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The Greatest People in the World and Other Stories.
Story Collection
Page Count
Jonathan Cape
Publication Year
Document Types
Flying Officer X Byline
Pilots, War

London: Jonathan Cape, 1942 (September). 80 pp. "By Flying Officer 'X.'"
Dedication: "To Hilary St. George Saunders."

This first collection of "Flying Officer X" stories contains nine tales, all of which were included (along with the six stories of the second collection, How Sleep the Brave and Other Stories) in the 1944 Something in the Air collection. All were also included in the American 1943 edition called There's Something in the Air.

T.C. Worsley in New Statesman and Nation states that the stories "give the outside the most genuine, because the most intuitively perceived, of all the pictures of a pilot's life." Kate O'Brien in The Spectator writes "to catch together the routine and the spirit of an airman's life today, he uses a free and gentle naturalism, which he manages to extend both inwardly and outwardly, through exposure of deeply private emotions, and also by means of an unstressed, universalising symbolism."


  • Church Times (October 2, 1942, p. 533, attached)
  • New Statesman and Nation (October 31, 1942, p. 294, T.C. Worsley, attached)
  • The Spectator (October 16, 1942, p. 366, Kate O'Brien, attached)
  • The Tribune (December 25, 1942, p. 18, J. Maclaren-Ross, attached)

Contains: It's Never in the Papers; There's No Future in It; The Young Man from Kalgoorlie; It's Just The Way It Is; The Sun Rises Twice; No Trouble At All; A Personal War; K for Kitty; The Greatest People in the World.


The below reviews and articles are available in PDF format.