High Adventure A Narrative of Air Fighting in France

Read by John W. Michaels

(4.6 stars; 137 reviews)

High Adventure A Narrative of Air Fighting in France by James Norman Hall; you will find this book although an exciting narrative has an unpolished feel because it was published in June of 1918 while Mr. Hall was a captive in a German POW camp. When he was captured behind enemy lines, the book was still a work in progress. The Armistice would not be reached until November of that year.

Although he does not mention it in this book, Mr. Hall had already served the better part of 15 months with the British Expeditionary Forces, surviving the battle of Loos in Sept – Oct 1915, and upon which his excellent work “Kitchener’s” Mob is Based.

The US did not enter the war until April 1917, and Hall had already served nearly three years as an American with British and French forces, as a machine gunner with the British, and as a pilot in the Lafayette Escadrille.

Pilot training in the French Air Corps was primarily a matter of survival. Visualize if you will, a class of “Penguins”, aircraft with wings too short for flight scurrying about the airfield as student pilots learn to control these machines with no instructor on board, and for that matter in Mr. Halls case there was never an instructor on board. Their solo flight was their first flight. They learned by doing.

The sheer joy and wonder of man’s early experience of leaving the bounds of Earth in an aircraft coupled with the danger and excitement of air combat made “High Adventure” such a good read, I completed the narration ahead of schedule, because I couldn’t put it down

Mike Vendetti, Narrator (4 hr 50 min)


01 - The Franco-American Corps 28:06 Read by John W. Michaels
02 - Penguins 26:53 Read by John W. Michaels
03 - By the Route of the Air 38:48 Read by John W. Michaels
04 - At G. D. E. 34:23 Read by John W. Michaels
05 - Our First Patrol 45:19 Read by John W. Michaels
06 - A Balloon Attack 27:15 Read by John W. Michaels
07 - Brought Down 20:58 Read by John W. Michaels
08 - One Hundred Hours 20:51 Read by John W. Michaels
09 - 'Lonely as a Cloud' 10:03 Read by John W. Michaels
10 - 'Mais oui, mon vieux!' 8:34 Read by John W. Michaels
11 - The Camouflaged Cows 11:14 Read by John W. Michaels
12 - Cafard 8:54 Read by John W. Michaels
13 - Letter from a German Prison Camp 9:06 Read by John W. Michaels


An excellent book

(5 stars)

Of the three air ace books listened to in the last few months, I find this one the most interesting. Hall, an American, served in a French squadron, so he had better equipment than his countrymen (who, as Richenbacker in the previous book complains, were given neither modern machines or parachutes). His book is structurally odd, as it was published before the conclusion of the war: its final chapter is a letter written by Hall from a POW camp. Its self-effacing humor reminds me most of Vet in a Spin by James Herriot. Recommended to those interested in military history of the period, and those who like autobiographies generally.

Different perspective than Richenbacher

(4 stars)

I encountered this book after having read Timothy's review referencing it in Fighting the Flying Circus. I disagree that this one is essentially "better" than Richenbacher's book. It's definitely different, though. Aside from the different squadrons, Richenbacher focuses more on air fights and encounters with the enemy from the perspective of an experienced flyer than on learning how to fly and situations due to inexperience, as Hall does. Different people, different personalities, different experiences. Mike is an excellent reader, although he butchers the French. :) I forgive him.

(5 stars)

Firstly this is my favourite reader he is just brilliant. This is also a really good book, I love the author's writing style it has a hint of humour even when it's serious. He has also been very humble in the telling of his story, the next book I listened to was "fighting the flying circus" which happened to tell us more of his career and just how respected he was by other airmen.

Entertaining story, solid reader

(4 stars)

Entertaining story, that it is true makes it more enjoyable. If you are into avaition or World War I it is a must listen for you. I am pilot and the part about them learning to fly with "penguins" I loved the most. The book could flow better needed better continuity between chapters. Still worth a try though.

great great great

(5 stars)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very informative about the history of airplanes in World War I. it kept my interest all the way to the very end.

(3 stars)

Very interesting narrative. Two stars deducted for the narrator’s excruciating mispronunciations of the many words and phrases in French.

High Adventure A Narrative of Air Fighting in France

(5 stars)

We'll read, fun listen - thanks!


(5 stars)

This will NOT disappoint. (gotta go)