TITLE: Flight MH370
AUTHOR: Richard Quest
GENRE: Non fiction
I remember the CNN coverage of the disappearance of MH370. I also remember how I felt - sadden and yet, at the same time, mesmerized.
While CNN presented their coverage non stop and had a myriad of "experts" and "correspondents" one did stick out for me - Richard Quest. I liked him because he was extremely, extremely passionate about what he was saying and was not afraid to disagree if needed which is why I decided to read this book. I knew that there would be very little "nonsense" in this telling of events - kind of like the man himself (at least that is how he appears to me).
Let's be honest and say that writing a book about a plane that has yet to be found must be very daunting. Speculation is the name of the game, yet Quest did an excellent job of detailing the facts and expanding on them appropriately. While i knew most of it, it was nice to have it set out in a timeline, with explanations as needed.
I also liked that while there were passages that were somewhat too technical for me (not an aviation fan) the author is aware of his audience and breaks it all down enough for us to understand.
The entire book is written in a very down to earth tone, with a little British thrown in here and there, reminding us that Quest is indeed British. The story also flows well and as I mentioned, it was nice to have a clear timeline of the events preceding that faithful flight, but also during (as much as is known) and after. The after was especially interesting to me.
It is easy to judge everyone involved for their actions or lack thereof. But this book shows us that not everything might have been as "evident" as it is to us who benefit from looking back on the event with the knowledge of what happened, while the people there were living the events, thinking that it was not even a possibility that a 777 would just disappear. I often found myself thinking back on Titanic and how everyone on board was "so sure" that this big ship was indestructible and it was only with hindsight that we saw how wrong everyone had been.
I did enjoy a substantial chunk of this book. I did feel as though he strayed a little with the chapter on media coverage, especially CNN coverage. It felt a little long and dull.
I did think that the brief chapter in which he speaks about the way the families were treated was sad but accurate. I remember watching some of the family members throwing themselves on the floor in hysterics and I kept thinking "why are they showing these poor people?". Interestingly, Quest does mention one particular family member, an American who appeared on CNN regularly and who kept insisting that the plane had not gone down, but had landed somewhere. I remember feeling badly for her, while also thinking "reality is going to hit her hard, when they find that plane" and I immediately felt bad about thinking that way. Yet, Quest, himself, mentions that he was weary himself of speaking with her because despite everything, she seemed to refuse to believe that all the souls were gone. It took guts to write that - which proves to me that the author chose to write an honest book, based on his knowledge and, of course, on his own views.
I don't know how I would have reacted if I had a loved one on that plane. The not knowing...how do you get closure and move on? Maybe I would be that person who could not believe until I had proof, but then, I ask myself, what would ever be enough proof for me? If they found the plane? Would that be enough? or would I only believe if they found my loved one? Such a horrible, horrible thing to have to go through for all the people involved.
Quest does give us his own opinion of what actually happened that night, but as with other theories on MH370 - they are just that.
This book was engrossing and worth a read for anyone who felt compelled by MH370.