She was from the hills of Yorkshire, country born and bred. He was a city boy. By the stream where they fished they were two young people falling in love. Overhead, the bombers roared, threatening to blow their idyllic world, so young, so fresh, to smithereens.
©1971 Frances Norway (P)1986 Recorded Books, LLC
This story is a gentle romance that ranks above midway (7/10) of all the stories I have listened to. Set in WWII England the story is about the developing romance between a Bomber Command pilot and a WAAF Section Officer. The drama of the night bombing of Germany contrasting with the quietness of the fishing sub -plot serves to emphasize the difficulties of war time relationships. All-in-all, this is a story suitable for everyone.
I throughly enjoyed this story. Very convincing picture of a developing romance against the backdrop of war and a bomber station, especially given that the war was still ongoing at the timing of this book's publication. Although most of the book was quite slow paced, there were definitely some exciting periods towards the end. I greatly enjoyed what appears to be a personal appearance of the author in his own book! Excellent narration, well suited to Shute's quiet, understated style. I'm so glad that another of my "top 5" Shute favourites has been added to Audible!
From the length of Audible's catalog on Nevil Shute it appears that there is a full blown rediscovery of his mid 20th century list of works. Pastoral is a lovely book as is Round the Bend which inspired both Robert Pirsig and Richard Bach. These are British classics that tackle tough issues. It should come as no surprise that his work is beginning to pass the test-of-time. Just read, reflect and appreciate... No regrets.
Just A Guy
Pastoral puts the reader in to the daily life of a Royal Air Force Bomber Squadron during the early part of World War II.
In the RAF at this time the loss rate among bomber crews was very high, it was at best a coin toss if any given crew member would survive to the end of a tour.
The crews were all very, very young. Many were teenagers. The primary male character was 23, the primary female was 21. Younger readers will be astounded at the very conservative code of behavior these young men and women lived with.
The commander of the whole air base, the Wing Commander, is 32.Put these young active men and women together in the pressure cooker of Bomber Command in WWII and you're going to have young love.
That's what this book is about.
Just when I got kind of tired of teenage love sickness the pace of the book picks up as the crews fly dangerous bombing mission over Germany.
As usual for a Recorded Books LLC production, the recording quality is perfect in all respects. Muller was one of the best narrators every to read a recorded book.
I only gave him four stars for this performance for two reasons:
1) There is a lot of dialog in this story. The main character is a 23 year old pilot. As great as he is, Muller has the voice of a man in his 50s. A younger narrator might have been more appropriate given the very young age of all the principal characters.
2) All though born in Europe, Muller moved to the United States at a the age of five. His accents are plausible, but still sound a bit like an American doing an English accent. I would have preferred that an Englishman read this book.
The character who appears on the last page of the book.
A slow paced basic love story placed in extraordinary times. It's a time machine back to the time that the Greatest Generation were young.
As always, Shute's writing is both clever and good natured. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
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