The Last Flight of Poxl West

The Last Flight of Poxl West

[a Novel]

Large Print - 2015
Average Rating:
4
Rate this:

Poxl West fled the Nazis' onslaught in Czechoslovakia. He escaped their clutches again in Holland. He pulled Londoners from the Blitz's rubble. He wooed intoxicating, unconventional beauties. He rained fire on Germany from his RAF bomber.


Poxl West is the epitome of manhood and something of an idol to his teenage nephew, Eli Goldstein, who reveres him as a brave, singular, Jewish war hero. Poxl fills Eli's head with electric accounts of his derring-do, adventures and romances, as he collects the best episodes from his storied life into a memoir.
He publishes that memoir, Skylock, to great acclaim, and its success takes him on the road, and out of Eli's life. With his uncle gone, Eli throws himself into reading his opus and becomes fixated on all things Poxl.
But as he delves deeper into Poxl's history, Eli begins to see that the life of the fearless superman he's adored has been much darker than he let on, and filled with unimaginable loss from which he may have not recovered. As the truth about Poxl emerges, it forces Eli to face irreconcilable facts about the war he's romanticized and the vision of the man he's held so dear.


Daniel Torday's debut novel, "The Last Flight of Poxl West, " beautifully weaves together the two unforgettable voices of Eli Goldstein and Poxl West, exploring what it really means to be a hero, and to be a family, in the long shadow of war.

Publisher: Waterville, Maine :, Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning,, 2015, ©2015.
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781410481283
141048128X
Branch Call Number: LPE FICTION TOR
Characteristics: 421 pages (large print)

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

w
wyenotgo
Aug 02, 2016

One issue that lies at the core of this book is that of human frailty, the wrong decisions that we make at times, how those choices affect the arc of our lives, how we come to terms with the mistakes we've made. At one point, Torday writes that when we apologize, we're really asking for a gift: the gift of forgiveness. The question then has to be: Can we bestow that gift upon ourselves? Further, if the one who has been wronged cannot forgive, are we then doomed?
The other issue is: When telling a supposedly true story, how important is it that it all be true? If parts of it were made up, so as to tell a good story that people would like, is the entire thing a fraud? Should we feel cheated upon discovering some falsehoods? Or is the story still valid AS A STORY?
I don't know the answers to any of those questions. I do know that Torday writes very well and that he has succeeded in presenting us with two quite believable characters, Poxl and his surrogate nephew Eli. Despite all of that, I debated giving the book only two or perhaps 2 1/2 stars because in the end I found it disappointing. I guess that's because what it boils down to is that Poxl is himself a failure and not really a likable man; he's not evil or cowardly, just ineffectual.

j
johncruse
Oct 08, 2015

Without Eli the book would have been much better. Still the part without Eli was rambling and dreamy. Not a very good book.

athompson10 Sep 23, 2015

Interesting idea for a book. Poxl West is a Czech Jewish war hero who emigrated to England and was a bomber pilot for the RAF. Eli Goldstein is his nephew-by-friendship who worships the exploits of the old man, which have been published as a memoir.

Most of the book is Poxl's "memoir" with brief chapters of Eli's doings and reactions. The "memoir" is heavy on sex, longing and regrets with one compelling section of the terror and exhilaration of flying a bomber into enemy Europe.

For me, Eli was a distraction. I think this could have been a beautiful book about Poxl alone. The "memoir" is lyrically written and Eli's clunky sections are an abrupt crash back to earth. Eli offers little insight into Poxl, only reaction, and for me what's going on in Eli's life doesn't add anything to the narrative.

j
John_M
Aug 26, 2015

A very compelling story of a youth dealing with him coming to grips with the reality of was once a story of a hero, his uncle. The story is told from the points of view of the youth and the uncle who are separated by more than 60 years. Well written and an insight into life in London during WWII.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at CPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top