First Light (Penguin World War II Collection)

4.38 avg rating
( 998 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780141042756: First Light (Penguin World War II Collection)

Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF . . .

Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest Spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92 Squadron. Thrust into combat almost immediately, Wellum finds himself flying several sorties a day, caught up in terrifying dogfights with German Me 109s.

Over the coming months he and his fellow pilots play a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. But of the friends that take to the air alongside Wellum many never return.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Product Description:

First Light

Review:

Surviving Battle of Britain fighter aces were thin on the ground even in 1941, so any new book more than 60 years later from a previously unknown pilot is bound to get noticed. And First Light is not just any book. It might not turn out to be a lasting classic, like Richard Hillary's The Last Enemy or Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, but it is a cut well above the bog standard wartime reminiscences of many retired military bods. For a start Wellum can write, but more than this he has an instinctive feel for a good story. He begins First Light as a fresh-faced, rather obnoxious public schoolboy keen to blag his way into the RAF in March 1939; just three years, two full tours on Spitfires, the Battle of Britain, nearly 100 escorts and fighter sweeps over occupied France and a Malta convoy later, Wellum was physically and mentally burnt out before the age of 22. An old man in a boy's body. His descriptions of the excitement, freedom and, at times, sheer terror of operating in a three-dimensional airspace are vividly powerful, but perhaps his greatest gift is to get across the way the fatigue and the emotional shutting off creeps up unnoticed.

At the start, the death of a friend leaves Wellum devastated and wondering when his turn will come; within the space of a few hundred pages, the failure of a pilot to return is dropped in almost as an afterthought. This is not the response of a man who cares too little, but of one who cares too much. Without being aware of it, he has experienced and felt too much and his mind and body have involuntarily separated. This comes into even sharper relief at the end when Wellum is stood down from active service; he is the only one not to see--quite literally, as his vision has become impaired--that his ailments are rooted in his psyche rather than his body. The only one false note is his desire to see his role as part of a bigger picture; written many years after the events he describes, Wellum sometimes interjects thoughts and feelings about the war that simply do not ring true. That aside, one is left wondering what became of Wellum the man between the war ending and the book's publication. What sense did the prematurely aged fighter pilot make of the post-war age and did he learn to love again? But that, maybe, is the subject for another book. --John Crace

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Geoffrey Wellum
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2009)
ISBN 10: 0141042753 ISBN 13: 9780141042756
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissued.. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF .Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest Spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92 Squadron. Thrust into combat almost immediately, Wellum finds himself flying several sorties a day, caught up in terrifying dogfights with German Me 109s. Over the coming months he and his fellow pilots play a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. But of the friends that take to the air alongside Wellum many never return. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141042756

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.96
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Geoffrey Wellum
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2009)
ISBN 10: 0141042753 ISBN 13: 9780141042756
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissued.. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF .Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest Spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92 Squadron. Thrust into combat almost immediately, Wellum finds himself flying several sorties a day, caught up in terrifying dogfights with German Me 109s. Over the coming months he and his fellow pilots play a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. But of the friends that take to the air alongside Wellum many never return. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141042756

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.46
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Geoffrey Wellum
ISBN 10: 0141042753 ISBN 13: 9780141042756
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97801410427560000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.47
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Geoffrey Wellum
Published by Penguin 2009-08-06 (2009)
ISBN 10: 0141042753 ISBN 13: 9780141042756
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin 2009-08-06, 2009. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-00479889

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.79
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.99
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Geoffrey Wellum
ISBN 10: 0141042753 ISBN 13: 9780141042756
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Grand Eagle Retail
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 21mm. Paperback. Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF .Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic tr.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 352 pages. 0.282. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141042756

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Geoffrey Wellum
ISBN 10: 0141042753 ISBN 13: 9780141042756
New Paperback Quantity Available: 13
Seller
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF .Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest Spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92 Squadron. Thrust into combat almost immediate. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780141042756_rkm

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.79
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.34
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Geoffrey Wellum
Published by Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN 10: 0141042753 ISBN 13: 9780141042756
New Paperback Quantity Available: 12
Seller
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, First Light, Geoffrey Wellum, Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF. Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest Spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92 Squadron. Thrust into combat almost immediately, Wellum finds himself flying several sorties a day, caught up in terrifying dogfights with German Me 109s. Over the coming months he and his fellow pilots play a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. But of the friends that take to the air alongside Wellum many never return. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141042756

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.27
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.94
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Wellum, Geoffrey
Published by Penguin (2009)
ISBN 10: 0141042753 ISBN 13: 9780141042756
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin, 2009. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # EH9780141042756

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.33
From Germany to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Geoffrey Wellum
ISBN 10: 0141042753 ISBN 13: 9780141042756
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Speedy Hen LLC
(Sunrise, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0141042753. Bookseller Inventory # ST0141042753

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
13.32
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Geoffrey Wellum
Published by Penguin Books Ltd 2009-08-06, London (2009)
ISBN 10: 0141042753 ISBN 13: 9780141042756
New paperback Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 2009-08-06, London, 2009. paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141042756

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.50
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book