Official Review: Hell in the Heavens: The Saga of a WW2 B...

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
User avatar
micoleon13
Posts: 453
Joined: 20 May 2016, 20:33
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 90
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-micoleon13.html
Latest Review: Hell in the Heavens: The Saga of a WW2 Bomber Pilot by Morton E Tavel, MD

Official Review: Hell in the Heavens: The Saga of a WW2 B...

Post by micoleon13 » 21 Apr 2018, 09:08

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Hell in the Heavens: The Saga of a WW2 Bomber Pilot" by Morton E Tavel, MD.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Hell in the Heavens: The Saga of a WW2 Bomber Pilot is a non-fiction book by Lt. Col. David E. Tavel and Morton E. Tavel, M.D. about the day to day life of a pilot during WWII.

WWII bomber pilot, David Tavel, left his memoirs to his family about his time during the war. Based on his diary entries and log books, his cousin, Morton Tavel, saw the potential for a published book, and so Hell in the Heavens was born.

The majority of the story is told in first person perspective as David recounts his experiences, but changes to third person when Morton Tavel adds extra facts about the era or David himself. David’s first-hand experiences provide a unique and emotional insight into the life, not only of a bomber pilot but all who were involved in flying the skies during the war.

The story begins with David training to become a pilot in the States in 1937, before being moved out to Italy to begin active combat in 1944. Targeting enemy strongholds of oil bases or factories, the pilots were constantly under fire from fighter planes or antiaircraft fire, as they fought to help turn the tide against the Nazis.

While the writing structure is simple and to the point, it is all the more realistic for its simplicity, not hindered by emotive adjectives or over the top imagery. The starkness further portrays the reality of war and how life-threatening situations, terror, and loss became something to deal with daily.

There is obviously a lot of focus on aircraft, as it was David’s love of flying which started off his journey and continued throughout the rest of his life. While some people may find these extra details a little tedious, I really enjoyed them, even with my limited airplane knowledge. The addition of photos taken at the time helped a lot with visualisation.

What I also found interesting is how, like in other war books which I have read, the enemy is reduced to an entity, not individual people, and that there was cause to celebrate when enemy fighters were shot down or a target was taken out. This is obviously a much needed coping technique in order to fight the way one does for their country. I found it easy to get caught up in this way of thinking, and feel glad whenever David had a successful mission, but I would catch myself every so often thinking that they were people in those planes, living similar lives just like David, yet placed on the side which made them the enemy.

I enjoyed watching David’s growth from an eager young trainee out for adventure, to that of a hardened pilot, thankful each day to return safely to the ground. He learned to cope as best he knew how, one of which was not getting to know the new recruits he was training, as it was too hard to get attached, knowing many of them would not make it back.

This book illustrates, again with its simple way, the unbelievable harsh reality these pilots had to endure, from old rickety planes that were liable to catch fire or not lift off the ground, to the amount of clothing they had to wear to avoid frostbite, to “packing up your fallen buddy’s things to be sent home”.

Overall this is an incredible personal account of the life of a bomber pilot. Well written, with no errors, this would definitely suit anyone with an interest in WWII or aircraft. Easy to read and relatively short at 196 pages, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I can never say enough about the bravery shown by the people who put their lives on the line both in the air and on the ground in WWII fighting for their country.

******
Hell in the Heavens: The Saga of a WW2 Bomber Pilot
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like micoleon13's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1553
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 112
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: It's Hard to Be a Vampire
Bookshelf Size: 458
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: Will of The Hill by Marshall Cobb
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 22 Apr 2018, 00:24

Honestly! I don't need to read the review because I LOVE this genre of WW2. Different writers produce different accounts of their experience during WW2. It is very fascinating to know their own first-hand experience. Thank you for your review though!
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid! - Jane Austen :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Kibetious
Posts: 1006
Joined: 26 Jul 2017, 01:48
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 44
Currently Reading: Daisies and Dragon Slayers In The Equator
Bookshelf Size: 486
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kibetious.html
Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Kibetious » 22 Apr 2018, 08:11

