Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.
©1960 Heather Felicity Norway and Union Trustee Company of Australia, Ltd. (P)1988 Recorded Books, LLC
So this is a clever book, but a simple book, about a brilliant but simple man. Simple courtesy and kindness creates opportunities and brings kindness from unexpected directions! This is a must listen!!
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
Nevil Shute's writing is so wonderful! This book, of an ordinary man who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances, and who must respond in extraordinary ways, is just simply a great story with a wonderful (if perhaps a bit predictable) outcome. Somehow, I didn't want the reading to end. . . loved the narration as well as the prose. If you are a traveler, this story takes the listener from Britain to the South Pacific to Hawaii to the lumber industry of the state of Washington. If you have a mechanical interest, this will certainly be of interest as it deals with hobby crafts and industrial applications. As for me, I am neither, but I loved the story just as if I was both a traveler or engineer. Highly recommended.
In these days when the "Haves" don't seem to know the meaning of the word "enough," it just seems good to have a story about a "Have Not" who does know. Also, it is so often true, though not often enough acknowledged, that the most generous and honest people are those who don't seem to have much to give. Keith Stewart is one of those people. He knows just what he needs to be happy and doesn't go grasping for more. He knows what his duty is and takes it seriously, even though it takes him far outside of his comfort zone.
Another reviewer compared the theme of this book to Lord of the Rings, and I can definitely see that. It also occurred to me that there's a touch of It's a Wonderful Life in there, as well. Of course, George Bailey wanted to get out of "Dodge" and couldn't, while Keith Stewart wanted to stay but had to leave for a while. Along the way, though, it was revealed just how many lives he had touched without knowing it.
I had tears in my eyes at the end of this book, but they were not sad ones. (Except for the ones that were sorry the book was over.)
I'm just a big kid.
It's in the top 20% of all books I've read, and I've been reading books for almost 60 years.
At first I thought 'Cinderella', but that's not correct because Cinderella is a decent person who wants to marry the prince, and in the end she gets what she wants.
Keith Stewart already has the life he wants, centered around making miniature machines and living with his wife of many years. He wants nothing else until a tragedy forces him to take massive risks for the benefit of a small child.
Really, this book is more like 'The Lord of the Rings'. While there are no 'dark forces', like Frodo, Keith must leave his happy home and set off to strange and dangerous places for the benefit of others. Like Frodo, the last thing Keith wanted was a quest.
Keith doesn't risk his life to monsters, but he risks his entire meager net worth and his life in his quest to fulfill his duty as a trustee.
Richard Bach once wrote that Neville Shute's writing is 'a hologram of a decent man'. Nowhere is that hologram more visible than in this book.
I enjoyed the sailboat voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti quite a bit.
I'd like to take the BOAC navigator out to lunch, because I used to be a Navigator also.
This book takes place in the immediate period following World War II. It is startling to the modern reader to read how difficult, time-consuming, and expensive travel and communication was only a short time ago.
Besides the wonderful story, this book provides a fasinating look at how many of the everyday aspects of life have become so much easier in recent years.
I only gave the narration four stars. Frank Muller is just about the best American reader there is, but he's still an American. He reads the European characters as well as any American could, but not as well as a Brit would have.
I'm a Texan who had the happiness of living in England for several years. I don't think all Americans appreciate the hundreds of different accents and dialects that we just combine in to a 'British Accent'. I assure you, regional and class accents are a huge deal in UK.
While he can't read every book, I sure wish Patrick Tull had read this one,
Being an engineer, I think I was predisposed to liking this book. It's a fascinating study of how an engineer is presented with seemingly insurmountable problems and overcomes them by determination and skill. Shute never wrote a book that wasn't completely engrossing and this, his last book, is no exception.
A great story that illustrates how the competent, rational individual can succeed in his goals.
Shute has created another main character who, despite flaws, acts on the needs of another and has an adventure of every kind. So well told, so well performed, I just kept listening to it over and over. Rich, wonderful, inspiring and delightful.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (literary fiction) - This is the story of a very kind, moral man from England (Keith) who feels he must journey halfway around the world to do what is right for his family. He has very little money to pay for such a trip, so he must ask favors and find ways to trade and cut expenses. There are people who ask people to ask still OTHER people for favors to help Keith complete his journey. It is heartwarming to see how kind and accommodating everyone is but not particularly interesting.
Keith is an inventor/engineer by trade, so there is quite a bit of technical talk. He also does a lot of thinking, planning and preparation. The most exciting part of the story takes place at sea, and the reader will hear about sailing and navigation. This part is perilous, but Keith courageously perseveres.
PERFORMANCE - It was okay. I disliked his attempts at female voices. Luckily, there weren't many.
OVERALL - This is a very clean, moral story with no sex or bad language. Despite its high rating, I found it enjoyable but very mediocre.
Yes. Great attention to detail. Everything a part of living.
Round the Bend. As Nevil Shute developes his characters they seem to very beliveable.
His voice for each different character is great.
Would never attempt that.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I get my share of murder and mayhem from other authors. It's such a nice change to listen to something that's not so raw, but still interesting. This is a wonderful little story about people doing the right thing. It's simply lovely - and one book you can share with your grandma without risk of embarrassment.
I love the way Nevil Shute weaves his knowledge of engineering into his books. I always learn something new. It's engaging for me and takes this out of the realm of mindless fiction.
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