John Fish B.Sc. Publishers of Tenby in Wales (UK)


Fly Free by Frank Dassen

Action adventure block-buster from a Penally author


With a style reminiscent of Joseph Conrad, Penally-author Frank Dassen's novel "Fly Free" paints a complex and disturbing picture of contemporary Africa. The tragedy and horror so stereotypical of so many African countries are here fully explored with a passion fuelled by Dassen's obvious twin loves: flying and Africa herself. This novel brings alive the ubiquitous newsreel footage from television's current affairs programmes. This novel takes you into what Conrad would describe as the heart of darkness.

As with Conrad himself, English is not Dassen's mother tongue. All the more remarkable the author's achievement, for Dassen's use of the English language reveals that language's complex origins and its infinite flexibility. For Dassen will rivet your mind with minute detail concerning the technical difficulties of landing, not always successfully, on a jungle landing strip then explode your mind with the natural glories of the African environment.

By birth Belgian, following national service in the Belgian Tank Division he then embarked on a career in aviation. Including as a pilot flying humanitarian aid missions in civil war torn Angola following its independence from Portugal on 11th November 1975. So with his military, aviation and firsthand experiences Dassen is somewhat uniquely qualified to write about his chosen subject: Angola of 1995 with a flashback to 1975.

Nowadays Dassen flies commercial airliners for Singapore Airlines and the idealism of youth has been enriched by the maturity of middle-age. Yet the conclusion his central characters come to is perhaps a plausible one: that sanity requires a country's natural resources, in Angola's case oil and diamonds, to be used to benefit the inhabitants of that country.

ISBN 90-806812-1-0, paperback, 224 pages, ~110,000 words, 8.50

(Publishing consultancy, proof-reading, copy-editing and review by John Fish Publishers)

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Fly Free by Frank Dassen


The stewardess swung the cabin door open ... immediately, a gush of moist, warm air flooded the cabin with a strangely intriguing smell ... a mixture of kerosene, hot tarmac and the sweet exciting scents of ...



Publisher's note: Another airline pilot with Penally connections, Paul Carrol, has written a novel entitled The Beekeeper Show, which is described by the Tenby Observer as a murder mystery with a comic edge. The history of the village of Penally is treated in depth by Penally Author Margaret Davies in A Murder of Crows; the book's title reflecting the old Pembrokeshire-slang for the inhabitants of Penally: hence the politically incorrect childhood taunt: "Penally crows on the wall, Tenby sharks will eat them all."