Nice work here. Here, history has come into play too given that there is part of WWII. I like such books. Thanks for the review too. Would not have known what the book's main theme was would you not have written and posted the review.
​​​​​​He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy :techie-studyinggray:

User avatar
Kibetious
Posts: 1006
Joined: 26 Jul 2017, 01:48
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 44
Currently Reading: Daisies and Dragon Slayers In The Equator
Bookshelf Size: 486
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kibetious.html
Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Kibetious » 22 Apr 2018, 08:13

Sahani Nimandra wrote:
22 Apr 2018, 00:24
Honestly! I don't need to read the review because I LOVE this genre of WW2. Different writers produce different accounts of their experience during WW2. It is very fascinating to know their own first-hand experience. Thank you for your review though!
Wow, nice to know this. WWII stories are so fascinating and each I read one more book on it I get to know that there is a piece in the story that I nevr knew of.
​​​​​​He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy :techie-studyinggray:

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1553
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 112
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: It's Hard to Be a Vampire
Bookshelf Size: 458
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: Will of The Hill by Marshall Cobb
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 22 Apr 2018, 08:27

Kibetious wrote:
22 Apr 2018, 08:13
Sahani Nimandra wrote:
22 Apr 2018, 00:24
Honestly! I don't need to read the review because I LOVE this genre of WW2. Different writers produce different accounts of their experience during WW2. It is very fascinating to know their own first-hand experience. Thank you for your review though!
Wow, nice to know this. WWII stories are so fascinating and each I read one more book on it I get to know that there is a piece in the story that I nevr knew of.
"each I read one more book on it I get to know that there is a piece in the story that I nevr knew of" Ya! That's the best part!
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid! - Jane Austen :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6097
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 83
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 224
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: It's Just a Matter of Balance by Kevin S. Garrison

Post by kandscreeley » 22 Apr 2018, 08:40

Interesting. Morton E Tavel like the author of Health Tips, Myths and Tricks? I'm sure those pills did not have it easy. It seems like we could learn something here. Thanks.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Meshack Eyanai
Posts: 1
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 07:35
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Meshack Eyanai » 22 Apr 2018, 09:12

amazing the book is reality and so to the people who put their lives on the line both in the air and on the ground in WWII fighting for their country salute..

User avatar
Libs_Books
Posts: 755
Joined: 13 Feb 2018, 12:54
Favorite Book: The year of the flood
Currently Reading: Mason Dixon
Bookshelf Size: 273
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-libs-books.html
Latest Review: Dont Panic Its Organic by Dr. Andy Lopez

Post by Libs_Books » 23 Apr 2018, 14:42

I was a huge fan of Catch-22 when I was in my late teens/early twenties, and I think I'm write in saying that this book is set against the same backdrop. I would find it interesting to read a more down-to-earth (no pun intended) account of those times. Thanks for a detailed review.

User avatar
crediblereading2
Posts: 995
Joined: 19 Jan 2018, 13:32
Currently Reading: Bitroux
Bookshelf Size: 32
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-crediblereading2.html
Latest Review: SSN Seadragon by J P Ronald

Post by crediblereading2 » 23 Apr 2018, 14:50

I enjoy your very enlightening description of this book. Based on your review, I am able to see where the author has indeed brought to life real life day to day activities that took place during WW1. This must indeed be a very good read.

Manali_DC
Posts: 141
Joined: 05 Jun 2017, 00:51
Currently Reading: A Little Life
Bookshelf Size: 53
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-manali-dc.html
Latest Review: Concealment by Rose Edmunds

Post by Manali_DC » 04 May 2018, 02:08

Like quite a few of the others here, I am another avid reader of anything that deals with the WW2 era!! The world changed after that- and reading the account of someone who was so actively involved in the war and seen it from the perspective of a fighter pilot would make for an interesting read!!

Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”