With his stirring, rapturous first novel--originally published in 1956 --James Salter established himself as the most electrifying prose stylist since Hemingway. Four decades later, it is clear that he also fashioned the most enduring fiction ever about aerial warfare.
Captain Cleve Connell arrives in Korea with a single goal: to become an ace, one of that elite fraternity of jet pilots who have downed five MIGs. But as his fellow airmen rack up kill after kill--sometimes under dubious circumstances--Cleve's luck runs bad. Other pilots question his guts. Cleve comes to question himself. And then in one icy instant 40,000 feet above the Yalu River, his luck changes forever. Filled with courage and despair, eerie beauty and corrosive rivalry, The Hunters is a landmark in the literature of war.
About the Author
James Salter was the celebrated author of six novels ("The Hunters", 1957; "The Arm of Flesh", 1961; "A Sport and a Pastime", 1967; "Light Years", 1975; "Solo Faces", 1979; and "All That Is", 2013) and three books of stories ("Dusk and Other Stories", 1988; "Last Night", 2005; and "Collected Stories", 2013), as well a memoir, "Burning the Days" (1997). He also had a successful Hollywood career, most notably as the screenwriter of "Downhill Racer" (1969). Born in New Jersey in 1926 and raised in New York City, he attended West Point during World War II and served as an officer and a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force from 1945 to 1957. He drew on his combat experiences in Korea for his first two novels, though it was not until the controversial but now-classic A Sport and a Pastime that he considered that he had come close to measuring up to his own standards. He was a recipient of the 1989 PEN/Faulkner Award and the 2012 PEN/Malamud Award. He died in Sag Harbor, New York, in 2015.
"The contemporary writer most admired and envied by other writers. . . . He can . . . break your heart with a sentence."
--Washington Post Book World
"Anyone under forty may not appreciate how profoundly Salter influenced my generation. [He] created the finest work ever to appear in print--ever--about men who fly and fight." --Robert F. Dorr, author of F-86 Sabre
Darkly romantic. . .beautifully composed. . .a brilliant war novel." --Chicago Tribune