Among other achievements, Kingsford Smith was the first person to fly across the Pacific. He broke the record for the fastest flight from England to Australia, and at one point he held more long-distance flying records than anyone else on the planet.
If that wasn't enough, Smithy was also a war hero, receiving the Military Cross for gallantry in action after being shot - and losing three toes - during one of many flying missions during World War I. Smithy was not the lone adventurer of the skies. Early aviation drew to it a company of daredevils who all challenged gravity and fear.
This comprehensive biography, written with typical flair by best-selling author Peter FitzSimons, covers the triumphs and tragedies of not only Kingsford Smith's daring and controversial life but also those of his companion aviators.
©2009 Peter FitzSimons; (P)2009 Bolinda Publishing
Great listen. Well worth it. Fascinating story of the life and times of "Smithy". Another superb book from Peter Fitzsimons. Recommended.
"Adventure and the invention of aviation"
All I knew about Smithy before reading this was that he flew the Southern Cross and he was on our $20 note back when it was still paper.
After reading this book, which is brilliantly read, I came away with an amazing appreciation for the pioneers who literally invented flight, flying, and aviation as they went along.
Not to mention the incredible life of the man himself Smithy.... Every Australian should read this book. Peter FitzSimons and Richard Aspel have done a remarkable job bringing the people and events of so long ago to vibrant life, right there in my ears. Thanks guys.
"Fascinating & Well Researched"
The breadth and depth of the research which included the history of flight. It was incredibly interesting and shed a lot of light on a period of history perhaps not that well know today.
I've read a few other biographical books by Peter Fitzsimons and this is in the same genre. As usual the research is excellent.
Overall I liked Richard Aspel's performance - it was very colourful and animated but in a couple of places it felt slightly theatrical.
I really admired the courage and determination of the pioneers of flight and the difficulties they had to contend with.
A great and very interesting read particularly for anyone interested in Australian history and flight.
"What a Wonderful Marriage of Aviation and Smithy"
Being a "detective thriller" type of person, I did not know if this style of book would keep me turning pages. Not only was I turning pages, I was sitting in my car after I got home to find out what was happening next. Not too many books can get me to do that.
When Smithy met the King while on crutches.
No, but I have now added him to my favorites.
I kept my hope up that Smithy would succeed at everything he touched..
"Another wonderful book by this author."
This book covers not only the life of Charles kingsford smith but the history of aviation itself up until the 1930,s. A must read for any aviation of war buffs.
"A great story full of surprises"
It was immensely enjoyable. I learnt many new and facinating things about Kingsford Smith. He really was larger than life.
"Charming, honest and detailed."
I often laughed out loud with FitzSimons' well placed classic Australian lingo ('like a koala during a cyclone') and I loved the depth of detail that put the life of Charles Kingsford Smith in contex.
The narration was also superb and the accents create character and charm every if they did sometimes seem a little over the top.
yes, I did not use print version. The reading was wonderful
crash at cafe royale
not one, just a well written, very well read saga of early aviation.
"Excellent subject for a story - Hideous narrator"
Anyone but. As a regular listener to audio books I have never been so disappointed in a narrator. I have contacted Audible to seek a refund.
There is no way I could listen for more than a minute.
I hope the publisher re-records the work (using a different voice artist) because the subject is of enormous interest to aviation buffs.
I could not continue to listen.
"Great piece of history"
I will most certainly listen to this again
An interesting back ground on an Australian Charector , given his notoriety I am surprised in a way to find how his fame out weighed his business sense. It was also interesting to hear about a history of aviation and the names that have and have not carried through to nowadays.
I listen to these things at work, as with all the other FitzSimons stories I struggle to turn them off when I go home at the end of the day
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