Airshow is the extraordinary story of how 4,500 people - most of them unpaid volunteers - come together every year to mount what the organisers claim is the world's biggest military air show. It's a real fly-on-the-wall, warts-'n-all tale about people achieving amazing results for no other reason than they want to do it. The show - the Royal International Air Tattoo - donates all its profits to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Graham Hurley, the author, spent a year with the team that puts the show together. He seems to possess an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time. He recounts all kinds of incidents and conversations that a PR agency might recommend as being not the best bits to publish. The result is a riveting account of politicking and in-fighting - and eventual triumph. If you like aircraft and airshows, it's a wonderful read - but even if you're not that interested in things aeronautical, it's still a humorous and beautifully observed story of people working under great stress to achieve something unique.
Graham Hurley presents a fly-on-the-wall style documentary diary - only he is an intelligent fly who asks all the right questions of all the right people. In terms of access he was super-privileged - and repays the trust in this super book.
Graham Hurley, a former TV documentary producer, took a year out from his other work to find out how the biggest military air show in the world is put together. The result is a distillation of the essence of this enormous effort - and Graham distils this, quite unexpectedly, into an exciting drama.
Airshow is written like a novel - but isn't. And what could have been 348 pages of stodge turns out to be a real-life thriller.
Wilts and Glos Standard.
Should be compulsive reading for those who think that organising air shows is easy.