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5.0 out of 5 starsOne of the best WW2 books - and the ultimate for understanding the Brit bombing campaign
Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2019
Unlike the USA 8th Air Force, there isn't much written about the British night-bombing campaign in WW2. But this book takes you much further, into the workings of the German night-fighter force, radar technology, and civil air defense and rescue. I have never read such a well-written book - and learned so much at the same time. Highly recommended.
4.0 out of 5 starsIt was good, but perhaps it is the factual side of ...
Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2014
It was good, but perhaps it is the factual side of my nature, but I liked Fighter much better. However, using this fictionalised format Deighton certainly got to grips with the human side of the conflict and the horror of the war for both bombers and their fl;ying defenders. I am probably being too harsh so on reflection I have lifted it from a three star to a four. It is certaibly recommended to anyone, who like me, is fascinated by the world war 2 air war.
5.0 out of 5 starsLoved it on first broadcast. Still love it today.
Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2012
I first heard Bomber (with the exception of the 8:00am to 10:00am segments) when it was broadcast in "real time" on Radio 4 over 20 years ago. The story both gripped me and horrified me, and the delay between the bomber leaving at 5:30 until O-Orange finally returned home was excruciating. While it is a fictional story, many - if not most - of the events described are things that really happened during WW II, and the inclusion of interviews with those who lived through it - from both sides of the English Channel - are especially poignant. Recommended if you're interested in WW II history, or if you just like a good dramatic story.
_Bomber_ is a fictional account of 24 hours in the night bombing campaign of World War 2. Deighton interweaves multiple stories that touch on all aspects of the campaign: the pilots on both sides; the German civilians, firefighters, and soldiers on the ground; support staff and families back in Britain. _Bomber_ is terrifying, heartwrenching, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny.
One of the very best war novels, on a par with _The Cruel Sea_ and _Life and Fate_.
Reading this novel is as close as most of us will ever come to attacking Germany in an RAF bomber. It's a time machine, but so much more than that -- it's an unsparing examination of humanity. The action is relentless and absorbing. When I first read "Bomber" some thirty years ago, I finished around three in the morning and couldn't get to sleep for at least another hour. Having experienced Deighton's vivid narrative, you'll be thankful it wasn't you who had to make the sacrifices demanded by those uncertain days.
4.0 out of 5 starsWar in the air between Britain and Germany.
Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2012
This is a good yarn well told by an excellent story teller. Deighton embeds the parallel themes in the novel in a matrix of solid facts that can only have emerged as a result of diligent, multi-facetted research of the circumstances of the war in the air in the 1940s between Britain and Germany. A relatively sympathetic and understanding treatment of the respective experiences of two of the principal belligerents in the massive conflict that was WWII.
5.0 out of 5 starsHow many times can you read one book?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 12, 2018
I have read this book many times over the years and every time I am impressed by the empathy for all sides in the second world war, although this is a work of fiction the level of research, narrative style and character identification leave the reader rooting for the survival for characters on both sides of the conflict ~ as well as the suitable bloody end to others.
This is a book that should be read by teenagers, to help them understand why and how Bomber command existed, the heroism of the flyers on both sides, the sheer courage and determination and fear that these young men went through.
5.0 out of 5 starsa sensitive portrayal of the experiences during WW2 of bomber crew and civillians. The BBC at it's best - Highly Recommended
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2016
sound effects and great actors present a sensitive portrayal of the trials and tribulations of bomber crews during ww2. The audiobook also presents the possible effects of bombing, but it is done in a deeply thoughtful manner.
There is no gloryfying in this book, it is a sensitive portrayal of the effects of bombing on both crew and civillian and illustrates the anguish experienced by both. This is a highly enjoyable audiobook, well presented with excellent sound effects clearly recorded. The BBC at it's absolute best.
