Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

Fireball Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight At A M on January actress Carole Lombard Hollywood s Queen of Screwball and the wife of the king of the movies Clark Gable stepped onto a Transcontinental Western Airlines DC desi

  • Title: Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3
  • Author: Robert Matzen
  • ISBN: 9780988502512
  • Page: 372
  • Format: Hardcover
  • At 5 00 A.M on January 16, 1942, actress Carole Lombard, Hollywood s Queen of Screwball and the wife of the king of the movies, Clark Gable, stepped onto a Transcontinental Western Airlines DC 3, designated as Flight 3 in Indianapolis, Indiana with her mother, Elizabeth Peters, and MGM publicity man Otto Winkler Lombard had just completed the first sale of war boAt 5 00 A.M on January 16, 1942, actress Carole Lombard, Hollywood s Queen of Screwball and the wife of the king of the movies, Clark Gable, stepped onto a Transcontinental Western Airlines DC 3, designated as Flight 3 in Indianapolis, Indiana with her mother, Elizabeth Peters, and MGM publicity man Otto Winkler Lombard had just completed the first sale of war bonds and stamps in the nation following its entry into World War II Exhausted from five days on the road, Carole intended to return to her husband and Encino, California home and by the fastest means possible Fourteen hours later, Flight 3 lay a flaming pile of debris strewn across the side of Potosi Mountain, Nevada.Fireball provides a fresh look at Carole Lombard s life, with plenty of focus on her list of lovers that included Howard Hughes and Clark Gable, and presents a first ever examination of the events that led to that final flight and her death The book also provides a day by day look at the struggles of Clark Gable and Lombard s family, friends, and fans, to cope with the tragedy Lombard became the first Hollywood star to sacrifice her life in World War II The War Department offered Gable a funeral service with full military honors but he refused it knowing that his wife would not approve of such spectacle.But Fireball goes much further and explores the lives of the 21 others on the plane, including 15 members of the U.S Army Air Corps, and addr

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    About "Robert Matzen"

    1. Robert Matzen

      Robert Matzen is the author of seven books, including the award winning Errol Olivia Ego Obsession in Golden Era Hollywood and the bestselling Fireball Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3, which rose to 2 on the bestseller list for Biographies, won the 2015 Biography of the Year Benjamin Franklin Award, and earned praise from the Smithsonian Institution Regularly interviewed by international press, including the New York Post, Hollywood Reporter, and BBC, Matzen s previous print work includes many articles about classic films, and the Greenwood Press reference volume, Carole Lombard A Bio Bibliography His work as a filmmaker earned national awards and his feature documentary about George Washington, When the Forest Ran Red, is a genre classic He has also written and directed several films for NASA.

    696 thoughts on “Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3”

    1. After completing this book, I m not sure if I would categorize it as a biography of Carole Lombard or a historical look at a tragic event that took place in an era when commercial air travel was in its infancy.The author does a commendable job of setting the scene of late 1930s and early 40s Hollywood and introducing us to the various players who attracted movie goers willing to spend a dime to escape in the celluloid, bigger than life pictures and contract players of the time I confess that I k [...]


    2. I began to read this with some trepidation I didn t want these two to lose their luster I also didn t want to cry over them, but I was resigned to that when one of a loving couple is going to crash into a mountain in the course of a book, tears are going to happen In the end, was the Great Love Affair between Gable and Lombard everything fond fans say it was I don t know Probably not Two words Lana Turner Would they have been divorced in a few years Maybe But it doesn t really matter It s sort o [...]


    3. Carole Lombard was one of those rare people in perpetually catty Hollywood who seems not have left behind anyone who could say a bad word about her Her boundless energy, generous heart, delicious sense of humor, down to earth sexiness, and general exuberance have endeared her to generations of fans so that she is still lovingly remembered than 70 years after her shocking, tragic death I cannot remember how I ever discovered Carole Lombard perhaps in My Man Godfrey but I have enjoyed both the on [...]


    4. This book is part biography and part the story of a tragic accident, in which actress Carole Lombard and twenty one other people lost their lives Much of the wreckage of TWA Flight 3, the commercial airliner which crashed on the evening of January 16th, 1942, is still strewn across the side of Mount Potosi in Nevada The author actually climbed to the crash site and it took him four and a half hours to ascend the steep mountain slope It can only be imagined how hard it was to mount a rescue missi [...]


