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
This was an enjoyable break between some heavy books I had been listening to. No horrible violence, no bad language, manageable sadness. The story is well read and nicely developed.
The New York Times review written in 1960 called this Nevil Shute's best book. Fans of "A Town Like Alice" may not agree, but it certainly is a worthy story. Would that there were more people like the hero of this tale and fewer of the kind who would look down on him or not take his skills or his courage seriously. The narration is well done and I enjoyed the fact that the author seems never to use the word "on" but always says "upon." Maybe this is a 1960 British thing, but it's charming. Listen to this when you've had enough of the bad news in the world and want a simple story about a decent man.
Before I was half finished with this book, I was so excited about it that I recommended it to my boss. He posted a review on his blog that says it much better than I could: "Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute is the most delightful novel I have read in a very long time. Spending time with the book, letting the paragraphs slide by, was pure joy, every minute of it. I just didn’t want it to end. . . . This book is a novel without any villain or even any intense conflict. It simply tells the story, in great detail, of how Keith lives and eventually embarks on an exotic trip across half the globe on a very unlikely mission. We think we know the eventual outcome but the suspense comes from wanting to know how he accomplishes it, step by step." I agree wholeheartedly. As soon as I finished, I went back to the beginning because I wanted to rehear the setting in view of what I already knew. I wound up listening to the whole book again.
This is a very feel-good story. Others have described the plot so I won't reiterate but it is almost syrupy sweet. I like a little more conflict in fiction but if you want something that leaves no loose ends and is like the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory then this is your book.
Probably not. It was a wonderful story but a large part of it's charm was listening to it unfold. Knowing the end removes much of the appeal.
I write freelance woodworking articles for magazines very much like Keith does for "The Miniature Mechanic" in the story. My adventures resulting from this have not been quite like Keith's, but like him I am happy in my work, make a sufficient living and occasionally get some surprise "perks".
No particular scene stands out. I enjoyed seeing Keith' surprise through out the book as he kept meeting readers who knew him through his writing.
No, it was a fairly simple yet charming story. I listen as I work in my workshop. The story was entertaining without requiring too much thought on my part which can be distracting while working.
If you are looking for deep meaning or high adventure, you may be disappointed. This is a simple story about a simple but intelligent man who goes to amazing lengths to do what he feels is right. With a little help from his friends.
I knew of Nevil Shute only as the author of "On The Beach" - book and movie that I liked - but found rather depressing. I had also heard that the car racer in the story was a bit autobiographical - Shut took up racing after he moved to Australia.
But this book is so different. A very well written story of a man who takes his responsibilities seriously and does what needs to be done - not because he will benefit directly - but because it is the right thing to do.
The theme really connected with me in a time when so many seem to be so concerned with what others will do for them. Kieth does for himself - with a lot of help along the way from others who he meets - and impacts along the way.
The narration was great and I could not believe the story was over - it was very good and will get me to sample a few more of his stories.
I would listen to this book again. It's different and it has a lot of heart. If you know a man who loves knowing how things work - it's a perfect gift.
The characters all came to life to make the story so delightful. It's a short book, but the characters are well fleshed out and the story line is terrific.
The narrator lends a lot to the story and brings the characters to life. And a fun life it is.
If you're looking for a hidden gem, this is a great choice.
A great read. A tragic accident results in a childless couple raising a little girl that changes every part of their lives. I know nothing about engineering, but found this man who loves to make things move charming. Trustee from the Toolroom is extremely well written. Narration is excellent, of course. It's Frank Muller.
I loved this story of an extraordinary ordinary man the first time I read it. Shute's writing is engaging, and it is fun to look for the little anomalies when he writes "American." They aren't bad. It's just that ordinary Americans rarely say "shan't", or "kero" for kerosine. This doesn't keep the book from being good. I had more problems with the narrator. He didn't really nail some of the accents as the great narrators do, and little annoyances like "boat-swain" and "cox-swain" instead of bo'sun and cox'un grated from time to time. I did not at all regret a great listen, but you might want to try the sample. I hope it won't keep you from listening.
I got “Trustee From the Toolroom” because of the high scores it received from so many reviewers. All those people were right!
This is a delightful story about the serendipitous events that befall Keith Stewart, our hero. Keith is an unpretentious, middle-aged man who enjoys his hobby of making machines in miniature. He also writes how-to articles about them for an English magazine and earns a bit from them to supplement his and his wife’s meager income.
He finds himself compelled to go on a quest that leads to some adventures, but always manages to come out okay. The adventures are not swashbuckling affairs involving combat, but rather the ordinary kind that you might run into in travels around the world. The story reminded me of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, “What the Good Man Does is Always Right”.
I saw that one reviewer complained that “the narrator droned on about nautical details.” She may not have appreciated the details, but I found that the detailed descriptions of some events and procedures made me realize that this author has a good understanding of sailing, machining, and a number of other skills. It enhanced the book for me.
The closest this book comes to foul language is one (I think) instance of the use of the word “bloody”. There is no lurid sex, nor anything else that would embarrass you if you played this for your mother or for your 10-year-old daughter.
Frank Muller, the narrator, is excellent, with just enough variation in voices so there is almost never any confusion over which character is speaking.
I’ll be looking for more books by this same author and narrator.
A great story for a long automobile trip with the family. Highly recommended.
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