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I have long been a Shute fan. The first time I tried reading this, I didn't pay close enough attention. The book moves from the 1950's to a time some 60 years or so into the future. That doesn't become totally clear till the end.
Unlike Shute's earlier books, this is one of his which delves into some gentle fantasy. It's a fun story and gives quite a picture of the hardiness of the Australian people.
Obviously if one looks at what has happend in the time since this book was written, his predictions are far from real. But, that's part of the fun. The book is written with great compassion for the characters, as with all of Shute's books. Norman Dietz did a very nice job with the performance. I didn't think I would like his reading, but found him very pleasant to listen to. I think he enjoyed the book.
I would give the book and narration more like a 4.4. Shute's descriptions are detailed but interesting. He downplays the difficulties of the narrator, as he often does. For him, "getting on with things" is just what decent people do. I found myself totally captivated by the nonchalance with which the vicar telling the story sums up his life. It sounds like a grueling existance to me, but for him, it's just life.
I love the fact that a good story can be told without graphic descriptions of violence or sex or brutality. All those things are in Shute's novels, but much of it is left to the reader's mind, rather than being a feature of the book. Shute's books are perfectly fine for anyone to read.
I will say that if you are looking for an action based thriller, you won't find it here. Rather, a fascinating look at Australia of the 1950's and what a future in England and the Outback might have been. It's a truly likable and well performed read.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
When listening to this one must realize that it is a story from another time and place. Delicately the author navigates his way through the race issues of Australia. Written in the early 1960's with an aviation background the story is narrated with a total command of the geography, culture and history of the Realm.
Note: Everything Nevil Shute has written is good.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful