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Mike the Angel takes to the sky like a duck to water. A World War One fighter ace, acclaimed as a hero in his hometown in Texas, Mike's thirst for adventure cannot be slaked by the rural life. Exploitation of the Amazon rain forest is in its pioneering years, aviation skills are in demand. Mike becomes the first of a select group of jungle pilots, ferrying prospectors, missionaries and profiteers to every corner of the vast green carpet. A mysterious Scotsman's stories of a river flowing over a bed of gold nuggets in the inaccessible Tepuy Mountains fuels Mike's dreams of instant riches. He scours the jungle, pushes his luck to the limit, crash lands on Auyan Tepuy, Amazonia's highest peak, treks back to civilization, destitute. His indomitable will to survive drives him to throw in his lot with gold mining garimpeiros, diamond prospectors and rubber seeking sirengheiros.


Women find Mike's lust for life irresistibly attractive, but in his heart the desire to roam the skies takes precendence over all else. Finally, a stint as a fighter pilot in the 1931 war between Bolivia and Paraguay restores his bank balance, buys him another plane. His gold fever as strong as ever, he is caught in heavy turbulence over the Tepuy canyon. Moments before he runs out of fuel, the clouds part to reveal an immense waterfall that is to make his fortune.


Yeriihauhi Indians pull Mike from the wreckage of his plane, nurse him back to life. Months of convalescence, sharing the primitive jungle people's existence offer Mike romance and teach him a new awareness. He returns to civilization a changed man. Fired by first hand experience of the persecution of the Indians and the rape of the forest, he broadcasts the plight of Amazonia to the world.
Mike's report of the mighty waterfall stirs the Media's imagination, drawing him into the limelight.


He flies back to the Tepuy with an intrepid reporter who becomes his wife. Together they establish the location of the world's highest waterfall, "El Salto Angel", and together they crusade "to save the Amazon", the verdant paradise, essential to all life on Earth, defying the rich and powerful at a time when environmental awareness is tantamount to science fiction. They move back to the United States.


A year later, Pearl Harbor and America's entry into World War Two deprives Mike of his wife and extinguishes burgeoning public interest in his impossible ecological cause. He returns to the Amazon, pursuing his dreams alone until the day he disappears forever, flying to the rescue of a beleagured Indian tribe.


Author Folco Quilici spent years researching this enthralling novel based on the life and times of American pilot, Jimmy Angel, who gave his name to Angel Falls.

Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Milan, 1997. Pag. 615.
(Re-published in to "Best Sellers Book" by Mondadori - September 1998)