Attagirls by Paul Olavesen-Stabb

ARRSE Rating
2.00 star(s)
This book was another of the little ‘surprises’ that Auld-Yin sends me periodically. I have to say, it’s a great improvement on the last one!.

It tells a fictional story, based on an actual lady pilot of the Air Transport Auxiliary. She was a scion of the Marshall family of Cambridge, so plenty there to interest this particular reader, who hails from that fair city, and whose Grandfather was given an award for his assiduous firewatching at Marshalls airfield during the period of the book’s story.

The book gives a lot of detail around the setting up of the ATA, the difficulties faced by the pilots (Not just the ladies, those considered ‘unfit’ due to injuries incurred in the previous unpleasantness) and its attempt to prove itself as a true part of the war effort. I found the description of the logistics of flying 50 spitfires up to Scotland to be loaded onto the USS Wasp for delivery to Malta extremely interesting. Without the ATA to move aircraft around, fighting pilots would have had to be diverted from their task.

Attagirls 2.jpg
This could have been an excellent book, but sadly it was written for the American market, and the constant use of the word ‘license’ for a permit to fly didn’t sit right with this reader, who believes that a licence licenses one to do something. Nor did referring to the British Empire as the Commonwealth, which wasn’t actually created until 1949. Simple research into this kind of fact was missing, yet a whole load of research into the female struggle for recognition has been included.

The fictional story and writing style are a bit ‘Mills and Boon’ for this reader. The gang of girls who became friends, the loss of loved ones in accidents when navigation aids and radio were denied to the pilots, and the way our heroines dealt with loss had a heavy overlay of shallowness. The ending was utterly predictable, and the descriptions of gossipy old village ladies who add no value to the progress of the sisterhood somewhat trite. Many of the gossipy old village ladies I have met did wonderful and interesting things in their heyday, and have useful things to say about life today; I can’t believe this was different in 1941.

The book took two evenings to read. It might fill a sunny afternoon sitting under a tree in the shade, but you would neither learn from it nor put it down feeling ‘that was a corker’.. I shall now re-read 'Spitfire Women of World War II' by Giles Whittell. It's not fiction, but it's a cracking read.

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Apologies @Auld-Yin but an arrse rating of two stars is generous.
 
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Grownup_Rafbrat

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Fiction usually pales before fact.

Great subject though.
I thoroughly recommend the Whittell book, published in 2007.
 

Awol

LE
I thoroughly recommend the Whittell book, published in 2007.
Sadly, over the past couple of years, I’ve been unable to concentrate or find the motivation to read a physical book. Prior to the end of 2018 I read voraciously, maybe a book a day, but now, my mind goes blank and I just reread the same passages time and time again

I know the reason, but it’s not important here, but the point is that I can listen all day long to audible books (specifically Audible) but a quick check has shown that Mr Whittell’s book on the ‘Bridge of Spies’ is available but your ‘Spitfire Women’ one isn’t.

Personally I think that you should narrate the whole thing into some proprietary recording device, maybe your battered old phone, and then offer it to interested Arrsers in return for a chocolate hobnob, or maybe a cream bun.

;-)
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

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Sadly, over the past couple of years, I’ve been unable to concentrate or find the motivation to read a physical book. Prior to the end of 2018 I read voraciously, maybe a book a day, but now, my mind goes blank and I just reread the same passages time and time again

I know the reason, but it’s not important here, but the point is that I can listen all day long to audible books (specifically Audible) but a quick check has shown that Mr Whittell’s book on the ‘Bridge of Spies’ is available but your ‘Spitfire Women’ one isn’t.

Personally I think that you should narrate the whole thing into some proprietary recording device, maybe your battered old phone, and then offer it to interested Arrsers in return for a chocolate hobnob, or maybe a cream bun.

;-)
There's a thought.

Slight thread drift ...

Back in the days when I was a young Trainee Programmer, one of the Operators (13 to a crew, plus a shift leader, to run an IBM Mainframe) took a shine to my voice, to the point that when I left the company, I was asked to record the message on their answering service so they could listen to it for ever.

Could be my new business opportunity- bedtime stories for arrsers.....
 

Awol

LE
There's a thought.

Slight thread drift ...

Back in the days when I was a young Trainee Programmer, one of the Operators (13 to a crew, plus a shift leader, to run an IBM Mainframe) took a shine to my voice, to the point that when I left the company, I was asked to record the message on their answering service so they could listen to it for ever.

Could be my new business opportunity- bedtime stories for arrsers.....
Christ..... now you’ve opened a can of worms....
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

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