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Rachel Reviews: The Many Adventures of Donnie Malone by Paul E. Doutrich

A novel based on the life of the author's uncle, spanning the 20th century and describing a life of variety and adventure

By Rachel DeemingPublished 3 months ago 2 min read
Rachel Reviews: The Many Adventures of Donnie Malone by Paul E. Doutrich
Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash

The Many Adventures of Donnie Malone is just that: a book which describes the adventures of one man, mainly in aviation. However, that career and those adventures include the major wars of the last century, pilots being required to fight, and so, you have a war novel as well as one that charts the more personal struggles and triumphs of Donnie as an individual.

Paul E. Doutrich is Donnie's nephew and he has taken his uncle's life story and crafted it into an historical novel which takes you on a tour of major events of the 20th century. We begin with Donnie's humble roots where as a talented mechanic, he discovers that he can take to the skies and uses his know-how and skill to become an acclaimed pilot.

We learn a lot about the origins of the aviation industry in America including competition from rivals keen to dominate the growing potential proposed by commercial flights, as well as the rise of the unions and we see Donnie's reputation grow as a result of his wartime heroism.

There is also the mention of the dark underworld of organised crime and this casts a shadow on Donnie's life, albeit a limited one.

Through all of this, family is key. Doutrich has chosen to tell the narrative in the first person to make it seem more immediate and the voice of Donnie throughout comes across as a man keen to share what he has seen and what he has learned. He remains humble despite his achievements and very much centred around where he has come from and the people who supported him: his parents, his brothers, his friends and his little sister, Mary Ann.

Donnie is well respected as a result by the people that he meets and works with, and that permeates throughout the book in Doutrich's writing.

I enjoyed this book. Doutrich's style of writing means that the book is clearly written and easily understood and its linear nature takes us from origin to retirement with an afterword by the author himself to relate his own personal connection to the story. For those interested in aviation, this is a must read, detailing as it does, a lot of the development of industry and provides an insight into its early days.

Rachel Rating: 3/5 stars

This review was first published on Reedsy Discovery:

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About the Creator

Rachel Deeming

Storyteller. Poet. Reviewer. Traveller.

I love to write. Check me out in the many places where I pop up:


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Comments (5)

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  • Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock3 months ago

    Another good review. Sounds like an interesting read, especially with the understanding that the author used stories his uncle had told of his own life as foundation.

  • Andrea Corwin 3 months ago

    Great review!

  • Grz Colm3 months ago

    I like to read your reviews. I see you are now covering your reviews in A to Z. ✈️ Aviation - ✅

  • This isn't my cup of tea so I'll be skipping this. Your review was as excellent as always!

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