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Publisher's Summary

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.
Pied Piper has twice been adapted for feature film, with Peter O’Toole playing Howard in the 1990 version and Monty Woolley in the 1942 version.
Public Domain (P)2012 Audible Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"Mr Shute not only writes vividly and excitingly of occupied France, but with a delightful understanding of children" (Sunday Times)
"A small masterpiece...a book about frail but indomitable old age, simple kindness, childhood, and courage in dark confusing danger. It is not sentimental but prosaic and suspenseful on every page." (Libby Purves)
"A brilliantly descriptive writer, a master of suspense." (David Holloway)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Susan on 12-09-13

One of My All Time Favorires

I have long been a fan of Nevil Shute's books. I had read Pied Piper over 40 years ago, and though I enjoyed it then, I wouldn't have listed Pied Piper in my all-time top 10 favorite books. Oh what a difference a few decades can make!
The main character, John Howard, is an elderly Englishman on a fishing holiday in France. The story takes place at the beginning of WWII, before Germany invades France. Though he is not totally thrilled to do so, John Howard agrees to take two young English children back to England when he returns. Thus the story begins.
The author weaves together smaller story lines throughout the book. I particularly enjoyed how Nevil Shute developed John Howard into a selfless man, a true hero. I could almost see Mr. Howard's heart grow as the story was told.
The narrator, David Rintoul, did a fine job. The author begins the Pied Piper as if a man in a pub was telling others what John Howard had done. The narrator captures that feeling and makes you want to pull your bar stool closer to hear this amazing tale.
The Pied Piper is one of my favorite audiobooks. I'm glad I rediscovered this great story.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful


By sharon on 02-27-13

An All Time Favorite.

I have loved Nevil Shutes books for years.His books are the real old fashioned QUALITY writing you dont see much any more. Listening to them adds another layer of enjoyment to an already familiar story. The Pied Piper is a classic story with wonderful character development that draws you right into the perils of WW2 in France.. Any one that loves a good WW2 story will really like this one! Thanks audible for getting so many of Shutes books on audible.

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Miko on 09-14-14

A new favourite

It's not often a book makes its way into my list of favourites, but this one has done so and I think it is in large part due to the perfect narration. In trying to decide whether I wanted to read or listen to this book, I sampled the first few pages on Amazon and found the style of dialogue a bit awkward in my head, probably due to 1940's conversational style not coming naturally to me (even though I am a huge fan of films from that era). So, after listening to the Audible sample, I decided on the audiobook and am so very glad I did - the sample didn't do David Rintoul justice, it made me think he would be good, but his performance was far beyond that, brilliant, really. It's a little clichéd to say, but he brought the story, which is brilliant in its own right, to life.

This is the second Nevile Shute book I've listened to and it won't be my last. Although this and the first one, On The Beach, we're entirely different, both were written with such a vividness - I am very impressed.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Carrie on 07-07-14

One of the best from Nevil Shute

As in all of Nevil Shute's books, the main characters are morally strong and unshakeable in trying to do the right thing in the most challenging and chaotic of circumstances. The story unfolds in a plausible way, and you are drawn along with Mr Howard's dogged determination to do his best to take the little band of assorted children to England where they have some hope of a future. His quiet exhaustion and grief meets surprise and solace in the attempt.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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