Eight hundred women and children begin a 1,200-mile journey on foot across Japanese-occupied Malaya. At journey’s end, only 30 will still be alive. This is the story of one woman, of her ordeal, and of how she was saved by the sacrifice of an Australian soldier. It is a story of rare individual courage in the face of certain death, and hope in the face of despair.
"Classic and still entertaining"
Jean Paget is just twenty years old and working in Malaya when the Japanese invasion begins. When she is captured she joins a group of other European women and children whom the Japanese force to march for miles through the jungle. While on the march, the group run into some Australian prisoners, one of whom, Joe Harman, helps them steal some food, and is horrifically punished by the Japanese as a result.
"Better still in Audio form"
John Howard is determined to brighten up his old age by taking a fishing trip to France, but during his stay the Nazis invade. Howard must try to escape back to England with the two small children of some friends who are forced to stay behind in order to help the Allied war effort. As the conflict grows closer, the roads become impassable and Howard also comes across five more children who need his help. He ends up leading this motley group of youngsters through the French countryside, constantly beset by danger yet heroically protecting his charges.
"One of My All Time Favorires"
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.
"Hologram of a Decent Man"
A war no one fully understands has devastated the planet with radioactive fallout from massive cobalt bombing. Melbourne, Australia, is the only area whose citizens have not yet succumbed to the contamination. But there isn’t much time left, a few months, maybe more—and the citizens of Melbourne must decide how they will live the remaining weeks of their lives, and how they will face a hopeless future.
"The most emotionally moving story I have ever read"
A young English woman leaves her ageing parents to visit friends living in the Australian outback, where she quickly falls in love - both with the country and with Carl, a doctor and Czech refugee. Brought together through dramatic encounters and strange twists of fate, their relationship hangs in the balance when Jennifer is called back to England.
"Oldie but goodie..."
When Stanton Laird, American geologist, goes prospecting for the Topeka Exploration Company in the savage Australian outback, he finds something a good deal more precious than oil.
"Davina Porter is a wonderful narrator"
Theodore Honey is a shy, inconspicuous aircraft engineer whose eccentric interests in quantum mechanics and spiritualism are frowned upon in aviation circles. But when a passenger plane crashes in unexplained circumstances, Honey must convince his superiors that his unorthodox theories are correct before more lives are lost. The title, No Highway, is taken from the poem "The Wanderer" by John Masefield, which Shute quotes at the start of the book.
"Fine writing keeps this story fresh"
Nevil Shute wrote this prophetic novel just before the start of the Second World War. In it he describes the devastation that results from an aerial bomb attack on Southampton that destroys the city's infrastructure and leaves the inhabitants at the mercy of cholera and further assaults. The story follows the trials and tribulations of the Corbett family as they struggle to get to safety.
Allan had been away from Coombaragana, flying in the Royal Air Force. Now he has returned, wounded and disillusioned, to his ancestral home. Days before, Jessie Proctor had taken her own life. Why? Allan looked at the young face in the photograph in Jessie’s passport and froze. He knew who she really was.
"Another great Shute!"
It is the Second World War and France has fallen. In their trusty fishing boat, Genevieve, armed with only a flame-thrower and limited ammunition, a small group of officers and men take a stand against the might of the German army. This is classic Shute: a thrilling adventure about the heroism of ordinary men that will keep you on the edge of your seat, cheering them on.
"Censored for 3 years"
Alan Duncan returns to his family home in Australia after the war and several years of study in England. But his homecoming is marred by the mysterious suicide of his parents' quiet and reliable parlour-maid. A search through her belongings in search of clues leads to heart-breaking revelations about the woman's identity, the death of Alan's brother Bill, and, above all, the disappearance of his brother's fiancée, Janet.
On a rain-swept night on the Sussex Downs in the uneasy peace between the wars, Peter Moran stopped his car to give a lift to a man. His unexpected passenger turned out to be an old wartime comrade, a pilot who had just crash-landed a high-speed French bomber. Trapped between two loyalties, enmeshed in a tangled skein of treason, Moran was about to be swept into a desperate manhunt across Europe...
"Top flight yarn by a master of the form"
An old man lies dying during the rainy season in the Queensland outback. And in the night, slipping in and out of an opium sleep that drifts him towards death, he draws his listener into a tale that opens onto incredible horizons.
"Stay with this book; it's worth it!"
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.
"A wonderful book"
When Johnny Pascoe attempts to rescue a sick girl from the Tasmanian outback, his plane crashes, leaving him dangerously injured. Ronnie Clarke, who was trained by Pascoe, endeavours to fly a doctor in to help but this proves more difficult than he imagined.
As he waits overnight at Pascoe's house, preparing to try again the following day, Clarke revisits the past of this unusual man - and reveals the shocking and tragic secrets that have influenced his life.
"Another world another time."
When Jerry Chambers, a fresh-faced young pilot, mistakenly sinks a British submarine, he is punished with a remote posting to test an experimental new bomb; a dangerous mission far away from the girl he loves. While Jerry risks his life, his sweetheart Mona sets about clearing her lover's name... but will she be too late?
"You can figure out the mystery pretty quickly"
Through a series of mishaps, Henry Warren, a recently divorced City financier, ends up in hospital in a Northern town ruined by the closure of its shipyard. Moved by the fate of the town's inhabitants, Warren risks his fortune and reputation to save the shipyard and restore the town to its former prosperity. In seeking to change the fate of the town, he radically changes his own.
"Another Uplifting Shute Novel"
Australia is one of the last places where life still exists after nuclear war starts in the Northern Hemisphere. A year on, an invisible cloak of radiation has spread almost completely around the world. Darwin is a ghost town, and radiation levels at Ayres Rock are increasing. An American nuclear-powered submarine has found its way to Australia where its captain has placed the boat under the command of the Australian Navy.
"What could have been."
John Turner, a young man with a chequered past, has been told he has just one year to live. He decides to use his remaining time to search of three very different men he met briefly during the war: a snobbish British pilot, a young corporal accused of murder, and a black G.I. accused of attempted rape. Along the way, Turner learns about forgiveness, tolerance, and second chances, and overcomes his fear of death.
"Dated? Not this one."