Roaring Thunder: A Novel of the Jet Age

By Donnini, Frank P. | Air & Space Power Journal, Fall 2008 | Go to article overview

Roaring Thunder: A Novel of the Jet Age


Donnini, Frank P., Air & Space Power Journal


Roaring Thunder: A Novel of the Jet Age by Walter J. Boyne. Forge Books, Tom Doherty Associates (http://www.tor-forge.com), 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10010, 2006, 304 pages, $24.95 (hardcover).

Many people believe that the age of jet aviation began in the final days of World War II when the German Luftwaffe produced a few new jet-fighter aircraft to patrol the skies over central Europe in a final, desperate effort to hold off the massive bomber raids of the Allies. What might have changed the course of the war proved too little and too late, however. Actually, the race to be first in designing, testing, and flying jets began several years before the war and involved British designers as well. Roaring Thunder, written by noted aviation authority Walter J. Boyne, captures the dramatic story of the beginning of the jet age of aviation-and then some. Boyne makes an imaginative choice by using the novel form to lay out an accurate tale of actual events and achievements presented against a background of diverse personalities, both real and fictional.

Very qualified to discuss this subject, the author has written about aviation since the early 1960s when he served as a pilot in the US Air Force. After retiring as a colonel with more than 5,000 flying hours, he later became director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. Working since the mid-1980s as an aviation consultant and novelist, the prolific Boyne has published five novels, 33 works of nonfiction, and over 500 articles. He has entrenched himself in the exclusive company of authors who have made both the fiction and nonfiction bestseller lists of the New York Times.

Roaring Thunder is the initial entry in a fictional trilogy that encompasses the complete history of the air and space industry. …

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