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And Some Fell on Stony Ground A Day in the Life of an an RAF Bomber Pilot by Leslie Mann, Richard Overy

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A scary coming-of-age tale set in Berlin which has been a huge bestseller in its native Germany. We follow two fourteen year old girls longing to lose their virginity but frightened of sex. One is from a tragic Iraq childhood, the other the child of an alcoholic mother. Hidden from view they witness an honour killer resulting in colossal conflict. The guilt, betrayal, emotional agony and unexpected conclusion make for a gritty, gripping, excellent read. In an interesting stylistic choice the author has gone for almost no punctuation and has written a first-person, present tense narrative. This makes it a little hard to follow at first but does give the story an incredibly raw feel, creating a unique, powerful voice. It is not an easy read but a very rewarding one.

If you like Leslie Mann, Richard Overy you might also like to read books by David Walker, David Bruce and J. H. Schryer.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Flight Sergeant Leslie Mann served as an RAF tail gunner during the Second World War, before being imprisoned in Germany when his bomber was brought down. When the conflict ended, he wrote this fictionalised version of his experiences, seen from the perspective of ‘Pilot Officer Mason’. Mann’s book, which benefits from an authoritative introduction by historian Richard Overy, author of The Bombing War, offers an unflinching depiction of a typical bombing operation. For narrative reasons, Mason and his colleagues address each other by name here. In reality, constant crew turnover – necessitated by massive casualties – meant that such familiarity was discouraged. Mann evokes this sense of detachment from normal life, and the relentless psychological pressure and fear that were the daily lot of airmen like him. On German soil after being shot down, his protagonist finally feels relief: ‘No more ops’. Not a heroic image, but a truthful one nonetheless.
~ Charles Williams


And Some Fell on Stony Ground A Day in the Life of an an RAF Bomber Pilot by Leslie Mann, Richard Overy

In June 1941, Flight Sergeant Leslie Mann, a tail gunner in a British bomber, was shot down over Germany and taken into captivity. After the war, wanting to record the experiences of the RAF's 'Bomber Boys', he wrote down his inner thoughts and feelings as a fictional narrative, recently brought to the attention of Imperial War Museums. Visceral, shocking and unglamorous, it transmits as rarely before the horrors of aerial warfare, the corrosive effects of fear, and the psychological torment of the young men involved. Although presented as fiction, the book's solid basis in lived experience makes it ring true - the sights, sounds, smells, and above all the emotional strain are intensely evoked with a novelist's skill. Providing a unique glimpse into a deadly profession and a traumatic time, And Some Fell on Stony Ground is a fascinating historical artefact in its own right. This compelling story is introduced and placed in context by historian Richard Overy, author of the acclaimed book, The Bombing War (Allen Lane, 2013).

About the Author

Richard Overy is an award-winning historian best known for his remarkable books on the Second World War and the wider disasters of the twentieth century. His most recent book, The Bombing War, was described by Richard J Evans in the Guardian as 'Magnificent ... must now be regarded as the standard work on the bombing war ... It is probably the most important book published on the history of he second world war this century' He is Professor of History at the University of Exeter and lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th September 2014


Leslie Mann, Richard Overy

More books by Leslie Mann, Richard Overy
Author 'Like for Like'


Icon Books Ltd


208 pages


Historical Fiction
Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Second World War fiction



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