The reason I took this book is to explore different writers’ perspective. From what I came to know about the writer Arthur Hailey is one who takes one situation, one place and at a time and digs deep into it, puts every little detail accounted for and gives a vast book. His books are handsomely titled as Airport, Hotel etc. each exploring the respective places. Like the title the book is precise in revolving around everything that happens in that particular place. Great detailing I must say.


Generally in a plane hijack or in any situation where crisis happens it’s mandatory to introduce those characters so that we can relate to them, sympathy them. Here also they are introduced beforehand by various means. In fact we come to know what all they do, where they reside, their strengths, weaknesses etc. We know so much that we could even do SWOT analysis about them. Good thing is that as we get to know them so well we feel they are people who’re amongst us and we judge them better. First success of the writer I must say.

A guy Guerrero gets into the plane with bomb, then we have a captain, a stewardess and an old lady. These are the guys we connect with in the aero plane but do we really sympathize them? Can’t be said yes instantly, because the people whom we really like, Mel, his brother Keith, Tanya, Joe Patroni are all downstairs working so hard. The other people who had fought or quarreled with them are there in the plane.

The way we start to sympathize them is so beautifully done in this book. Even though we don’t like them or we like the people in ground even more we still continue to feel for them. We don’t want them to die and that’s the writers’ success. Generally in an action movie there are so many people dying and we sympathize with none. If their family, their background had been shown things would have been different. That’s what happens here. We know everyone’s background so we are free to think. Though we don’t like them one hundred percent we don’t want them to die because death is one huge punishment.

Though Mel is the hero in the book. The absolute charmer is Mrs Quardett. That too the way she tells all her escapade stories are all ROFL moments. If made into a movie this scene will evoke laughter more than any other scene.

How much of homework the author would’ve done is clearly there to be seen in the book. Especially during the speech which he makes to the residents about noise reduction he talks about Concorde which was not there when the book got released.

But at the start of the book I thought Joe was going to be the real hero of the book. I was a little disappointed when I couldn’t read much of him. He was some guy for sure. The very mention of cigar and straightforward attitude made me curious and read interestingly. Though he digs the airplane out of shambles during the end I really would’ve liked to see more of him even in the middle.

Another important thing that I liked was how every story got intertwined. Each character had their own life but the way they all came together for this one moment was interesting. The thrill part happens only at the vague end of the story but still the author was able to maintain the curiosity of the readers by letting out the details in an orderly fashion.

But the one thing I didn’t understand was how someone could take a bomb so easily into the airplane in spite of having customs check, baggage check and a lot more. I confess that I’ve become a fan of Arthur Hailey and I’d definitely like to read one of his works in future. A nice blend of pulp fiction and art.


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