Benjamin Johncock’s THE LAST PILOT is published today in paperback by Myriad Editions in the UK, and was published in hardback by Picador in the US on Tuesday.
THE LAST PILOT has already assembled an enthusiastic following with a rave review in The Washington Post, who say "the effect is supercharged Hemingway at 70,000 feet", People magazine call it, ‘ingeniously plotted, deftly written and engrossing,’ and Jane Ciabattari from BBC Culture says, ‘Johncock is superb at crafting suspenseful scenes.’ Mail on Sunday also praised THE LAST PILOT, "a remarkably accomplished debut'. It has been selected as Amazon’s Best Book of July 2015, Barnes & Noble’s 2015 Discover Great New Writers Pick and one of SJ Watson’s Best Summer Reads for The Independent. There's a full list of his many and incredible reviews on Ben's blog.
Early October, 1947, Jim Harrison is a test pilot in the United States Air Force, flying flimsy aircraft high above the Mojave desert. When a terrible tragedy befalls his young family, Harrison's life grinds to a halt - so when he's offered a ticket to the moon, he takes it, and joins NASA's new training programme. Set against the backdrop of one of the most emotionally-charged periods in modern history, THE LAST PILOT is a mesmerising story of loss and finding courage in the face of it.
New York Times best seller, Kim Edwards, said ‘THE LAST PILOT reminds us in powerful ways that the real unknown frontier still lies within the mysteries of the human heart.’
Benjamin Johncock was born in England in 1978. His short stories have been published by The Fiction Desk and The Junket. He is the recipient of an Arts Council England grant and the American Literary Merit Award, and is a winner of Comma Press's National Short Story Day competition. He also writes for the Guardian. He lives in Norwich, England, with his wife, his daughter, and his son.
View the animated video of the cover for THE LAST PILOT, click here.
Praise for THE LAST PILOT
“Benjamin Johncock is a writer of great craft and integrity. His dialogue is desert-dry, and his sentences crackle with the energy of things unsaid. With The Last Pilot he has done something remarkable: in a novel about the achievements of the space-race, he has shown us that true heroism lies in doing the right thing behind the closed doors of home. Wonderful stuff." - Jon McGregor
‘Jim’s story is fascinating, and the author writes with a strong ear for dialogue, which rattles the pages with intensity. A marvellous, emotionally powerful novel.’ – Publishers Weekly
‘Benjamin Johncock, the British author of an especially evocative and poignant new paean to the aura of astronauts and Atlas boosters … That’s all the more reason to regard THE LAST PILOT a first novel that takes the approach of adding a fictional person to real historical events, as a remarkable achievement … Johncock weaves a beguiling story, set to the soundtrack of Camelot … This account inevitably will be compared to THE RIGHT STUFF, and THE LAST PILOT is indeed indelibly marked by Tom Wolfe’s 1979 novel … Johncock acknowledges the debt but generally goes his own way … This is a book that hooks the reader from the very first sentence … The blazing beauty of a new literary star.’ – David Shribman, The Boston Globe