Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

by Robert Matzen

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Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fireball by Robin Matzen is a compelling and thorough examination of the 1942 plane crash and its aftermath that took the life of 30’s screwball comedy queen (and wife of then Hollywood king, Clark Gable), Carole Lombard and the 21 other people onboard the plane when it crashed into a mountain. The book alternates detailed chapters of Ms. Lombard’s life up to the night of the crash with a moment by moment accounting of the night of the plane crash. Told in a straight forward yet involving manner the book not only serves as a close look at the life of Carole Lombard and her impact on the Hollywood scene. Lombard was one of the first to ask for a share of her film’s profits instead of taking a straight salary. The book also offers a fresh look into her tumultuous and passionate relationship with Gable. This account of the crash gives life (if you will) to the 21 others who were also on the plane and shows them as people, not just statistics who died in the same plane crash with Hollywood star Carole Lombard. Old myths are dispelled of the struggle to get to the crash site and interesting new facts are told. Fireball is well researched and backed up by new and old interviews and testimony of the people involved and affected by the tragedy. I was surprised by the view of commercial aviation at that time compared to now. The book takes a close and updated look into the potential causes of the crash. A surprising note was how the theory of sabotage had some plausibility at that time. Fireball also gives a follow up of the lives of the family and friends of those in the crash and the course their lives took in its aftermath. Matzen gives an insightful view (based on statements and interviews with friends and colleagues) of the dramatic change in character of Clark Gable after the loss of Lombard. Fireball is a terrific well researched read that not only examines the life and the cause of the abrupt death of a Hollywood star with a close look behind 30’s Hollywood scene but also gives recognition to all the individuals who died in the crash of TWA Flight 3 and those who struggled to live in its aftermath. I highly recommend this book. I received this book for free for an unbiased review from NetGalley.
SamK161 More than 1 year ago
A Brilliant Life ended too soon I was given a copy of this book from Net Gallery in return for a fair review, but would have bought the book anyway.  I have always known Carole Lombard died in a plane crash while promoting war bonds,  and was married to Clark Gabel, but what I didn't know was that brilliant mind hid behind the ditziness.  I never really knew more about her then that she was married to Gabel, & died tragically.  I have never been a fan of Gabel, but this book gave me a new respect for the man with the effect this had on him.  Lombard was ahead of her time in the way she dealt with the studios, she took a percentage of one of her last pictures in place of a large salary. She could have ended up running the studio. She was loyal & generous to friends, had a loving relationship with her ex William Powell, and loved & understood Gabel in a way others didn't.  This book gives insight into her life and death.  In it you learn why she took a flight that the studio told her not to, why her traveling companies go on the plane even when they had premonitions of doom. The book gives you a look at all the people on the plane, their names,personalities and families.  It tells you of pre-flight check and tiny little things they may have had an effect on the final outcome.  It tells of those near the crash site, that saw the plane and either heard the crash or saw the flash & fire. Some were part of the search the next day. The description of getting to the site, and what they saw stays with you long after the book ends. Gabel's reaction is heartbreaking, and the studio's reaction heartless. The reason for the crash is not discover, but studio and government cover ups are put forth. If only "Black Boxes" existed then, we would hopefully have much more insight on what happened during the flight. I think some government reports are still not released even after 72 years. When I get time, I want to re-read it, and check on some of the facts that I want to know more about. I think anyone interested in "Old Hollywood" or unsolved mysteries would enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brilliantly, thoroughly researched. Captivating weave of historical facts with personal stories. This expertly crafted biography is both mesmerizing and haunting. Every plane crash resulting in lost lives is a tragedy, but Matzen delivers the facts in a way that draws the reader in, not just to the famous life lost, but to the others on that plane. While we know the flight's tragic path, the epilogue reminds us of those whose lives were spared, and reminds us of the risks of the early days of air travel and the randomness of accidents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can recommend this incredible peice of work to anyone out there who can handle such feeling,outstanding sad history,and what must have been the project of love of life of americana,thank you for this gem.5 stars hands down.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Very information on Miss Lombard’s life with Mr. Gable. New insight on their friends that were very close to them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really brings everything to life. I especially appreciated the bringing to life of all the crash victims, families and aftermath. Excellent !
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
I received a free electronic copy of this biography from Netgalley, Robert Matzen, and GoodKnight Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all, for sharing your hard work with me. This biography covering the last few years of the life and of the death of Carole Lombard, and the effect of the tragedy of Flight 3 on both Hollywood and the families of the other victims of that plane crash on January 16, 1942. This is an thorough follow-up on the Air Transport Command, Army Air Force pilots and airmen aboard the TWA DC-3, and the three members of the TWA crew, and the two passengers who were neither military nor a part of Lombard's party- two who talked their way onto the doomed plane. Matzen even follows the lives of the people bumped off of this flight in Albuquerque to make seats for the military pilots to return to California and ferry more planes to the east coast, and the war. This is also an enlightening story of the Cessna T182t accident on November 8, 2007 in the same place, same circumstances. This is a very interesting read. I would recommend it to anyone interested in WWII, Hollywood, and flying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. Hometown girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sits down and licks a paw drawing it over ear