by Robert Mason
|Chickenhawk became a New York Times best-seller in 1984, and remained on the list for 17 weeks. It is published by Penguin and is in its 23rd printing. Here are some of the reviews it got when it was first published.|
|"...Violent, deafening, treetop world of 1000 Viet Nam helicopter missions...its vertical plunge into the thickets of madness, will stun readers as well..."
"A hypnotic narrative"
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times
"How extraordinarily touching it is that these men who have suffered so much still want to make us better...If I sound just a little overwrought, I defy you to read this straightforward, in many ways underwrought, narrative and feel any differently...filled with the grim humor of men under pressure, filled with details..."
Robert Wilson, USA Today
"Unaffected, straightforward... His descriptions of flying air assault, med-evac and ammo-resupply missions make exhilarating reading...an important addition to our growing Vietnam War literature.
C. D. Bryant New York Times Review of Books
"Mason recounts the war as experienced in mission after mission behind the cockpit's vulnerable Plexiglas windshield...Mason's gripping memoir...proves again that reality is more interesting, and often more terrifying, than fiction."
John Patrick Diggins, Los Angeles Times
"A wry undertone of ironic wit...one of the best...a superb piece of story telling, really excellent."
Larry Heinemann, (Close Quarters ), Chicago Sun Times
"The sounds and sensations of flying helicopters dominate...When he flies so does his book..."
Lee Lescaze, The Washington Post
"It is very simply the best book so far out of Vietnamthe best book so far and the best book by far."
Harry Levins, St. Louis Post Dispatch
"Simply told, honest, detailed, dramatic, outstanding!"
"...Chickenhawk is filled with vivid, terrifying war stories...one man's journey from youthful innocence to war-weary disillusionment."
David Chandler, People Magazine
"Powerful stuff. Adrenaline highs. God!...Chickenhawk is brave and awful and specific."
Margaret Manning, Boston Sunday Globe
"He was an everyday combat hero in Vietnam, and he has written quite a good book...endless cold sweat nights before and after repeated landings in enemy-ringed landing zones...the serious and intuitive business of flying helicopters in combat."
Repps Hudson, Kansas City Star
"Rich, often relentless memoir...had me trembling, fidgeting, wanting it to stop, wanting to get those guys up, off the LZs (landing zones). Powerful scenes made me cry. Others were hilariously funny...Anyone who served in Vietnam...should read Chickenhawk. Anyone who wants to learn more about the war or who likes exciting reading should read it."
John Del Vecchio (The Thirteenth Valley ), Philadelphia Inquirer
"A convincing memoir of action...Mr. Mason takes us step by step into the daily life of combat..."
The New Yorker
"His prose, lowkeyed and carefully unemotional, lets the facts of misjudgment, destruction, mutilation, and death make their own cumulative and devastating effect. His report is exciting and moving and the ending is a bitter shock."
"Vivid, authentic account of the air war...a wrenching personal chronicle."
Lee Milazzo, Dallas Morning News
"A taut, simply written narrative.
Stephen Brawn, Detroit Free Press
"One more fine addition."
"Mason's vivid story leaves the whine of the [turbine], the solid thumps of the main rotor, the ticks of bullets hitting the aircraft and the stench of the dead as solidly in your mind as if you had been there.
Doug Clarke, Ft. Worth Star Telegram
"It's understated almost laconic tone gives it immense power...makes your knuckles turn white."
Walter Berkov, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"...thrilling, harrowing, and, finally, full of moral questioning."
"The sound of rotor blades...can be heard...by anyone who reads his book."
James F. Vesely, Detroit News
"It ranks with the best of the Vietnam War books...a moving, poignant story..."
Roger Jaynes, Milwaukee Journal
"...powerful, sustained descriptions...of men at war...painfully honest...an integral book about the war of attrition."
Richard Mehalko, San Francisco Chronicle
"(Chickenhawk ) is by miles the best book on Vietnam since Philip Caputo's A Rumors of War."
"Chickenhawk is unique among memoirs of the Vietnam War. [Mason's] story is compelling without being sensational, informative without being political. Chickenhawk must take its place among the most rewarding narratives of Vietnam."
"Maybe Vietnam is best seen through a shattered helicopter windshield. Chickenhawk is one bloody, painfully honest, and courageous book."
Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park
"...a detailed and fascinating account...a significant addition..."
Vertiflite, Journal of the American Helicopter Society
"Chickenhawk ranks with the very best of the personal narratives to come out of Veitnam. It was a 'helicopter war', but until now, no one has told the story of these machines and the men that flew them. Mason more than makes up for the long wait. An absolutely superb piece of writing!"
Tom Herbert, Vietnam War Newsletter
"Better than any movie about that war."
P. Albert Duhamel, Boston Herald
"A stunning memoir."
"...tells a compelling story in a straightforward and engrossing style...highly recommended."
"...arresting, lean, cool, grotesque, telling."
Mark Caldwell, Village Voice
"...classic descriptions of helicopter warfare that are among the most realistic and exciting in print...humor and pathos, anger and frustration...grit, grime and gore."
Warren A. Trest, USAF Historical Research Center
"Well written, lively...detailed story of one man's year at war from his unique perspective as a helicopter pilot...a major contribution to Vietnam War literature."
Lt. Colonel John A. Hardaway, USA Military Reviews
Major reviews and articles
1. PEOPLE, Sep 12, 1983, magazine, 3 page article
2. TIME, August 29, clipping, review
3. PLAYBOY, August 1983, magazine, review
4 USA TODAY, July 15, 1983, page, review
5. PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, July 24, 1983, page, review
6. NEW YORK TIMES, August 4, 1983, page, review
7. ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, August 7, 1983, clip, review
8. LOS ANGELES TIMES, August 21, 1983, page, review
9. BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBE, August 21, 1983, page + clip, review
10. KANSAS CITY STAR, January 15, 1984, clip, review
11. CYCLE, March, 1984, page, essay
12. VERTIFLITE, Jan/Feb, 1984, page, review
13. USA TODAY, August 17, 1984, page, article
14. PLAYGROUND DAILY NEWS, September 17, 1984, 2 page article
15. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, October 16, 1984, page, review
16. SUNSHINE, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, June 23, 1985, cover + article
17. ORLANDO SENTINEL, September 1, 1985, cover + article
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