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Airport von Arthur Hailey
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Airport (1970. Auflage)

von Arthur Hailey (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1,2431511,833 (3.55)34
Describes the operation of an airport and the jobs of the many different people who work there.
Autoren:Arthur Hailey (Autor)
Info:Bantam Books Ltd (1970), Edition: PF, 477 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek


Airport von Arthur Hailey

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I thought this book was hokey, over-done, and easily predictable, but I enjoyed reading it. It was definitely, well, an airport read. I have to say I appreciated how accurate the aviation information was, and enjoyed the Chicagoland references. And even though I predicted literally every major plot point in the book well in advance, I still enjoyed actually reading everything play out. ( )
  lemontwist | Jul 9, 2020 |
I read this as a teenager and I remember thinking that it was OK, enjoyable enough and too long. ( )
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
Lincoln International Airport is in the third day of battling a major snowstorm. Flights are delayed, others are cancelled, the snow-removal crews are working overtime, and one of the runways is blocked by a stuck plane. Meanwhile, whiny NIMBYs who moved into homes built beside the airport are staging a demonstration about the noise, and then of course (of course!) there’s a bomb threat on one of the flagship planes. Alongside this aviation drama is the personal drama involving the airport manager, a prestigious pilot, a flight attendant, and an air traffic controller.

For most of this book I was practically bouncing up and down in my seat with glee. All of the nerdy details were FANTASTIC. I LOVED all of it—the snow removal, the aircraft maintenance, the control tower, the competing priorities, the churning foam of activity under the slick veneer of a then-modern airport waiting to join the jet age. I wished my pilot friends were around so I could read entire passages out to them and ask “Is this true? Do they really talk like this? This sounds really accurate.” Arthur Hailey obviously plotted the whole thing very carefully and did his research. It’s very well structured and holds up soundly. It is a LONG book, though, surprisingly for what I expected to be more like a cheap thriller, so you may require more patience than anticipated.

The only thing I wasn’t really crazy about was the storylines involving various sexual shenanigans. Pilot/flight attendant romance? Yawn. One female character being mostly remembered for having a bust visible from space? Come ON. What is this, Airplane!? Actually, the film of this movie and of a previous TV movie of Hailey’s, Flight into Danger, which was eventually adapted into Zero Hour!, were the inspiration for that much-beloved comedy masterpiece. So in a way it helped to roll my eyes at the naughty scenes and write it off as “well, that’s Airplane! for you.”

I’d recommend this if you like well-structured thrillers, or perhaps other air disaster novels with nerdy technical details, such as Michael Crichton’s Airframe. ( )
1 abstimmen rabbitprincess | Feb 5, 2020 |
Arthur Hailey


Bantam, Paperback, 1971.

12mo. [vi]+501 pp.

First published by Doubleday, March 1968.
10th printing, October 1968.
Literary Guild edition, April 1968.
Reader's Digest Condensed Book Club edition, April 1968.
Dollar Book Club edition, January 1969.
Bantam edition, July 1969.
20th printing, October 1971.


Part One: 6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. (CST)
Part Two: 8:30 P.M. – 11 P.M. (CST)
Part Three: 11 P.M. – 1:30 A.M. (CST)


Spoilers ahead (including the movie)!

One of the most popular novelists of his time, Arthur Hailey seems to have fallen into nearly complete oblivion nowadays. I think this is a pity. Even the worst of his 11 novels, such as In High Places and Overload, are still very readable and not a little enjoyable. The best of them, of which Airport is a fine example, are a little more than that. Every writer, Somerset Maugham once observed, has the right to be judged by his best. This is what the venerable Telegraph wrote in an obituary from 27 November, 2004:

Airport (1968), which inspired, two years later, a phenomenally successful film starring Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin and Helen Hayes, was the acme of Hailey's writing. The formulaic disaster plot and the woodenness of the characterisation were faithfully reproduced by Hollywood, rather than being later additions.

I take issue with this statement. Airport (1970) is a nice movie, still entertaining more than 40 years later. But it’s a faint and blurred image of the novel: by no means is it a “faithful reproduction”.

The complex and multidimensional plot is greatly simplified in the movie – and so are the people. Whole characters (Keith Bakersfeld, Eliott Freemantle), together with the important insights they provide into other characters, are completely omitted. Dean Martin’s grinning, chattering and easygoing Vernon Demerest hardly resembles the cold, vain and conceited original on paper; the latter is vastly more complex too, as evident from his affair with Gwen, but this is barely hinted on the screen. Not even that can be said of the other central affair, the one between Mel and Tanya, so smouldering, suggestive and ambiguous on paper, so flat, trite and dull on the screen. The relationship between Guerrero and his wife is grossly sentimentalized. The lachrymose scene in the café is missing from the book; the atrocious melodrama of Inez Guerrero staggering among the ill-fated passengers, crying and muttering the absurd words “He didn’t want to do it”, is another ridiculous invention of the screenwriters.

In short, and in spite of a fine cast including Burt Lancaster as Mel, the lovely Jacqueline Bisset as Gwen and the fantastic Helen Hayes as the professional stowaway Ada Quonset, the movie is just a period piece. The novel is not.

People who want to complain will always find something to complain about. The kind of book Arthur Hailey wrote, thrillers especially designed for entertainment purposes and with no pretensions to be “literature” (whatever that means), is their favourite field of self-expression. And complain they do! If there is too much action related at breakneck speed, each chapter ending with a cliffhanger, they complain the characters are “flat”, “wooden”, “insipid”, and so on and so forth. If there is too much characterisation, they complain that the book is nothing but a kitchen-sink drama. As for those sensitive souls who are shocked – shocked – that women are sometimes called “girls” in Hailey’s novels – well, they should miss this one as well. Now that we have disposed of readers unfit by temperament to appreciate a good thriller, let’s look seriously at Airport.

