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Bomber: Events Relating to the Last Flight of an RAF Bomber Over Germany on the Night of June 31st, 1943 [Mass Market Paperback]

Len Deighton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

28 May 2009

The classic novel of the Second World War that relates in devastating detail the 24-hour story of an allied bombing raid.

Bomber is a novel of war. There are no victors, no vanquished. There are simply those who remain alive, and those who die.

Bomber follows the progress of an Allied air raid through a period of twenty-four hours in the summer of 1943. It portrays all the participants in a terrifying drama, both in the air and on the ground, in Britain and in Germany.

In its documentary style, it is unique. In its emotional power it is overwhelming.

Len Deighton has been equally acclaimed as a novelist and as an historian. In Bomber he has combined both talents to produce a masterpiece.


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; New Ed edition (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586045449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586045442
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, The Ipcress File, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.

Product Description

Review

‘A massively different novel… the effect is – quite literally – devastating’ Sunday Times

‘A massive and superbly mobilised tragedy of the machines which men make to destroy themselves. Masterly and by far Mr Deighton’s best’. Douglas Hurd, The Spectator

‘A magnificent story… the characters lean out of the pages’ Daily Mirror

‘For sheer readability he has no peer’
The Standard

'The magnificent Bomber is rich with historical detail' The Times

About the Author

Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, The Ipcress File, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great book 26 Nov 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kingsley Amis called this one of the best ten books of the 20th century, and I'm not going to argue. Deighton normally writes agreeable spy and war fiction, but this is on a higher plane (no pun intended). The story of Creaking Door, Joe for King, The Volkswagen and all the other Lancasters flying out of Warley Fen seems to have tapped a deep root of emotion in Deighton, leading him to write a book that for sheer emotional engagement has few parallels. He writes above himself consistently, making the characters live - and die - for you in a way few if any writers could equal. The story is by turns amusing, interesting, and in the end horrifying. I find it hard to believe that anyone could read this without being deeply moved. If Deighton could write like this all the time, he would be acclaimed as one of the greatest novelists of the age; he never reaches such heights in any other work, but I for one am glad he did it once.

The audiobook of the 1995 BBC radio adaptation is (if possible) even better, being quite simply one of the finest examples of radio drama ever produced; Deighton's powerful story is interwoven with comments from real veterans of the bombing campaign (British and German) and the terrific acting, incredible atmosphere and superb adaptation combine into a solid gold masterpiece. Buy both book and CD, and enhance the quality of your library.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When Len Deighton writes a book, he indulges in such a high degree of research that the reader of his novels becomes quite certain that he participated in the events he depicts.
In "Bomber" he surpasses himself: in the detail (often horrific), characterisation (they aren't heroes but they are - a contradiction?), the inanities of war and by providing a real sense of period. He's really written a dramatised documentary - what TV producers would now call "faction" but it's a very powerful method of evoking the real drama inherent in the subject.
And it can become addictive too - as he states in the Epilogue to the book, don't stand on a desolate runway on a long deserted former RAF bomber base in East Anglia and expect not to be moved. He was moved enough to write this excellent work.
It really stands best as a testimonial to the bravery and persistence of the RAF Bomber crews and the fortitude of their victims, the German populace. The RAF Bomber crews facing the worst survivability odds of any Service in WW2 (50% loss rate of aircrew) yet still continued to "Do their duty" - knowing that if they didn't they would be branded as having "Lack of Moral Fibre" (LMF) anyway. The German populace (no stereotypes here) who, like their British "Blitzed" counterparts, stoically enduring the pain and misery and terrifying cacophony of an RAF Bombing raid.
You don't so much read the book as immerse yourself in the characters and events, alternating between the stance of the bomber and the bombed, developing their fates and fortunes.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bomber 6 May 2006
Format:Paperback
Len Deighton's "Bomber" is a searing anti-war novel and his own views about the futility and pointlessness of the Allied air raids against Germany (the Luftwaffe having proved in 1940/41 that such tactics don't succeed in destroying morale) are clearly reflected here. The novel features many diverse and fascinating characters, some of whom the reader comes to care about deeply. There is one passage in particular which describes in dreadful, horrible, stark detail the unravelling, unstoppable complexities that occur as a German nightfighter stalks and shoots down a Lancaster bomber, down to the moment the stricken aircraft and its dying pilot hit the ground - a piece of modern literature that every politician should be made to read before making any kind of decision commiting nations to war. Truly a classic novel.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
This recording cleverly uses a mixture of contemporary accounts and brilliantly acted drama in this audio tape. The effects of the bombing of targets in Germany on the bomber crews, German civillians and airmen are vividly and harrowingly portrayed. The author reminds the listener why this war was being fought with a sub-plot concerning a German airman who uncovers a file detailing barbaric experiments on prisoners in Dachau. The RAF does not escape criticism with the snobbery of the old boy network being present in the higher ranks. But this is well handled with no lapses into stereotyping. But mainly this is an account of how the war affects ordinary people from the young, doomed airmen to the citizens of the bombed towns.
This is BBC radio drama at its best. I recommend it highly.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be Amazed 1 Aug 2009
By Jonathan Posner VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
How truly delighted I am to see another reviewer's reference to Kingsley Amis supposedly having considered this to be one of the ten best books of the 20th Century. To this accolade can be added Anthony Burgess's opinion of it being amongst the finest 99 books written in the English language since 1939. After that, anything I can contribute will be of little consequence I suspect. But this is a book like no other so I'm going to weigh in.