I have the audio book by the BBC on my ipod and so wnated to read the full story as originally published but could not find a copy for a long time. Now available from Amazon (and I'm sure other places) I had to get it and I am glad I did. This story of a the 24 hours before and during a bombing raid over the ruhr, told from the viewpoint of many people on both sides is powerful stuff, and if you have heard the bbc dramatisation I can asure you its well worth reading the book as it is different; there are more characters in the novel, some of the dramatisation characters have been amalgamated from several in the book and events are expanded as some scenes had to be cut for the dramatisation. It is a poignant yet uplifting story, full of well researched details and events that are brought to life from 70 odd years ago in an extraordinarily powerful way. The characters seem real and are completely rounded with histories and hoped for futures, no mean feat considering the documantary like style necesitating quick introductions to each one. While the actual raid is fictitious, the events are all real from an assortment of different actual raids. As a school teacher I have loaned my copy to one of our history teachers and he has used it in lessons to illustrate events in a realistically powerful way for our pupils (we have both played the audio book in lessons and had pupils complaining at first then listenning in stunned silence, some have even cried!). This book is worth getting. It is powerful and emotional reading of a part of our history that some have condemned with the title mass murder. Both sides did not want to go through this, but perhaps without the heroism on both sides depicted here, the war would have lasted even longer and more lives would have been lost. I cannot recommend this book more highly.
5.0 out of 5 starsAbsolutely Superb- A Masterpiece
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 8, 2010
Regretfully, I have just concluded reading Len Deighton's superlative "Bomber." I simply could not put this book down once I started to read it. The concept & execution of the story is without rival. The book covers a twenty-four hour period, namely 31st June 1943 (which obviously never existed!). Deighton focuses on the daily routine of the airmen & ground crew of the RAF, and the Luftwaffe, and that of the civilian inhabitants of a German town. The RAF are intent on attacking Krefeld in the Ruhr. Deighton's attention to detail, including technical detail, eg the structure & function of the German air defence Kammhuber line, the RAF technology such as H2S radar, is absolutely superb.Deighton highlights in great detail the respective preparations of the RAF attackers, and the Luftwaffe crews intent on defence. It is clearly evident, that Deighton put a huge amount of research into this book. From start to finish, it grips the reader's attention. I learnt much about the mechanics of the German air defence system as a result of reading this book. The various characters leap out the pages at the reader, despite the limited focus that Deighton can place on each of the many characters within the confines of a 500 odd page book.The fact that the reader is able to remember and identify with each individual character, represents a great achievement by Deighton. This book leaves the reader in no doubt about the grotesque horror of war, both from the perspective of RAF bomber crews who faced being hacked out of the sky by the German night fighters & flak, to the German civilians on the receiving end of the HE dropped by Bomber Command. The cat & mouse nature of night fighters stalking & intercepting RAF bombers is absolutely rivetting & raises the pulse rate. Deighton brings home to the reader just how much sheer luck influenced which crews survived, and which perished. Deighton's accounts are so graphic & highly detailed, that he puts the reader in the cockpit of the RAF Lancaster bombers, and German JU88 night fighters.The descriptions of the violent cork screw evasive manoeuvres & the air gunners desperate attempts to fend off attacking night fighters will have your palms sweating! In summary, an utterly outstanding book that ALL secondary school pupils should read. I can think of no other book from the WW2 period that brings home the brutal nature of the reality of war than this. This fictional book above all others I have read concerning the RAF strategic bombing offensive, highlights the sheer bravery of RAF airmen who ran the gaunlet of the most sophisticated air defence system of it's time.
An absolute MUST for any person remotely interested in WW2 and the RAF strategic bombing offensive. It exposes the sheer folly & horror of war, it leaves the reader pitying ALL parties involved, whether RAF airmen, German airmen, or German civilians cowering in cellers.
I must admit that it takes a couple of reads to get a feel for the writing style. it really isn't a fluid book to read and is very easy to misunderstand what is going on on a page because it just seems to jump around on occasion. Once you get the hang of the unwieldy writing style this is a damned good read indeed. It does its best to cover both sides of the antogonism and goes into some pretty graphic detail about the horrors of the bombing raids. You really do get a sense of how terrifying it must have been on both sides. I think Len Deighton has tried to be fair and impartial and in all delivers, in my opinion, a very credible and evocative book. I have now read it about 6 times and am gripped each time.