Hailey’s writing, even within the limited requirements of the genre, is not perfect. It is annoyingly repetitious. Physical appearance is a particularly vulnerable area; the figure of one character is always “stocky”, another is “spindly”, and so on. The plot also suffers heavily from repetitions, many of them rather obviously reminding about crucial incidents. The attentive reader really doesn’t need all that. Also, some of the prodigious background is relevant neither to the plot nor to the characters. Hailey’s novels are notorious for their painstaking recreation of the world they describe, in this case airports, airplanes and airlines, and it can’t be denied that sometimes he went too far. All those predictions about the future of commercial aviation might have been topical in the late 1960s, but today they are, at best, of purely historical interest. Last but not least, there is one significant blunder in the pace: the chapter on Keith’s acute depression and sense of isolation is too long.

No matter. Airport remains a stupendous achievement of page-turning readability. I am not sure how many times I have read it, four or five I guess, and it has never failed to keep me on the edge from the first chapter to the last. The style may be too trite for the literary snobs, but for my money it works supremely well. Occasionally, there is some fine imagery (“like pustules on a battered, weakened body, trouble spots were erupting steadily”) or some vivid, thought-provoking descriptions of the airport precincts:

It was a pity, Mel Bakersfeld reflected, that runway snow teams were not more on public view. The sight was spectacular and stirring. Even now, in storm and darkness, approaching the massed equipment from the rear, the effect was impressive. Giant columns of snow cascaded to the right in arcs of a hundred and fifty feet. The arcs were framed in vehicle searchlights, and shimmered from the added color of some twenty revolving beacons – one on the roof of each vehicle in the group.
It was elemental here. More to the point, amid the airfield's loneliness there was a feeling of closeness to aviation, the real aviation which in its simplest sense was man against the elements. You lost that kind of feeling if you stayed too long in terminals and airline office buildings; there, the extraneous, nonessential things confused you. Maybe all of us in aviation management, Mel thought, should stand at the distant end of a runway once in a while, and feel the wind on our faces. It could help to separate detail from fundamentals. It might even ventilate our brains as well.

Mel Bakersfeld is not a negligible feat of characterisation. He is a man who, for all his accomplishments, has never realised his full potential. He is occasionally shown as impatient, irritable or callous. He is at least partly responsible for his disintegrating marriage. In short, he is not an idealized superhero we should root for without reservation. With the possible exception of Vernon Demerest, for whom the seven hours of the plot may well be a life-changing experience, the other characters are simpler, more types than characters indeed, but they still remain compelling studies of the proverbial demagogue (Eliott Freemantle), social outcast (Keith Bakersfeld), dangerous monomaniac (Guerrero), or practical man of endless resourcefulness, common sense and a healthy dose of contempt for authority (Joe Patroni). Not bad for “just a thriller”. All women, I’m afraid, are rather more simplistic, even though most of them, notably Gwen, Tanya and Ada Quonset, are undeniably charming.

I find it difficult to believe that any common mortal fond of plot-driven fiction, as opposed to a godlike lover of stylistic experiments, can find Airport a waste of time. Sure, he and especially she may find it less engrossing than I do. But the plot moves inexorably forward and the tension never really drops until the last pages. As for the “cast”, it is pleasantly varied and sometimes, if you choose to believe, not as simple as it might look at first glance. ( )
2 abstimmen Waldstein | Oct 19, 2015 |
A cast of characters whose loves and lives converge at Lincoln International Airport outside Chicago. Yet through skillful abridgment and Victor Garber's ability to depict characters with various accents, this fast-paced audiobook is quite enjoyable.It would make great listening for a long trip. ( )
Diese Rezension ist durch mehrere Mitglieder als Verstoß gegen die AGB (terms of service) gemeldet worden, und wird nicht mehr angezeigt.
1 abstimmen | Tutter | Feb 27, 2015 |
This flight manifest is really not very different (only much longer) than the first book Hailey conscripted with John Castle, Runway Zero-Eight, here amplified to grand Hotel proportions. Writing up a storm--that is a blizzard--at Lincoln International, this cross-sections some of the personnel's lives and loves throughout the emergency, ending with a crash due to one Guerrero carrying an explosive device for insurance benefits (you do remember that one). On hand, among others--Mel Bakersfield whose marriage to the petulant Cindy has become uneasy; his brother contemplating suicide, suffering from the guilt of a previous crash; a little old lady stowaway and a pregnant stewardess (via the pilot); etc. etc. All perfectly smoothly lubricated and pressurized for certainly part of that audience he maitre d'h'd on the best seller list.
hinzugefügt von Lemeritus | bearbeitenKirkus Review (Mar 15, 1968)

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (12 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Hailey, ArthurHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Elwenspoek, Wilm W.ÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Hallén, SvenÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Landes, DanielÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.
from "High Flight" by John Gillespie Mageek, Jr. (1922-1941) sometime Flight Lieutenant, Royal Canadian Air Force
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At half-past six on a Friday evening in January, Lincoln International Airport, Illinois, was functioning, though with difficulty.
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Describes the operation of an airport and the jobs of the many different people who work there.

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Durchschnitt: (3.55)
0.5 1
1 2
1.5 1
2 23
2.5 7
3 81
3.5 11
4 83
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5 38

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