This is the riveting novel of America's powerful high-tech Intruder attack
planes, and the men who flew them in Vietnam. It's all here: the terror
and exhilaration of wartime flying, and the frustrated rage at sudden,
wasteful death. Frank Converse's dramatic reading fully evokes the knife-edge
existence of pilot Jake Grafton, who finally decides to do things his way,
on the riskiest mission of all. First a best-selling book and now a major
motion picture in the tradition of The Hunt 630208735Xfor
Red October. 2 cassettes --This text refers to the audio
cassette edition of this title
Stephen Coonts flew A-6's in Vietnam. He has
the credentials to write this story, which helps explain its long stay
on the best seller list.
A-6's were called Intruders. Their pilots tackled
assignments of dazzling complexity and flew them with daring and
dispatch. But they paid a ...in lost lives, disillusion, incredible
They had one reward -- exhilaration -- worth
the whole candle. You share the airmen's special brand of comradery, the
one stabilizing force in an otherwise precarious life, that only an insider
"Documentary and dramatic, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER
is to the novel what TOP GUN was to film." (B-O-T Editorial Review Board)
Hardcover: 329 pages
Publisher: Naval Institute Press; 1st edition (October 1986)
Coonts is the author of 14 New York Times bestsellers, the first of which was
the classic flying tale, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER.
Born in 1946, Stephen Paul Coonts grew up in Buckhannon, West Virginia, a
coal-mining town of 6,000 population on the western slope of the Appalachian
mountains. He majored in political science at West Virginia University,
graduating in 1968 with an A.B. degree. Upon graduation he was commissioned an
Ensign in the U.S. Navy and began flight training in Pensacola, Florida.
He received his Navy wings in August, 1969. After completion of fleet
replacement training in the A-6 Intruder aircraft, Mr. Coonts reported to Attack
Squadron 196 at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. He made two combat cruises
aboard USS Enterprise during the final years of the Vietnam War as a member of
this squadron. After the war he served as a flight instructor on A-6 aircraft
for two years, then did a tour as an assistant catapult and arresting gear
officer aboard USS Nimitz. He left active duty in 1977 and moved to Colorado.
After short stints as a taxi driver and police officer, he entered the
University of Colorado School of Law in the fall of 1977.
Mr. Coonts received his law degree in December, 1979, and moved to West Virginia
to practice. He returned to Colorado in 1981 as a staff attorney specializing in
oil and gas law for a large independent oil company.
His first novel, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER, published in September 1986 by the
Naval Institute Press, spent 28 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists in
hardcover. A motion picture based on this novel, with the same title, was
released nationwide in January 1991.
The success of his first novel allowed Mr. Coonts to devote himself full time to
writing; he has been at it ever since. He and his wife, Deborah, enjoy flying
and try to do as much of it as possible.
Mr. Coonts' books have been widely translated and republished in the British
Commonwealth, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Italy,
Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia, China, Japan,
Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Latvia, and Israel.
Mr. Coonts was a trustee of West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1990-1998. He
was inducted into the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni
in 1992. The U.S. Naval Institute honored him with its Author of the Year Award
for the year 1986 for his novel, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER. Mr. Coonts and his
wife, Deborah, reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Time has been kind to Flight of the Intruder, a rousing aviation-action
adventure that looks better now than it did to critics who panned it in 1991.
Perhaps they were expecting a Tom Clancy-ish blockbuster (producer Mace Neufeld
oversaw the Jack Ryan franchise), but director John (Conan the Barbarian) Milius
had something potentially more substantial in mind. The first 75 minutes are
pure Milius: Macho bluster, male bonding among ill-fated pilots and Naval
bombardiers, and a Big Wednesday-like passion for dangerous fun. But Milius's
favorite topics have sharper teeth here: He's made a scathing anti-Vietnam film
that still honors the bravery of soldiers who do their job even when the job
itself seems pointless. That's why ace Brad Johnson (why didn't he become a huge
star?) and maverick bombardier Willem Dafoe plot a renegade mission, bombing a
Hanoi arms depot with their low-altitude A-6 Intruder in the movie's
pyrotechnical climax. Fringe benefits abound, including early roles for Tom
Sizemore, Ving Rhames, and David Schwimmer in his big-screen debut, three years
before Friends and looking like the dweeby grandchild of his Band of Brothers
martinet. --Jeff Shannon