Review of "West With the Night"
by Beryl Markham
Excerpt from page 186:
'Instruments can go wrong,' he said. 'If you can't fly without looking at your airspeed and your altimeter and your bank-and-turn indicator — well, then you can't fly. You're like somebody who only knows what he thinks after reading his newspaper. But don't mistrust the compass — your judgment will never be more accurate than that needle. It will tell you where you ought to be going and the rest is up to you.'
From a letter to Maxwell Perkins:
"Did you read Beryl Markham's book, West with the Night? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer's log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing tem together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers. The only parts of it that I know about personally, on account of having been there at the time and heard the other people's stories, are absolutely true ... I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book." — Ernest Hemingway
What more can be said of this book? It's not really one book, but rather four books combined into a wonderful read. The flow is unbelievable. Although it doesn't deal totally with flying, it will capture your heart and spirit. It's one of the few books that I go back and read over and over.
Check it out at your library or order a copy.