Ninety-Nine Novels: Bomber by Len Deighton
In 1984, Anthony Burgess published Ninety-Nine Novels, a selection of his favourite novels in English since 1939. The list is typically idiosyncratic, and shows the breadth of Burgess’s interest in fiction. This podcast, by the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, explores the novels on Burgess’s list with the help of writers, critics and other special guests.
In this episode, Will Carr of the Burgess Foundation talks to Rob Mallows, creator of the Deighton Dossier website, about Len Deighton’s Bomber, which follows the disparate characters caught up in an Allied bombing raid on Western Germany during World War II. Published in 1970, the story is told from many different points of view, including both British and German flight crews, and follows the assault, from its preparations to its ultimately tragic conclusion.
Len Deighton was born in 1929, and is perhaps most famous for his novel The IPCRESS File, which was turned into a film starring Micheal Caine in 1965. He is still writing at the age of 93.
Rob Mallows is the creator and curator of the Deighton Dossier, the internet’s only comprehensive resource about the life and works of Len Deighton.
Books mentioned in this episode
By Len Deighton:
- The IPCRESS File (1962)
- Funeral in Berlin (1964)
- London Dossier (1967)
- Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain (1977)
- SS-GB (1978)
- Berlin Game (1983)
- Mexico Set (1984)
- London Match (1985)
- The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell (2006)
- Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum (2016)
In Series One of Ninety-Nine Novels, we learnt about authors including James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, Iris Murdoch, V.S. Naipaul and Alan Sillitoe, among others. These episodes are available at your favourite place to get podcasts.
You can join the conversation and tell us which 100th book you would add to Burgess’s list by using the hashtag #99Novels on Twitter.
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The theme music for the Ninety-Nine Novels podcast is Anthony Burgess’s Concerto for Flute, Strings and Piano in D Minor, performed by No Dice Collective.