THE FLY BOYS : SKY-JACKED


The Fly Boys:Skyjacked- click for a bigger version The Fly Boys:Skyjacked- HARDBACK-click for a bigger version

  • Cover Notes

 HARDBACK EDITION
Calling all passengers for Glamour Airlines' celebrated round-the-world mystery tour. Adjust your seat-belts and prepare for take-off on one of the most outrageous journeys in flying history...
Ever heard of Arfa Kwid island? Neither had anyone else until it's diminutive, fame-hungry ruler, Sheik Abba Ben Arnha, planned the biggest publicity coup of all time - sky-jacking Glamour Airlines' world-famous nipple-pink Boeing 707 named Glamour-Puss. Surrounded by the Sheik's three deadly-looking fighter jets, the plane proved an easy victim! In the blink of an eye, the tiny island, ignored since the dawn of man, became the focus of world attention.
Publicity's the name of the game, but this game's only just beginning when Captain 'Cock-Up' Rossiter is forced to bring his zany, pleasure-loving crew and their assorted guests in to land...

PAPERBACK EDITION
FORGET YOUR FEAR OF FLYING
Come aboard the luxurious, nipple-pink Boeing 707 Glamour Puss and put yourself in the seasoned hands of Captain Al "Cock-up" Rossiter and his ever-obliging crew.
Come fly with them to the exotic island of Arfa Kwid, universally unknown until three dangerous-looking jet fighters and a forced landing swiftly put the matter to rights. As soon as Glamour Puss hit the tarmac, Arfa Kwid hit the headlines - and that's just what its diminuitive, publicity-hungry ruler, Sheik Abba Ben Arnha, wanted. Or so he thought until he discovered that the plane's pleasure-loving crew and free-loading passengers were more than a little hot to handle...

  • Number Of Editions

Hardback edition on WH Allen and paperback on Star later in the same year. The hardback edition has a slightly different cover and a different blurb on the dust jacket. It also identifies the photographer of the cover as Beverley Le Barrow. Lord Google identifies Beverley as a top book designer/photographer of the era who did several Ian Fleming Bond books amongst others.

  • Dedication

 No official dedication as such but in my second hand paperback copy is the handwritten message: "To Helen on her birthday, with love from Plummo 1984 xx"

  • Marks out of 10 for Cover

 This is the cover shot that got Stan in trouble with the owners of the Dorchester Hotel - and it's easy to see why! The Sheik is boss-eyed and gormless looking and he has a girl in a candy-stripe stiny bikini spoon feeding him and draping a pearl necklace across his forehead. However - unlike some of the Morgan covers - this one at least relates to the story and shows that finally SOMEONE in the politically-incorrect artwork department had read the book! The Sheik is pretty much as described - as is the Glamour Airlines Air-Hostess uniform, however it's horribly dated so we give this 1/10. (No doubt the Sultan of Brunei would have approved of an alternate cover that depicted "Sugar" Sweetman being stoned to death for his open homosexuality...)

  • Our Review

 The third and final installment of The Fly Boys trilogy sees the crew being skyjacked (hijacked by another plane whilst still in the air!?) and forced to land on a fictional island in the Gulf of Arabia. All the Arabs have enormously daft puns for names - Abba Ben Arnha, Ib Ib Hoorah, Packyah Kitbahg etc etc. An enjoyable comedy romp that owes more than a little to the "Carry-On Follow That Camel" comedy ethic, but the terrible puns and stereotypes have tendency to ruin what is in fact a much better story than the previous book "Flyboys In London". You get the impression that the tale is far from over when the final page turns and they are back on a flight path to Australia. A shame that the series didn't continue and was somewhat in the shadow of the Tobin novels.

It should also be noted that for all the somewhat disrespectful laughs being had at the expense of Arab culture - Stan clearly had a good understanding of it - as shown in his thriller "Laura Fitzgerald" (written shortly after Skyjacked) where the same culture is dealt with much more sensitively and fairly.

  • Rating on the MORGANOMETER
  •  8/10 for the story, not so much for the silly Arab names