To Where I Have Been & From Where I Came

How To Gatecrash a Party

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
350 Pages
Reviewed on 04/13/2016
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Author Biography

At 18 years of age the author was trained as a fighter pilot during National Service in the Royal Air Force. This was followed by 6 years with Nos. 616 and 501 fighter squadrons in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, then 6 years as an airline pilot with Trans Australia Airlines and Swissair. Particular attention is paid to his experiences flying the Gloster Meteor, the Allies first jet fighter, and the saga of the well-kept secret of the many lives lost flying this airplane. Also described here are his job with the Bristol Aero Engines Company as engineer responsible for the flight testing of the Olympus engine in the Avro Vulcan, and Orpheus engine in the Folland Gnat and 3 European Light Fighters; his extensive experience teaching engineering at the South Australian Institute of Technology and University culminating as Head of the Mechanical and manufacturing Department, together with continuing practical experience consulting to industry and the national Defence and Research Organisation; and some post-retirement business activities. The author's private life is also discussed, especially his evacuation as a 9 year old from England to Australia in World War II, resulting in 5 1/2 years away from his family. Also included are comments on his first marriage, divorce and second marriage, his studies for various qualifications, a brief medical history, and interests in sport, music, video, and the internet. Finally there is a large section on travelling, with many photos covering more than 60 countries. So it seems appropriate that this autobiography should include Appendix 9 as acknowledgement of the part that travelling and photography have become in the lives of the author and his wife, Carole-Anne Fooks (see livingtravel.com). Similarly, to give some recognition to the author’s love of crosswords and quizzes, (evident in previous publications), some chapters end with questions which could be like standard cryptic crossword clues, but with no crossword!
The book is written in reverse chronological order – you can read it backwards if you prefer, or of course just pick out the odd chapter.
Since retiring in 1992, travel videos have been created (many becoming available on Create Space & Amazon!) and photographs taken in the following countries: Australia, UK, Italy, USA, Antarctica, Southern Ocean Islands, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Mauritius, Russia, Iceland, Malaysia, Thailand, Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Turkey, Greece, Croatia, Singapore, Mongolia, South Korea, Cambodia, South Atlantic Islands, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Netherlands, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, India.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite

In a fascinating account of a man who has lived a full and adventurous life, To Where I Have Been & From Where I Came is the autobiography of author Geoffrey Higges. Follow his life in reverse chronological order, an incredibly unique touch in a book such as this, periods of Mr. Higges' life and told with startling detail from his time as a fighter pilot for the Royal Air Force and Royal Auxiliary Air Force, to his work in the civilian world, his family life, including details about his first marriage, subsequent divorce and second marriage, his personal interests, and also his time as a retiree and his expansive travels through more than 60 countries. The book, in essence, is a full telling of one man’s life, and a very interesting one at that.

I found To Where I Have Been & From Where I Came to be a very intriguing and honest read. Author Geoffrey Higges lays the details of his life bare for his readers to plainly see. Any reader who has an interest in autobiographies, or just a uniquely written book in general, should absolutely give this book a read. They will find it enlightening, historically interesting, and full of details about aspects of life as diverse as the world of pilots and careers in airlines to traveling to interesting parts of the world. I am pleased to recommend this book to any such reader, and look forward to reading more from author Geoffrey Higges in the future!