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As with most Nevil Shute novels, this book seems to begin slowly. Once you're in the middle of the story though, you will realize that the beginning of the book introduces the characters and that their subsquent actions are built on the foundation laid in the first few pages. This book is a fascinating look at the "stiff upper lip" Britains at the beginning of the war- even more fasscinating when you realize that the book was written before the first bombs dropped! If you have read "On the Beach", you will recognize many of these characters as the literary parents of the people in Mr. Shute's last novel.
I highly recommend this and every other work by Nevil Shute.
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What did you love best about Ordeal?
With bombs falling around your house at night, and water getting shut off, what would you do? A good story in the Shute tradition: men and women doing some amazing things to protect those they love and follow the journey of their chosen values. Not the first Shute I've read, but if it was, I'd read more. It's enjoyable reading about common people solving problems and facing moral issues, and good people helping each other.
More in the Rattingan tradition (Separate Tables; the Browning Version) than the Rostand tradition (Cyrano de Bergerac) -- but both are good: benevolent and rational.
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