A Gift of Wings, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


These stories, inspired by Bach's lifelong passion for flight, filled with memories of friends from the past and friends not yet met, are woven together with warmth, honesty and courage.

With signs and signals, coincidences and tangents turning up at every juncture, Bach shows how truly complex and beautiful life can be, and also how its troubles can in fact knock us onto better paths or teach us lessons we benefit from in other situations.

Drawing on the allegorical power of flight, each a mini-parable, these stories will inspire you with their simple experiences made technicolour by the prism of Bach's extraordinary imagination.

Celebrating Richard Bach's unique vision, these transcend their pages to touch the real drama of life with magic that reaches out to us all across its limitless horizons.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary studies: from c 1900 -
  • ISBN: 9780330304214



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When I knew him, Harvey Jaggs was a milk roundsman; but on the wall of his modest house was a photograph of him as a young man in the stiff buttoned jacket of the Royal Flying Corps. He wan't a talkative man, and I recall only two things he told me about flying. One was the curious way in which rotary engined planes proceeded across the airfield. In a rotary engine the crankshaft is bolted to the plane and the cylinders rotate around it with the airscrew fixed to them. Because of difficulties with carburation and ignition they effectively had only two speeds, "Stop" and "Go", so they bounded across the field in a series of giant leaps, the pilots cutting the engine at a nicely judged time before they reached flying speed. In the other, he said "Until you have sat at three thousand feet with nothing between you and the ground but a bit of plywood, you don't know what terror is." The military men who ran the RFC had denied their pilots parachutes, having decided that if they had them they might abandon their planes when in a tight spot . As a consequence they ran out of pilots before they ran out of planes. Those who survived were lucky - and few.Richard Bach's short stories and the other pieces in this collection written between 1959 and 1971 are about airmen and their feelings for flying and their planes. As he himself says when wriiing about other flying books "The way to know any writer ... is to read what he writes. Only in print is he most clear, most true, most honest ... it is in his writing that we find the real man." In this book we find the real Richard Bach. I have given it four stars, not for the quality of the writing which is variable, but for the quality of the feeling.

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