by Thomas Block

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940014237529
Publisher: Thomas Block
Publication date: 03/20/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 340
Sales rank: 333,365
File size: 402 KB

About the Author

Thomas Block has written a number of aviation-oriented novels, many which have gone on to acquire best-seller status in numerous countries. His novel writing began with the publication of "Mayday" in 1979. That novel was rewritten with his boyhood friend, novelist Nelson DeMille in 1998 and remains on DeMille's extensive backlist. "Mayday" became a CBS Movie of the Week in October, 2005.

Several of the other novels by Block include "Orbit" (a top bestseller in Germany, among other nations), "Airship Nine", "Forced Landing" (also done as a radio serialization drama in Japan), "Skyfall", "Open Skies" and "Captain". Thomas Block is still writing both fiction and non-fiction, and all his novels are available in print and in all ebook formats.

Block's magazine writing began in 1968 and over the next five decades his work has appeared in numerous publications. He worked 20 years at FLYING Magazine as Contributing Editor, and as Contributing Editor to Plane & Pilot Magazine for 11 years. Block became Editor-at-Large for Piper Flyer Magazine and Cessna Flyer Magazine in 2001.

During his long career as an aviation writer he has written on a wide array of subjects that range from involvement with government officials to evaluation reports on most everything that flies. An airline pilot for US Airways for over 36 years before his retirement in April, 2000, Captain Thomas Block has been a pilot since 1959.

Since 2002, he has lived on a ranch in Florida with his wife Sharon where they board, compete and train horses. Visit the author's website at to see complete details on all of the Thomas Block novels.

