The Hunters: A Novel

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Catapult, Sep 1, 2012 - Fiction - 256 pages
10 Reviews
The acclaimed debut novel, a classic of war literature, by one of the most acclaimed writers of the twentieth century.
 
In this “darkly romantic . . . beautifully composed . . . brilliant war novel” (Chicago Tribune) by “the contemporary writer most admired and envied by other writers” (Washington Post Book World), Captain Cleve Connell has already made a name for himself among pilots when he arrives in Korea during the war there to fly the newly operational F-86 fighters against the Soviet MIGs. His goal, like that of every fighter pilot, is to chalk up enough kills to become an ace.
 
But things do not turn out as expected. Mission after mission proves fruitless, and Connell finds his ability and his stomach for combat questioned by his fellow airmen: the brash wing commander, Imil; Captain Robey, an ace whose record is suspect; and finally, Lieutenant Pell, a cocky young pilot with an uncanny amount of skill and luck.
 
Disappointment and fear gradually erode Connell’s faith in himself, and his dream of making ace seems to slip out of reach. Then suddenly, one dramatic mission above the Yalu River reveals the depth of his courage and honor.
 
Originally published in 1956, The Hunters was James Salter’s first novel. Based on his own experiences as a fighter pilot in the Korean War, it is a classic of wartime fiction. Newly revised by the author, the story of Cleve Connell’s war flies straight into the heart of men’s rivalries and fears.
 
“He can . . . break your heart with a sentence.” —Washington Post Book World
 
“Anyone under forty may not appreciate how profoundly Salter influenced my generation. [He] created the finest work ever to appear in print—ever—about men who fly and fight.” —Robert F. Dorr, author of F-86 Sabre
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - viking2917 - LibraryThing

James Salter's debut novel about fighter pilots in Korea during the Korean War, of which he was one. While the aviation and battle scenes are vividly rendered, that's not what the book is about. This ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DeltaQueen50 - LibraryThing

Published in 1956, The Hunters is the debut novel of James Salter and is a story about American fighter pilots during the Korean War. Based on his own experiences flying combat missions in Korea, this ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

James Salter (1925–2015) was a novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. Salter grew up in New York City and was a career officer and air force pilot until his mid-30s, when the success of his first novel (The Hunters, 1957) led to a full-time writing career. Salter’s potent, lyrical prose earned him acclaim from critics, readers, and fellow novelists. His novel A Sport and a Pastime (1967) was hailed by the New York Times as “nearly perfect as any American fiction.”

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