe not for the flight to get you to or from the beach.

An ill-conceived missile te
May 07, 2016 LAFK rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: nobody :-) unless they're after a de-brainer
Shelves: de-brainer
Quick and enjoyable, but nothing more. Flat characters, little dialogue, contrived ending and
MAJOR SPOILER (view spoiler). Excellent premise, engaging disaster set- and write-up and not bad set of villains (amoral navy career man, cyberphobic retired admiral, over-eager to prove himself pilot of ethnic minority, ruthless airline exec and calculating insurance agent wi
Rodwell Mkhwananzi
Jan 05, 2016 Rodwell Mkhwananzi rated it really liked it
very nice read, ddnt enjoy the way they jumped scenes when the thrill got going and you go to a totally different place leaving you hanging for a good while. otherwise it has a very nice ending
Jan 08, 2015 Jasontrent rated it liked it
I have been on somewhat of a Nelson Demille binge lately, catching up on some of his earlier material. I generally am a huge fan of DeMille, especially of his novels featuring John Corey. The Gold Coast is one of my favourite novels as well, and a book that I would highly recommend. DeMille's older material is interesting if only for the fact that it is quite varied from the novels he has put out in recent memory.

As a heads up, Mayday is in fact co-written by DeMille and Thomas Block. The basic
Champaign Public Library
Apr 30, 2014 Champaign Public Library rated it it was amazing
Shelves: staff-recommends
I’ve never read this popular author before, but picked it up because of recent news about the missing Malaysian airliner. WOW! I was on the edge of my seat throughout this thrilling story packed with great characterizations and just enough technical detail. How could a large passenger plane just disappear? This story provided one terrifying explanation – an accidental military strike.

Recommended by Kelly S.
Jul 24, 2013 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is WOW!! They gave a warning at the beginning of the audio that advised the listener to stop listening if they were on an airplane . . . and they weren't kidding!! This story was exciting from beginning to end and I couldn't wait to hear what happened next. The end was a bit anti-climatic for me as there really was no closure as to punishment for those responsible. Great listen--9 out of 10 for me.
Oct 14, 2008 Sam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely insane, but really fun to read. It's trashy and implausible, but the idea of a guy fighting off what basically across as zombies in a decompressed, half-blown apart air-liner is pretty fun. No, they're not zombies, but they might as well be.

Use it to kill some time in the dentist's office waiting room. That's what I did.
Jul 17, 2016 Eve rated it really liked it
A must-read if you like airplane-disaster thrillers. Several players are involved, from the passengers and crew to the airline officials and the insurance company. The plot is rich with danger and politics, the pace is brisk, and the writing is engaging. An edge-of-your-seat thriller.
May 18, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing
A great story involving ethical dilemmas where if just one person had made a different decision, the outcome would be different. Well written. Action-packed. EXCELLENT! Would be a good textbook for Ethics 101.
Mar 26, 2015 henrys-axe rated it it was amazing
This is one of DeMille's that I somehow missed reading. He has always been able to provide a pretty wild ride in one way or another. Mayday, in my opinion, is over the top. The two days I spent reading it had me captivated. While there were a few loose ends here and there, the overall impact of the story and characters aced any minor issues. The "bad guys" in the novel were some of the nastiest and dangerous of any I have recently encountered. Greed and money, money and greed ruled the lives of ...more
Feb 15, 2008 Annette rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite DeMille book. I recommend to everyone to get them hooked on this author. I has everything and belongs in the couln't put it down catagory.
Jul 29, 2014 Monique rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
Very interesting story about an airplane shot down by mistake at a very high altitude. Only 3 people remain normal, the others being dead or brain damaged from hypoxia. One of the survivors is a pilot who manages to get the plane back to safety after much sabotage from the ground and many tribulations dealing with the brain damaged passengers.

The suspense remains throughout and the story is believable. Given that it was written in 1979, some of the technical possibilities are not far off from to
Pat J
Feb 08, 2016 Pat J rated it it was amazing
This book kept my interest from the first page.
"Twelve miles above the Pacific Ocean, a missile strikes a jumbo passenger jet. The flight crew is crippled or dead. Now, defying both nature and man, three survivors must achieve the impossible. Land the plane. From master storyteller Nelson DeMille and master pilot Thomas Block comes Maydaythe classic bestseller that packs a supersonic shock at every turn of the page....the most terrifyingly realistic air disaster thriller ever. "

Well written and
Diane Spendle
Apr 11, 2015 Diane Spendle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grabs you from the beginning!

I wish I could have started this book and not had to go to work until I finished reading. One of the scariest airline accidents ever. I didn't want to put this book down. Happy I bought the audio book as well as the kindle book. Was able to listen during my commute. Disaster strikes in the form of a missile going through the plane. From that point on its a story about flying hundreds of miles over the ocean to try and get back to San Francisco without crashing. So m
Jun 22, 2016 Angela rated it really liked it
I'm an avid fan of Nelson DeMille. I first read Plum Island, which started my John Corey addiction. I absolutely loved the brashness of this character. But this book was my first attempt at reading something outside of that series. I wasn't disappointed - well, not fully disappointed. This book was action-packed and provided the right amount of suspense that I needed. I felt myself getting angry at characters and talking loudly (just imagine being on a packed train, I'm reading this book...and I ...more
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Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille. He moved as a child with his family to Long Island. In high school, he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army and attended Officer Candidate School. He was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69) and saw action as an
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