Literature and War Readalong June 29 2012: Bomber by Len Deighton

The last two titles in the readalong were both about the Blitz and the bombings of the British cities seen from the perspective of civilians. Bomber shows another point of view. Set in summer 1943 it tells the story of an Allied air raid from the point of view of all of the participants, in the air and on the ground, covering 24 hours. It has been praised for its detailed descriptions and documentary style and from what I read so far, it seems very well done. I have to thank Kevin (The War Movie Buff) for pointing it out.

Here are the first sentences

It was a bomber’s sky: dry air, wind enough to clear the smoke, cloud broken enough to recognize a few stars. The bedroom was so dark that it took Ruth Lambert a moment or so to see her husband standing at the window. “Are you alright, Sam?”

“Praying to Mother Moon.”

She laughed sleepily. “What are you talking about?”

“Don’t you think I need all the witchcraft I can get?”

“Oh, Sam. How can you say that when you…” She stopped.

“He supplied the words: “Have come back safe from forty-five raids?”

Should you want to join you will have to start early. With 527 pages it is by far the longest book of this readalong.


The discussion starts on Friday, 29 June 2012.

Further information on the Literature and War Readalong 2012, including all the book blurbs, can be found here.

23 thoughts on “Literature and War Readalong June 29 2012: Bomber by Len Deighton

  1. This book looks interesting, Caroline. Looks like a World War II adventure 🙂 Haven’t read a book like this in a while. Can’t wait to read your thoughts on it.

    • Hmmm. At least you knew him. He was new to me before Kevin mentioned him.
      I’m glad you liked Berberova. 🙂 The Accompanist was the first I read and really loved it. But all the others I read after that were equally good, only maybe a bit less memorable.

  2. This one looks interesting. I know that the fatality rate among allied bomber crews during the war was astoundingly high. Thus this one might be little disturbing too.

    Your post is also making me think about the classic film “Twelve O’Clock High”.

    • Thanks, Brian, I haven’t seen Twelve O’ Clock High yet. I’ll put it on my TBW list.
      The losses were harrowing. I just watched The Dam Busters again recently and although that was a mission to destroy dams and not an air raid or battle as such, 40% of the crew didn’t return.

  3. I’ve wanted to read Len Deighton for a while (though I was not familiar with this particular title before now), so I am glad of an excuse to finally pick up one of his books. Should be interesting reading–hopefully one that reads quickly despite the length.

    • I just had a look at your site and it’s quite amazing. Such a lot of passion and so well done. Quite a stunning resource.
      If you’d like to join the conversation on Jue 29, it would be great. I’ll add a link to your site to my post in any case.

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