The Life of Captain Reilly

20 Jun

One of the joys of the eBook revolution is the sheer volume of new books now available.

Recently I came across a short Kindle book titled “The Life of Captain Reilly” by J. T. O’Neil which purports to be a novel about an English airline captain.

This is probably one of the funniest books I have ever read.  The book follows one day in the life of Captain Reilly as he and his First Officer, Dan, fly an Airbus from Gatwick to Malaga and back.

Interspersed with flight details are wonderful details and explanations of aerodynamics, air craft procedures, and a little aviation history.  These explanations had me nearly hysterical with laughter in many places.  I totally lost it when O’Neil referred to an Airbus as a ’70 tonne Reliant Robin’.  Pity I was on the tram at the time.  Oh well, at least I got lots of space when everyone moved away from me.

J. T. O’Neil has a wonderfully worldly weary style, acidic sense of humour, and a fine line in sarcasm.

O’Neil also has some serious point to make on the devaluation of pilot’s skills and abilities by airlines.  The way both pilots and cabin crew are treated is disgusting. Enough so that I will NEVER fly on a low cost airline.  Money before people is not an ethos I subscribe too.

Cabin Pressure fans will know what I mean when I say this is the sort of book Douglas Richardson would write if the character was so inclined.

What we really need is an audio book version of “The Life of Captain Reilly” read by Roger Allam.  That would be perfect.

I would heartily recommend “The Life of Captain Reilly” to all Cabin Pressure fans (cheese trays get a mention), all aviation geeks, and to anyone with a sense of humour.

I look forward to reading O’Neil’s other books “The Life of Captain Reilly 2 – Descent” and “From Russia with Stuff”.


3 Responses to “The Life of Captain Reilly”

  1. Cathy Howat June 21, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    He is spot on with his descriptons!


  2. J.T. O'Neil December 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Hello Margy! I stumbled across this blog entry whilst searching for web activity on my books. I’m so pleased you enjoyed part 1 of my tale of poor old Captain Reilly, and I’m honoured that you chose to write such a spectacular review. I’ve now made some revisions to the original text and spliced the first two books together to make a decent sized paperback. I hope it reaches even more readers now. Thanks for your kind words.
    J.T. O’Neil


    • margysmusings December 18, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

      Thank you for writing a book that was so enjoyable and entertaining to read. 🙂


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