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Widow Maker: A Novel of World War II Paperback – 1 Jul 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Llumina Press (1 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932303537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932303537
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.9 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,039,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born April 26, 1948. Married, four children, Graduated University of Arkansas, B.A. (History) 1975, J.D. (Law) 1978. Served in U. S. Navy, Atlantic Submarine Fleet, 1969-1972. Private pilot since 1980, instrument-rated in 1982. Currently serve at the rank of major in Civil Air Patrol. Past-president, Arkansas Aviation Historical Society, member, American Aviation Historical Society, Experimental Aircraft Association, and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Active in aviation writing, fiction and non-fiction, since 2002.
Hobbies: sport flying, aircraft restoration, model building (aircraft and ships), book collecting, reading, and running.

Product Description

About the Author

E. R. Johnson is a novelist, aviation writer, and practicing attorney who lives and works in the Ozark region of Arkansas. He is a U. S. Navy veteran, a pilot, a member of the American Aviation Historical Society, and serves as a major in the Civil Air Patrol.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gameshow72 on 28 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like WWII aircraft and this book about the B26 Marauder caught my attention. Mr. Johnson has obviously been very close to either the aircraft itself or people that have flown it in action, as the story is rife with technical details and vivid, believable descriptions of it in action.

It has been a great joy reading this book, for the reasons mentioned above. As for the characters, their interaction and development, there could be room for a little improvement, as sometimes I was left wondering about, well, motivation and development. Nothing that would make me give up reading it until the end though.

All in all a good read. The story is solid from start to finish, if you're into aircraft I'd recommend this book. Mr. Johnson could have tied in with the wider events of the era, but that is just my personal opinion. Earlier reviews spoke of insufficient editing, but apart from the odd formatting oddity (which could be due to the Kindle app on my tablet) I cannot flag this up as being detrimental to the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stu762 on 1 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was interested in this book as I am a bit of an aviation fan, I particular am interested in the B26, amongst other American bombers of the period. So when I found this book I thought "Great" ....

I am up to around page 150 now, and main characters have just got no substance to them .. or maybe they aren't meant to be people you can like or dislike, I don't know yet and I am losing the will to find out. The author has given the main character attributes that make him unsympathetic and generally rather uninteresting - he uses words that describe inappropriate or excessive language in response to other characters .. oh I don't know, all I can say is that reading about the men that crew the plane is becoming more and more unbearable.

The realisation of English characters is just about as simplistic as it could be .. including the "Awight Guvna" type spelling to encourage you to imagine an authentic accent.. seriously??

Technically I imagine the book to be accurate, I don't really know as I never flew a B26 marauder, and the detail feels real.. funnily enough the tech detail is way more real than the protagonists. Which is a shame. But after all the author is clearly a man of great knowledge on his subject matter, but this would appear to be his first novel and I suspect it is going to be a learning experience for him.

For me it is, sadly, wasted money and a lot of cringing as I read more about characters that I find somewhat sociopathic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. M. Otter on 24 Mar. 2014
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Johnson's great when it comes to flying and action sequences but when it comes to describing wartime England he crashes and burns quite spectacularly. He's got Norfolk on the English Channel, USAAF crews being briefed about the RAF's Dams Raid two weeks before it happened, Wellingtons withdrawn from Bomber Command's front line in the spring of 1943 and the Yanks fighting the Battle of the Ruhr. And when it comes to his English characters, oh dear, where did he get his ideas from? Some bits are toe-curlingly bad which is a pity because there's a good story in there somewhere. If only it had been in the hands of a decent writer (and editor) who'd bothered to look up a few facts on Wikipedia.
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By David Cotton on 21 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this story and the setting for it

It had a fair bit of action and I liked the characters, who were also well described.

I would of liked the book to of been twice as long,
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By Mr. F. H. Lawrence on 23 Jan. 2014
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A story about an aircraft not usually known during WW2. Lots of interesting information, go read and enjoy I certainly did.
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By Amazon Customer on 4 Jan. 2014
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good use of factual material to give an insight to wartime flying in bombers 90 percent boredom and 10 percent abject fear
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An excellent and very colourful story of the Air War as fought by the U.S.Airforce over Europe in WW2. A great credit and testimony to their contribution to world peace.
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By Roger Taylor on 7 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very difficult to put down once you start reading. Easy to read and very interesting. I feel I could almost pilot a B26 if I had the chance because the detailed flight information was so well described.
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