    5. OK, I devoured this in a day, given the intersection of my love of vintage Hollywood, calamities, and WWII Matzen does a great job with research, but I m giving him four stars instead of five because of his unfortunate reliance on what he called extrapolation, or the insertion of his thoughts into the unknowable, interior lives of Gable, Lombard, and others I don t understand this intrusion because it weakens his book His chapters on the crash and its investigation are stronger than the Hollywoo [...]


    6. This is a very informative book about one of Hollywood s best loved stars, the Dream romance of Hollywood royalty, and the tragedy of a plane crash that has long served as fodder for conspiracy theorists The danger of such a book is that it may be nothing but a bare bones rehashing of details but, put your mind to rest FIREBALL is very much worth the read and is mostly engaging Mostly engaging Okay, that does deserve an explanation The writer chose a stylistic approach that I found to be quite d [...]


    7. This certainly was a page turner I had no problem with the switch between the Lombard biography and the events leading up to the crash I found the biography of Lombard to be bio lite easy to skim and clearly cribbed from the sources The meat of the research went into the files on the crash and the aftermath, recovery and final investigation, this was very good I like that he gave names and stories of the other victims of this accident, Lombard was the big name, but there were others on board Tha [...]


    8. The further I got into this book the less I liked it The first part is a fairly shallow biography of Carole Lombard, with brief flash forwards to the plane crash that took her life Around midway through, the focus of the book shifts entirely to the crash itself and the investigation into its possible causes I would have preferred that the book spend time on Lombard s life and less on her death, but what annoyed me about the book was the style of the writing.Author Robert Matzen so frequently re [...]


    9. The author suggests at the start of the book that he has discovered something about the plane crash that killed Carole Lombard We are led to believe it is, perhaps, something sinister because Orson Welles once said at lunch to Henry Jaglom, the plane was shot down, and those who know, know Really that s a revelation With no evidence to support it it s just a man talking at lunch Also Matzen uses the word surreal at least a dozen times and always incorrectly.In fact, Matzen has absolutely nothing [...]


    10. GNab 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 [...]


    11. FIREBALL by Robert MatzenOne of Hollywood s biggest tragedies involving one of its biggest mysteries and one of its biggest love stories.It would have been so easy for Robert Matzen to fill 300 pages with Hollywood glitz, romance, and grief He would not have been lying, or even exaggerating this part of the story that is the crash of TWA3 But those headlines have been covered before Hollywood s Queen of Screwball marries the unchallenged King of Hollywood, but their happily ever after is cut sho [...]


    12. This book is biography and telling of the events that surround the crash rather than the mystery of it It doesn t really seem like there was too much of a mystery and not a lot of stock was placed in the idea of sabotage or foul play What this book does do well is tell an abbreviated story of the life of Carole Lombard, her upbringing, her love life and her rise to fame It also does a good job of chronicling the life of her friends and especially of Clark Gable The story of the hike to the wrec [...]


    13. Rather perfect match of author and subject This dude CLIMBED THE MOUNTAIN WHERE CAROLE S PLANE CRASHED There are still pieces of the plane up there because it s so remote and hard to get to Matzen tells a full and fair story, including the heartwrenching backgrounds of the other 21 souls on the plane that night and not making Lombard out to be too saintly or too tainted An excellent addition to both the scholarship and worship of Golden Hollywood.


    14. Good read for those who like old Hollywood Sad that if one small change had occurred, she would have lived She was a great actress and wonderful person Shame her life was taken at such a young age.


    15. The author opens the book by talking about his climb to the wreckage and how steep it is and that still to this day there is no trail to the top of the mountain Once at the crash site he describes that even after all of these years there are still pieces of the plane on the mountain, scattered about along with other objects that he found along with the guide who took him there From there he begins the story with Carole Lombard, born Jane Alice Peters, from Fort Wayne Indiana After her father was [...]


