nicole's Reviews > Going Solo

Going Solo by Roald Dahl
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's review
Jul 19, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009, dahl, biography
Read in June, 2009

"It doesn't seem as though anybody has any brains around here," somebody said. ...
"Why doesn't someone tell us what to do next?" somebody else said.
"Because they don't know" another voice said.
"Seriously," I said, "why don't we all just take off and fly to Crete? We've got full tanks."
"That's a bloody good idea," David Coke said. ...
"You know what I think," a young man called Dowding said, "I think someone wants to be able to say that the brave RAF in Greece fought gallantly to the last pilot and the last plane."
I figured that Dowding was probably right. It was either that, or our superiors were so muddle-headed and incompetent that they simply didn't know what to do with us.

from Going Solo, pg 165.

This would be interesting to read about regardless of who it had happened to, but because it happened to Roald Dahl, and because you spend half the book wondering HOW THE HELL this man made it out of that dump of a situation (7 planes to take on over 200 nazi planes, and he had little experience), and feeling grateful that he did, it makes it exponentially more so. I mean, it really is a miracle he survived. I thought books like "Matilda" were miracle enough in their own right, and I know people can live or die every day of their lives, but most people don't jump in a plane they've never flown before and take off to fight a giant monster. Five times in one day. And survive. And then write my favorite book.

Anyway, an interesting read for that amongst other reasons. The lack of organization, of direction these dudes received is astounding to me, as is the fearlessness of all those young dumb boys, so eager to fight. Dude's FACE gets smashed in, he's BLIND for 5 months, and he's just happy to be flying again. Crazy.

I wish there was a third part to his biography. While I didn't mind that this didn't include much of anything about his writing career (it was probably more worthwhile to read about his actual life, these events that shaped him), then to read about publishing deadlines and all that (certainly more exciting), I'd still like to hear more. More, more, more.

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Reading Progress

06/17/2009 page 70
33.33% "I never really thought of snakes as being all that terrifying. After reading this, I do."
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