Daniel Torday’s debut novel, The Last Flight of Poxl West, beautifully weaves together the two unforgettable voices of Eli Goldstein and Poxl West. Poxl West fled the Nazis’ onslaught in Czechoslovakia and Holland. He pulled Londoners from the Blitz’s rubble. He wooed intoxicating, unconventional beauties. He rained fire on Germany from his RAF bomber. Poxl West is something of an idol to his teenage nephew, Eli Goldstein. Poxl fills Eli’s head with electric accounts of his adventures, as he collects the best episodes into a memoir. He publishes that memoir, Skylock, to great acclaim, and its success takes him on the road. With his uncle gone, Eli throws himself into reading his opus, but as he delves deeper into Poxl’s history, Eli begins to see that the life of the fearless superman he’s adored has been much darker than he let on, and filled with unimaginable loss from which he may have not recovered. As the truth emerges, it forces Eli to face irreconcilable facts about the war he’s romanticized and the vision of the man he’s held so dear.
Listen to an excerpt read by Aaron Abano: