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Wings and Things.  An old favourite and popular read.

Book review – Wings and Things  - By Kosie Wielietjies.

When I received my copy of ‘Wings and Things’ I was intrigued by a comment written on the back cover, “Johan’s ability to tell stories reminds me of Bosman!” However, I quickly established that everything else on the cover was also written seemingly, tong-in-cheek. Using Mother Nature’s power the flying is as pure as it gets and there is no question that he knows what he is talking about. Certainly his flying abilities are not at stake – with 6 national hang gliding championship titles behind his name – but rather his ability to write, so with some expectation I dived into the book right away.

 If you want flying stories then this is for you. Johan’s flying back ground stems from hang gliding and it comes as no surprise that his stories are flavoured with this – leaving the aftertaste of adventure, freedom and joy in most. And these are real flying stories, the kind of stories you hear around the camp fires; of which there are so many but few ever make it to the book stage. From start to finish, the reader is taken along by the author’s enthusiasm and passion for flying. Beautiful aerial descriptions lead the reader from Eagle filled skies, gliding wing tip to wing tip like brothers, to torturous road trips, wipe out waves, giant black mamba’s, a lion and Rain. There is a distinct tong-in-cheek nature in every story yet, one is left with the promise of authenticity – Johan’s use of an eye winking character and an ‘its true!’ statement after almost every story becomes his trade mark: a well placed one, allowing the reader to believe it or not – this added reality lending perhaps a different authenticity to the story itself.

 The book title is by no means a new phrase – as pilots we often through it around – yet there is significance to ‘other things’. As an aviation enthusiast I often do not have much time for ‘other things’ however, just when the flying becomes almost as much as I can stand – thanks to Stephen Coonts! – a story pops up that has absolutely nothing to do with flying providing a bit of balance. There is most definitely something for one and all – not just pilots of aviation enthusiasts. I enjoyed all the stories, some definitely more than others – like my favourite, The mamba flying storie or perhaps David and the Blade or Pietie and the Fire, which is not even a flying story at all. If I have to complain it is that all too soon the adventure is over – surely there are so many more stories to tell!

 At a standard A5 size, comprising 153 pages and 43 stories the book is far bigger in heart. That Johan’s ability to tell stories reminds of Bosman is true – but only in some cases. The remainder of stories distinctly carries his own life flavoured style. There is no need to hide behind authors like Bosman when you can stand proudly on your own.

Retail is R120 a copy which includes postage (In South Africa). Order online at wefly@iafrica.com or call 08322929190832292919