Five hundred pages, around one hundred characters and set within a single day and night, Deighton has pulled off an impossible feat. Further, I would boldly venture that this book should become the definitive work of reference about the British bombing campaign; the author, after all, claims to have read more than two hundred books in order to have written this one. On the one hand, the detail is mind-boggling in its rigour, whether it be the exact cost of a Lancaster bomber, the colour of the dashboard lights on a German night fighter or the arrangement of sewage pipes in a German town. On the other hand, the experience and reaction of ordinary townspeople to being bombed by seven hundred aircraft will surely never again be portrayed in all of its forensic horror like Deighton has done here. What makes Deighton unique, though, is his being a single voice in describing both sides of the story. It's probably impossible to remember all one hundred characters but one comes to care a great deal for almost all of them, whether British or German.

And so for me, above all else, this magnificent novel gave me startling new insights into my own qualities of compassion and humanity, ones that perhaps I didn't really expect to experience within the confines of a novel about a vicious and savage war.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good concept, good delivery but ultimately flawed and unsatisfying
There is a very good reason why most movies and books on WW2 are from the point of view of one or the other of the protagonists. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Birolli
5.0 out of 5 stars haunting
I haven't as yet read this on my Kindle. I bought it is because I read it ( until the book disintegrated ) at least thirty years ago and its haunted me ever since. Read more
Published 5 months ago by edwina procter
5.0 out of 5 stars A good yarn
Len Deighton has never failed to captivate from page 1 to the end. The Bomber is no exception. You live the action all the way.
Published 5 months ago by Ken Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing
Excellently written account of experiences within Bomber Command. Characters are well-drawn and believable. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. Claire Buckle
5.0 out of 5 stars A Scathing Anti-War Book
Most war books tell the story from one side's point of view. Len Deighton eschews this conformity in his tale of a single British bombing raid on Germany. Read more
Published 6 months ago by ChrisH
5.0 out of 5 stars A totally enthralling read about the realities of total war.
This book is thrilling, enthralling and horrifying, not just by turns but often all at once. This is a major exposure of the bloody viscera of total war. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Prospero
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
I've read this book several times - and listened to the real-time Radio 4 production years ago. It is incredibly detailed without being schoolmasterish and the plot is riveting. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Peter Burke
2.0 out of 5 stars flowery
disliked he twee opening , very mills and boon style, gave up after 4 pages,, thought it would have been a less flowery style.
Published 8 months ago by N. Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book with caution...
This is the book, more than any other, that fired my passion for researching Bomber Command. Although a work of fiction, the book is phenomenally well-research, as is to be... Read more
Published 8 months ago by SimonH
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down - again
Read this book so many times. Great to have it on kindle as well. Master story teller. Sits alongside Derek Robinsons stuff.
Published 9 months ago by David waring
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