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The Balloonist by James Long
  

The Balloonist

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Informed by wartime memoirs, The Balloonist is a passionate love story and an eloquent, mesmerizing novel of an almost forgotten service of WWI.

If you like James Long you might also like to read books by Audrey Niffenegger, Susanna Kearsley and Cecelia Ahern.


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. On the Western Front, the most dangerous aerial task was that of balloon observer, and in the Royal Flying Corps Kite Balloon Section, no soldier was braver – or more reckless – than Lieutenant ‘Wild’ Willy Fraser. A former cavalry officer with a troubled personal life, Fraser takes to the skies daily, performing a vital role in ‘a huge explosive target hanging in full view over the largest shooting gallery the world had ever known’. A compelling story of courage, coincidence, and derring-do, founded in extensive research and putting in the spotlight an often overlooked aspect of the First World War.
~ Karen Howlett

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Synopsis

The Balloonist by James Long

Lieutenant Willy Sholto, invalided out of the Royal Flying Corps, has been delegated the most dangerous job on the Western Front - a balloon observer hanging under a gasbag filled with explosive hydrogen, four thousand feet above the Ypres Salient, anchored by a slender cable. Swept across enemy lines after his balloon is damaged, Willy is hidden by Belgian farmers, whom he grows close to during his stay. With their aid, he manages to escape across the flooded delta at the English Channel and return to his duties. But once he's back in the air, spotting for artillery and under attack, Willy is forced to make an impossible decision that threatens the life of the woman he has come to love.

About the Author

James Long

James Long was a BBC TV news correspondent until the end of the 1980s. After two years starting and running an international TV station out of Zurich, he returned to England to concentrate on writing, which had always been his first love. He wrote four thrillers, then went back to a story he had begun many years earlier and which grew into Ferney. The book was originally born from his disappointment at being unable to buy a derelict cottage he had found near the village of Penselwood and that house became the centre of the story. Many more novels followed, including two written under the pseudonym 'Will Davenport.' He moved into historical non-fiction in 2007 with The Plot against Pepys, co-written with his oldest son, Ben. Since then, he has co-written a play with his middle son, Harry. He lives in Bristol. His interests range from archaeology to motor racing. He is actively involved in the creative writing charity, the Arvon Foundation and tutors from time to time on Arvon courses. He is also a patron and adviser to the Dartington Literary Festival, 'Ways with Words.'

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

James Long

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Author's Website

www.jameslongbooks.com/

Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Historical Fiction
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ISBN

9781780875347

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