James Salter returned to his second novel, The Arm of Flesh-not to revise it but to entirely rewrite it. The result is this great new work, Cassada. . The lives of officers in an Air Force squadron in occupied Europe encompass the contradictions of military experience and the men's response to a young newcomer, bright and ambitious, whose fate is to be an emblem of their own. In Cassada, Salter captures the strange comradeship of loneliness, trust, and alienation among military men ready to sacrifice all in the name of duty and pride. After futile attempts at ordinary revision, Salter elected to begin with a blank page, to compose an entirely new novel based upon the characters and events of his second long unavailable novel, The Arm of Flesh. The result, Cassada, is a masterpiece, and the occasion of our hardcover edition was celebrated from coast to coast. "That opening image of the two lost planes lingers throughout, evoking the dark, perilous stuff that aviators and pilot-scribes, from Saint-Exupry and Richard Hillary to Hanna Reitsch, work in.
"-Paul West, The Washington Post Book World"The air is thin in the heights through which Salter steers his characters, the prose moves at breakneck speed, and the book's emotional impact is devastating. Cassada is a masterpiece, a book in which men wage an elemental battle for survival against invisible forces. "-Mark Levine, Men's Journal