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Paperback First Light Book

ISBN: 0141008148

ISBN13: 9780141008141

First Light

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

"Wellum's First Light deserves to be read for many years to come." -The Times (of London) High praise for England's bestselling First Light . . . "An extraordinarily gripping and powerful story." -The... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Whatever you’ve been told about this book…

If you’ve seen the movie by the same name about the same pilot then do I have news for you. And if you haven’t seen the movie but you were just looking for something to read and in happenstance just stumbled upon this book and liking the reviews so you’ve decided to pick it up for a spin, have I got news for you too! This book IS NOT GOOD!!! THIS BOOK IS GREAT!!! First off, it is NOTHING like the movie. So if you have seen the movie and come to buy the book for a deeper rendering of this pilot/author you will find everything to be completely different. There are so many things in the movie that never even happened and so many things in this book that were completely left out. One thing they added into the movie was calling the Pilot/Author “Boy.” That never occurred. For those of you who just want to read the book, you will find it such an enjoyable read. If you are interested in the movie check it out on YouTube. However realize that it is more an act of fiction. Whatever the way you have come to this book, kick your shoes off after making a spot of tea, bring the dogs in, snuggle up on the couch with a nice blanket and drift away in the embrace of the woods.

An excellent first-hand account of being a spitfire pilot

I fully agree what Mark Hopper had to say in his review. For me the book was definitely 'life-changing'. I know from history how important and vital the Battle of Britain was, but seeing the battle portrayed in films and reading it in history books just didn't have the impact as Geoffrey Wellum's account. He's certainly the person who sits on my 'hero pedestal' now. Please write some more Geoffrey and detail for us how the rest of the war was for you. How did the war affect your life in subsequent years? Did you marry Grace? You have done all your old friends and comrades a great service by writing this book. Well done and thank you.

Fresh after 50 years

You'd think that after 50 years, all the worthwhile first-person there-I-was accounts of flying Spitfires in the Battle of Britain would have been published. You'd be wrong. This is an exceptionally well written book that gently yet almost instantly transports you to England, 1939. You'll go through RAF flight training, and then be behind a V12 Merlin over Kent in the middle of the Battle of Britain. There are hundreds of such true tales - and I've read most of them - but this is clearly one of the best.'Boy' Wellum not only takes us inside the cockpit, but inside the emotions of a young man at war, and inside an amazing time and place in world history. If you are a pilot looking for what it was like to fly the Tiger Moth, Harvard, then at 168 hours climb into a Spitfire, this is the book for you. And if you are interested in a literate immersion into The Few, this is the book for you.

How things have changed

Not being much of a reader of books, I decided one day to pass by my local bookshop and try out the experience. I had no clue what to get and after 30 minutes fruitless searching I found myself trudging towards the shop exit. Determined not to feel like I hadn't made an effort, I made a final and slightly desperate search through the display table at the front of the shop. The last book I looked at for some reason felt right, I don't know why but it did. I took it to the counter and as I paid for it, I felt an overwhelming certainty that I was going to enjoy it. "First Light" by Geoffrey Wellum, yes, definately a good choice. I'm rather an optimist by nature but even I didn't expect to be quite so taken by this book. It was a real privelige to read and I dare say that for a now budding reader like myself I shall never quite find anything to rival it. I experienced all sorts of emotions reading this book, from laughing out loud to trying to keep "a stiff upper lip" I was riveted from the first page by the warmth and honesty of the writing. I feel very humble indeed knowing what these men did for us. And I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness that the world these men fought so hard to protect, has fast become so selfish and unprincipled. I only wish I could turn back the clock and live the way it was back then. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it had heart. And if there's one thing that stands out in this book than that is it - Heart. Mr Wellum cared, about his country, about his family, about his friends and about himself. He says at the end of the book that his only regret was that his life had already reached it's pinnacle by the time he was 22. Well, I'd like to respectfully disagree. Thank you Mr Wellum for your wonderful story, you have inspired me immensely and left me feeling very proud to be British.

An Excellent Book

`First Light' is one of those books that is destined to be remembered as a "classic" and rightly so. This is a wonderful book of a young man who joined the Royal Air Force before the start of World War Two and who later fought during the Battle of Britain and survived. Most of the book is taken up with his training as a pilot and the fighting during the Battle of Britain. However the book continues on to cover his role in Operation Pedestal and the fighting over Malta until his return to England as a tired and worn out pilot.I truly enjoyed Geoffrey Wellum's story of his training and chuckled a good many times whilst reading about one thing or another. Mr Wellum has a wonderful way of telling a story and you can easily picture the details as you read his narrative. I found myself amazed as I read the book of how much this young man and his friends suffered in defending their country and their mates in the air.This is an account that anyone who has an interest in WW2 aviation will be delighted in. It's well told, full of humor, sadness, and death defying flying and combat action. These men, as young as 18, flew one of the fastest and deadliest aircraft at the time and many didn't make it through the campaign or even their first mission. You read with sadness the loss of many good pilots and friends but still the men continue flying day after day facing terrible odds.I really enjoyed the author's style of writing, he was witty, descriptive and came across with a sense of telling a story with understated facts. He downplayed his own role during the Battle of Britain and I was really hooked on the narrative as it moved along at a cracking pace. I found it hard to put the book down late at night, which brought forth a moan from my wife about turning the lamp off or else!This is a great story and in finishing I would like to add the following comment from a great historian about this book: "A work of exceptional quality.....his prose has a passion and immediacy which make it compelling reading" - Max Hastings. He's not wrong either!

Giving Respect to a Hitherto Unsung Hero of the RAF

This is a very compelling book. As the son of a Second World War veteran of the European phase of the war, in reading Mr. Wellum's account, I want to thank him for helping to make real in my mind, the stresses that war places on you. In particular, while reading the chapter in which Mr. Wellum describes his chase of a Junkers 88 bomber in foul weather and his subsequent efforts to return to his airbase, I felt as if I were the cockpit with him, hoping that I'd get down safely and in one piece! Having read other books by and about the famous RAF aces (Bader, Tuck, and Paul Richey), I recommend this book very highly. It's very well-written and will give you a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices made by the Second World War generation. Thank you, Mr. Wellum, for your service and for this book. There are many more people than you may realize who are grateful for what you have written. Thank you again.
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