    16. I received this as a free copy for review from NetGalley.An interesting book, but somewhat disappointing Given the title of the book, I knew not to expect a biography on Lombard, but was still expecting a bit than what was given While this was a book that was meant to explore Lombard s death in a mysterious plane crash, I rarely felt like I cared about her at all She was described as a fireball, sweet, a woman who cussed, and one who was unbelievably generous The problem was these descriptions [...]



    17. Was led to this one by my favorite old timey movie blog, greenbriarpictureshowsspo, and I have yet to get a bad film book recommendation through it The blogger and the author are bros If you re looking for a pretty exhaustive exploration into the time before and after the plane crash that claimed Carole Lombard s life, this here is the one The author also gives significant time to everyone else on that flight and goes waaaay into Clark Gable s psychological makeup as well Yeah, compelling stuff [...]


    18. A solid, appropriately emotional book on one of Hollywood s seldom spoken tragedies The writing can get too conversational at times, and despite the attempt at neutrally presenting possible causes of the crash, the author greatly implies sabotage was the likeliest culprit Not that there s anything wrong with that conclusion Unlike the majority of books on Hollywood, Fireball is astoundingly researched, with plenty of fresh interviews and documentation to back up any claims Recommended for anyone [...]


    19. An interesting account of the death of a major Hollywood star at the pinnacle of her career I didn t know much about Carol Limbard just that she was a beautiful Hollywood star who was married to Clark Gable, and that she was killed in a plane crash This book alternates biographical chapters about Lumbards life, with chapters that focus on the search and recovery efforts after the crash I found the story interesting and informative, and not too sensationalistic A definite thumbs up and worth read [...]


    20. Exceptionally well written Lots of inside Hollywood stuff, not just juicy tidbits about the stars, but important details about the relationships between Carole Lombard and her contemporaries in the days leading up to the second world war Carole Lombard insisted on flying back from Indianapolis to Burbank rather than taking a train errors between the pilot and co pilot resulted in their DC 3 flying right into a mountain outside of Las Vegas.


    21. Meticulously researched and full of compelling detail, for an old Hollywood fan like myself, this book was a thrilling but heartbreaking read I could have done without the author s assuming Clark Gable s consciousness, however Just tell it to me straight, dude Overall, however, a recommended summer read.


    22. Robert Matzen cleverly converges stories of the ill fated flight 3 from multiple perspectives to give fascinating texture to this tale without deviating from the facts Even those who are not familiar with Carole Lombard will be drawn in to the series of events that led to tragedy A first rate account that is gripping from page one.


    23. What a good, albeit tragic, book I enjoyed getting to know Lombard, especially when she and Gable find each other About half of the book is about the tragic plane crash and remembers others who died besides Carol.


    24. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard were the darlings of Hollywood when the US entered WWII as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 Lombard, being patriotic and decisive, determined that she and Clark should involve themselves in the war effort While her famous husband served as president of the Hollywood Victory Committee, Lombard was engaged to sell bonds in the heartland On January 12, 1942, she set off for her home state of Indiana and as a true star and rousing presence, sh [...]


    25. This is a very fast read I m also sick in bed, so I didn t do much else but read, so I could be wrong about that I read it in a day though, so you probably could too What I m not wrong about is that you should never put fiction into a nonfiction book No one but Clark Gable knows what he thought when he heard that Carole Lombard was dead Since he is also dead, that knowledge isn t ever going to be available and all of the research in the world isn t going to make it appear The thoughts in the min [...]


    26. This is a captivating account of the not only Lombard and Gable but of the crew, flight, politics, and rescue recovery mission It reads like a novel and I could not help wondering how this book would make an excellent movie Jennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain as Lombard I place it on the same shelf as Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and the Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger.


    27. What an interesting story of Carole Lombard and the crash which killed her and others The book covers all of the people aboard The story does go back through her life some but the object of the story is to cover the crash and the effort to rescue those on that mountain It is well written and really kept my interest Well researched.


    28. Very Good HistoryThis was a subject I knew little about I found the chronology very good, going between the crash and earlier lives Sometimes this is annoying but for me it was well done.


    29. Very interesting book This was a story of not only Carole Lombard but of numerous people involved in the crash of flight 3 It is amazing how lives were changed and how this crash came about.


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