When Tom Cutter hires Constantine Shaklin as an engineer in his air-freight business, he little realises the extraordinary gifts of his new recruit. Shaklin possesses a religious power which inspires everyone he meets to a new faith and hope for humanity. As Cutter’s business grows across Asia, so does Shaklin’s fame, until he is widely regarded as a unifying deity. Though he struggles to believe Shaklin is indeed divine, Cutter too finds solace in his friend’s teachings, and commits to passing on his message.
©2009 Nevil Shute (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
Novelist and screenwriter; formerly BBC reporter and interviewer. TV and Film scripts include Mists of Avalon, Legends of Earthsea,The Borrowers,Small Soldiers, War and Peace, Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Dunkirk.
This is a gripping story, superbly told in uncluttered prose, about aviation, love and religion. The performance is splendid, all the accents spot on, and the overall effect totally satisfying. You are carried along by the adventure, and in the end, as well as being entertained and moved, you realise you've been thinking about the big questions, like what we believe and why we believe it. Highly recommended!
I would recommend any of Nevil Shute's books.
Shute brings air travel and distant places in the 1940's-50's to life and makes it interesting!
This was the first. He was well suited to the book. I'd listen to him again.
I'd say the narrator, which may seem odd to some. Yet it was Shute himself in many ways, exploring his beliefs through the guy telling the story.
I find Shute to be one of the best writers and much overlooked. His blending of engineering, flying, fascination with many places and his ability to tell a story are superb. He champions the "little guy or girl" who just gets on with life, not complaining or seekking glory, but just living decently, if not always wisely. He is self deprecating when writing about himself, and his characters come through with true likeableness even if you wouldn't believe as they do. Shute considered this his best novel. Though I thoroughly enjoyed it, as did my husband, and will read it again, I don't agree with the author. Trustee From the Toolroom and A Town Like Alice are his best. This is why I gave it 4 stars.
Actually a spiritual book in all the ways that count, but told in highly digestible story form. It is an thoughtful, believable portrait of the development and life of a "holy" person, viewed through the eyes of his contemporary.
This book ranks very high on my list as just a very good story
Well when Tom returns to the UK and manages to buy a larger plane each time-that is impressive! While Connie is so religous about his maintenance...
No, but this one is excellent
Round the Bend
this is a story which grips and fascinates, from a master story teller!
Everyone should be reading Nevil Shute if they want a good satisfying-and long-read!
This has to be my all time favourite Nevil Shute book though this is in part is due to its subject matter. I came across it rather unsuspectingly years ago when I had read most his other work and was completely astounded and uplifted by the originality of its story. It left me wishing that I too had lived through and experienced something similar myself, and in that sense it acted as an important waypoint on my own journey to the real thing. This book has the traditional feel good factor that one expects of a Nevil Shute though here it grows slowly but steadily through the book until it peaks at the very end.
It is not a book that will be to everyone's taste, I think. Firstly, the theme of the book will not attract those for whom religion or spirituality is not a wished for part of their life, and even then it will require a degree of open-mindedness to draw the most from it. Secondly, it is set in the austere days of post-war Britain and though as always Nevil Shute catches the mood so well, it is a world with few parallels to the hectic lives we live these days. Nostalgic it might be but there are also very occasional non-PC views expressed in the dialogue that can make you raise your eyebrows; however, if you take these to be an honest reflection of the signs of the times they will not detract from the tale.
Listening to the story again, read so well by John Telfer, I have discovered new joys that I had rather glossed over before. I do not wish to say too much about the story because I would like it to be the delightful surprise for the newcomer as it was for me. What I will say is that the philosophy of Shak Lin is generally on message and in keeping with the discourses of greatest teachers of our times. It is a book to be enjoyed and to be inspired by. Maybe it could be a waypoint for you too?
Beautifully transferred to audio. This is one of Shute's greatest novels a pleasure to read and to listen to, as the narration was first class.
"Thought provoking and beautifully read"
Nevil Shute writes good prose and good stories. His theme is often the triumph of human decency under pressure.
This story is very relevant to modern life. It concerns the meaning of everyday life and work, the moral challenges of new technology, and the corrupting power of money. You don't need to have any religious belief to find these things important to us now.The period setting is unfashionable at the moment but after all, all past periods are dated.
The reading is absolutely excellent with all the characters having their own voice and accent.
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