Thursday, January 3, 2008

Flight to Nowhere by Harry Whittington

Flight to Nowhere by Harry Whittington.
Short Story in Male Magazine, June 1953

Reading a Harry Whittington novel was hit or miss to me, I found some of his books excellent, ("The Devil Wears Wings" and "So Dead, My Love!") while others I struggled to get through. But oddly, I have never read a short story of his that I didn't enjoy. One of his best is "Flight to Nowhere."

Ex-WWII bomber Pilot Gilmore and his partner Charters just completed a bank heist and Gilmore killed two guards. They escape the Chicago area in a plane piloted by Gilmore heading to the Southwest. On the radio they find out they are "big news, bigger than the war in Korea and the A-Bomb tests going on in the desert." Engine trouble occurs, scaring Charter, but not Gilmore-everything is a thrill to him. The engine eventually dies, they glide to a desert landing and plan to walk out of there. Taking the loot, they start hiking out of the desert. Later they stumble onto a sign stating: U.S. Government Restricted Area. Los Alamos Proving Ground, and then they hear a huge roar above their heads.

Good strong plot and dynamic characters. Charters is unsure of himself and wishes he didn't get involved. Gilmore is the extreme-tough guy, looking for a thrill and on the edge. Insanely laughing, Gilmore ends the story saying "Run? We got what we wanted. Didn't we? We wanted to disappear completely from the face of the earth, Charters. With our money. And that's what we're going to do, kid. That's just what we're going to do!."

I hunt down Harry Whittington short stories.


Anonymous said...

Love his stuff and grab what ever I can get my hands on.

Supposedly another collection might be coming out of Whittington prose from a certain publisher.

Duane Spurlock said...

I'd sure like to see a collection of his short stories. Thanks for sharing this review!

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