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Monday, March 19, 2012

Another Gem from Derek Robinson - Piece of Cake

Hawker Hurricanes - the unsung hero of the Battle of Britain


Piece of Cake ranks right up there with Winds of War, and Catch 22. Wait a sec! Those two novels aren't anything alike. That's what makes Piece of Cake so different and wonderful. There's all the drama and hilarity of the other two, but tied into an incredible story that not only puts you in the cockpit, but in the midst of battle. Some would say P of C is a drama about the Battle of Britain. More than that. Much more. A fighter squadron is made up of people who think quite differently, about the world, about the war, and about staying alive. What are they fighting for? Themselves. Their buddies. Booze. Women. Pretty much in that order. King and country? Well, yeah, sort of.

Piece of Cake also has a history to tell and in the telling, lays low myths like a well sharpened scythe in a field of lilies. Gives you a new perspective on the war, but more than that, like any great novel, it works its way into your brain and into your guts enough to make you wonder what you know and what you think you know.

The characters stand out from the page, as if you'd just had one beer and they'd asked you to buy another round. Or, more likely, they'd held you upside down until all your money fell out and you had no choice but. These are men who live in the same small room as darkness and danger, but can still laugh about it. You'll meet quite a few of them and you'll be happy you did. I don't give one care if you don't like novels about flying and war and historical events. Doesn't matter a whit. You'll still love this book.

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