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Captain 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tom, Carol Lovada and I just came back from Alaska. I took "Captian" to read and could not put it down. I missed all the scenery! I figure you owe me another cruise. If you think that to be excessive a Coors lite will do. Great book Tom.A solid 5 star.
AlLyle More than 1 year ago
Nelson DeMille sums it up best, when he writes, "Captain is one of the best aviation thrillers you'll ever read"..., My standard for judging a well crafted and well told story is measuring how many pages it takes a writer to "hook me" to where I become fully engrossed and suddenly feel compelled to devour every page as quickly as possible to discover the climax I sense is being built. In Captain, Mr. Block actually accomplished this for me in the prologue! With my appetite whetted in the prologue, what was really pleasing to find, is that by the end of the first chapter Captain was able to demand that I make the time available to learn what unfolds with the turn of each page. Therefore it didn't take long to get to the point where I simply could not put the book down. This is accomplished by Mr. Block's skillful character development that effectively supports the thrilling story line. I found myself exposed to the full panoply of emotions and completely immersed in the unfolding saga. The characters the reader gets to know, obviously come from aviation, but integral to the building climax, prominent characters surface from psychiatry, corporate finance, public relations, corporate governance, governmental bureaucrats and F-15 fighter pilots, to name a few. Captain is in my opinion Mr. Block's best work. It is a thriller that could only be written by an experienced aviator, however it also shows that his expertise obviously goes far beyond being a Pilot. I have read, some time ago, others of Mr. Block's books and hopefully his next novel is already in the works. I can hardly wait!
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
Are you ready for one of the wildest rides of your life? This book was incredible! When I began reading it, I thought I might be bored with the book. After all, what on earth do I know about airplanes. And, yes, some of this book is technical, and I did not understand all of those sections. But you know what? I did not matter! This book was filled with such nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat action that I almost could not put it down. The characters were quite intriguing. There was a lot more going for this book than just the main story. There were several sub-stories that made me consider the meaning of life and the way people react to stress and various other situations. The author seamlessly wove the other stories into the very fabric of the book, and nothing seemed out of place. I am happy to announce that there were no sex scenes. Yes, there was profanity, but mostly it did not bother me. The strength of the story kept me going, and I was able to overlook any language issues.  I truly enjoyed the style in which the book was written. The reader was able to go back and forth between what was happening on the air and what was happening on the ground. In so doing, the tension was doubled. The reader is privy to both sides of the story, and this made my pulse race as I continued reading and reached the conclusion. And how does it end? Read it yourself! I will tell you this. You will not know for sure until the end! So if you are ready to read a book that will transport you to the friendly skies and rob you of sleep and peace, this is the book for you! It is a wild ride, and I seriously doubt you will regret it. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100 percent mine, and I was not financially compensated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dear Tom, This was a real nail-biter and had me chewing my fingers all the way up to my elbows!! Very professional, as you always were when I flew with you in the good old days with the airline. I look forward to future books, and highly recommend this one to all readers.
vbird More than 1 year ago
Will look for some more books by this author.
Georgia_writer More than 1 year ago
Thomas Block spins a great yarn in CAPTAIN, an exciting, multi-faceted tale about a modern commercial airliner in dire trouble on a trans-Atlantic flight. It’s a tale of old aviators vs. young, of experience vs. by-the-book. Of the fly-it-by-hand generation vs. the computer-reliant generation. It’s a story that highlights how much can go wrong when someone makes decisions based on only snippets of information, or on the basis of the bottom line instead of concern over people. BUT. (Always one of those, isn’t there?) The book suffers from lack of tight editing and good proofreading. Block is at his best when he’s writing about aviation--not surprising, he’s a retired airline pilot. But the drama loses momentum and approaches stalling speed when it veers off course into lengthy dissertations on psychology and guilt and lost loves. Better editing would have carved out those sections, or at least trimmed them into bite-sized portions. It was hard for me to believe that people on a seemingly doomed airplane would be concerned with such things as opposed to worrying about the very real possibility they’re about to ride a 100-ton cannonball into the ocean. So, because of that, I have to give CAPTAIN about three-and-a-half stars, although I’ll round it up to four and still recommend the book to people who have a keen interest in modern, commercial aviation. There were still many parts of the novel where I found myself relentlessly flipping pages.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Thomas Block in his new book, “Captain” published by the author gives us an airline disaster thriller. From the back cover: Thomas Block has created ‘Captain’ – his most ambitious, intricate and action-packed aviation tale yet. It is a chilling and all-too-real story about a routine Trans-Atlantic airline flight that suddenly turns absolutely insane. In the doomed airliner’s cockpit, inside the passenger cabin and on the ground, a complex array of characters have been propelled at jet speed into a sudden and frantic race for survival. ‘Captain’ is about the individual and collective struggles of each of these men and women as they attempt to deal with and ultimately fight against the odds and circumstances that are stacked against them. I have always been a big fan of the airline disaster books and movies. I guess it has to do with being all alone in the sky with no one to help you up there but what you have available with some assist from the ground. That is why I was very excited about reading and reviewing this new book from Thomas Block. I figured I was in for a wild ride of a thriller. I am sorry to say I am really disappointed with “Captain”. I found “Captain” to be very slow-paced, it takes over 80 pages before the disaster occurs. Once the plane is in trouble the book becomes very exciting then, suddenly, we are ripped from the plane to the ground where we then go through the business of misunderstanding and trying to take the plane down. “Captain” had the potential to be a highly exciting thriller that Mr. Block has given us before however he did not achieve thrill with this offering. My other regret is the “R” rated language that is used liberally by the characters. I feel that it detracted from the story and didn’t need to be there. However, keep in mind this is just my opinion. As I said there are moments of great excitement in this book however, I feel they are not enough to carry the whole story. Others have reviewed this book and enjoyed it a lot, regretfully I did not. In the end you will have to judge for yourself. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pump Up Your Book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Nova73 More than 1 year ago
Don't read if you have flight planed :)
MauiSteve More than 1 year ago
