Douglas Bader by Robert Jackson
After a lengthy dalliance with the world of fiction, albeit historical fiction in some instances, it was good to pick up a straightforward biography that told the life story of one of the most famous figures in the world of aviation in the 20th century.
Straightforward and uncomplicated can sometimes mean a bit dull, but not always. Biography, as a genre, tends to suffer more than most genres from a slavish adherence to formulaic writing. When you’ve read a number, you quickly recognize the patterns, sometimes even predict the direction of the narrative itself.
This familiarity, however, can create its own comfort zone, just like the familiarity of your favourite armchair that beckons at the end of a busy day.
Robert Jackson’s Douglas Bader: a biography is the product of a career military historian who, at the tender age of 28, became a full-time writer, specializing in aviation and military history. Although this volume bears all the hallmarks of being written to a standard formula, its style and structure make it readily accessible and, like your favourite armchair, it is easy to relax into at the end of a busy day.