The Hunters: A Novel
James Salter was born in New York in 1925. He is the author of the novels Solo Faces, Light Years, A Sport and a Pastime: A Novel and The Hunters. The Hunters was his first novel, originally published in 1965, and is based on the author's own experiences as a fighter pilot during the Korean War. The book is considered a classic war novel.
Captain Cleve Connell is already a well-known name among pilots when he arrives in Korea to take on the Russian MIGs with the new F-86 fighter aircraft. His goal, like any combat pilot, is to shoot down enough enemy fighters to become an 'ace' pilot. But things work out differently than expected. Mission after mission, he fails to shoot down enemy planes and the other pilots begin to doubt his will to fight the enemy. As a result, Cleve's self-confidence begins to waver, and fear takes over. A dramatic mission over the Yalu River finally proves his courage and honesty.
Captain Cleve Connell arrives in Korea with a single goal: to become an ace, one of that elite fraternity of jet pilots who have downed five MIGs. But as his fellow airmen rack up kill after kill--sometimes under dubious circumstances--Cleve's luck runs bad. Other pilots question his guts. Cleve comes to question himself. And then in one icy instant 40,000 feet above the Yalu River, his luck changes forever. Filled with courage and despair, eerie beauty and corrosive rivalry, The Hunters is a landmark in the literature of war.