If you don't look to closely at the writing or the logic of the tale, it's a decent and fast read. I started it as my airplane pushed at the gate on Maui and finished it as my airplane arrived in Madison, Wisconsin. The third act was overly dramatic and far too long, but, as I said, if you've got eight or ten hours to kill on an airplane, go for it. Just keep your seatbelt fastened.
misteedawnw More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I not only thought it was extremely well written, it was also packed with adventure, intrigue, and really kept my interest. It ws one of those books where you hate to put it down because you have to know what happens next. There was always something going on and the drama was never ending. I will be honest, I have never been on an airplane before. And this fact about me added to the intrigue of this book. It scared me but not in a bad way. It was thrilling, exhilarating even. I can imagine being one of the characters in the book. Wondering what I would have done. Would I have made the same choices as some of the characters in the book? That is really what makes a great story. When you can put yourself in the story. That is awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was pretty excited to be given the opportunity to read this book. Although I do read novels as an English teacher, I am partial to non-fiction personal finance books. This book intrigued me because it was about a pilot. Most of my husband's family are pilots, either having military pilot experience or a private pilot's license. Therefore, this novel piqued my interest. I had my husband read it as well. Our verdict is right down the middle with a three out of a five star rating. Admittedly, we set our expectations quite high. We both had difficulty getting into the book initially. However, as the "plot thickened" so to speak, the novel did become more interesting. My husband thought the main character, Captain Jack was not comparable to a "real-life" pilot because he didn't always follow the rules as a good pilot should at all times. I personally like the fact that Block gave Captain Jack a personality and didn't just make him a crotchety old pilot. All in all, the book was a decent read. It isn't a book I would feel the desire to read a second time. If you like suspense and realize upfront the story takes awhile to get going, I would recommend taking the time to read it. -L. Shea
SUNRISE53 More than 1 year ago
A ROLLER COASTER RIDE ABOVE THE CLOUDS. From page one Thomas Block had be hanging on to my seat. This book will do to AIRLINE travel as Jaws did to summers at the BEACH. If you ever want to take a commerical airline again...beware this book is not for you! One of the best books I have read in a long time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From T.Miiller I was very excited when I received my copy and started reading “Captain”. I quickly found that the beginning is very slow moving, and during the first quarter, I was forcing myself to keep reading. At the time, I thought it was too much detail in regards to the characters and their past and current situations. Thankfully I kept reading! Once I got past that part to where the “chaos” started, I realized why the detail was needed, otherwise I would have been very lost! This story is very well written! It takes you to all sides of a crisis and shows how quickly things can go bad without all the information you need. I don’t know much about airlines and protocol in emergencies and have never experienced things like this, but everything was explained in such a realistic way, that it helped me understand these situations. I definitely would reccomend this book! Readers, Please push through the beginning and you will see why as well!
RIA_Reviews More than 1 year ago
This will be the first book I have read in the aviation field. I think Thomas Block did an amazing job of giving information about aviation. I felt like I was learning so much at the same time as I was enjoying a good book. Captain was on wild ride! I was constantly on the edge waiting to see what would happen next. I enjoyed all the different character views. Block wrote from so many characters' point of views that it was like a very complete story. You didn't just get one main character's way of thinking. I also liked the history that Block worked into the characters. I learned a lot about them in the moment but also a lot of what helped shape them and their decision in this scary situation. I really liked this book. I think it is a definite must read for people who enjoy aviation, and also a great read for people who love that fast paced rush from a book.
wbarker More than 1 year ago
I found Captain by Thomas Block to be a very engaging and engrossing story. I know next to nothing about aviation, short of the few flights we take every now and then, so I am certainly not speaking from any type of expert point-of-view - that is for the author, who retired as an airline pilot with a lot of experience. This book gives readers an inside look at some of the possible situations being faced by today's airline pilots, crews, companies and passengers. Thomas Block created some wonderful characters that will pull you into the story and keep your attention riveted to what is going on. In a few situations, I found myself holding my breath as conversations played out. I particularly liked the strength of Linda. There was also a depth of emotions that you don't always see often in books. One thing I've never particularly considered is how technology has affected the choices and views of pilots today vs. pilots from an older era. When you rely on technology to do everything for you, you can loose some of the problem-solving skills that could mean the difference between life and death... and safety. I also enjoyed looking at the airline situations from differing viewpoints - that of the pilot and crew (taking actions and making decisions as things unfold), and that of corporate, who is more concerned with money and numbers. Join the flight crew and passengers on Flight-3 as the suspense heats up. This fast-paced suspense packed book will keep you entertained to the end. Thrillers and suspense are not my normally read genres, but I'm glad I stepped away from the norm to read Captain. It is a wonderful story that kept me fully riveted. Disclosure: I received this book as part of a Karma Media Book Tour
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being retired from 32 years of flying, both military and commercially, I enjoy reading anything having to do with aviation, whether fiction or non-fiction. Through the years, I have read all of Tom Block’s books, and his latest book “Captain” is his best to date. Having the creative ability to combine all the technical aspects of normal and abnormal procedures in airline flying, with an acute insight for developing a diverse group of characters and their relationships make “Captain” a great read for anyone. You feel like you are part of the crew and when the routine changes, you want to help the situation any way you can. An abnormal situation can change the profile of any type of flight at any time. Crew (and passenger) decisions, either “by the book,” or otherwise will ultimately affect the outcome. “Captain” is an intriguing and compelling story that captures your interest immediately and is hard to put down, once you start reading. JD Councilman
WPSMILEY More than 1 year ago
Baby-Blast More than 1 year ago
I don't get to read a lot of books, and I usually can tell if its a book I can get into if I don't have to re-read the first page over and over trying to find a reason to read more. This book captivated me for the journey from the very first page! Captain is engaging and takes you into real life situations in a cockpit.You will feel like you are in the Captain Jack's seat as you read this book. I could not put this book down, I was on the edge of my seat through most a lot of it. Anticipating every page and every chapter, I would highly recommend this very suspenseful novel.