Trustee from the Toolroom

  • by Nevil Shute
  • Narrated by Frank Muller
  • 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Just Simply a Great Story!

Nevil Shute's writing is so wonderful! This book, of an ordinary man who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances, and who must respond in extraordinary ways, is just simply a great story with a wonderful (if perhaps a bit predictable) outcome. Somehow, I didn't want the reading to end. . . loved the narration as well as the prose. If you are a traveler, this story takes the listener from Britain to the South Pacific to Hawaii to the lumber industry of the state of Washington. If you have a mechanical interest, this will certainly be of interest as it deals with hobby crafts and industrial applications. As for me, I am neither, but I loved the story just as if I was both a traveler or engineer. Highly recommended.
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- Paula "Enjoying one good listen after the next!"

Hologram of a Decent Man

Where does Trustee from the Toolroom rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's in the top 20% of all books I've read, and I've been reading books for almost 60 years.


What other book might you compare Trustee from the Toolroom to and why?

At first I thought 'Cinderella', but that's not correct because Cinderella is a decent person who wants to marry the prince, and in the end she gets what she wants.

Keith Stewart already has the life he wants, centered around making miniature machines and living with his wife of many years. He wants nothing else until a tragedy forces him to take massive risks for the benefit of a small child.

Really, this book is more like 'The Lord of the Rings'. While there are no 'dark forces', like Frodo, Keith must leave his happy home and set off to strange and dangerous places for the benefit of others. Like Frodo, the last thing Keith wanted was a quest.

Keith doesn't risk his life to monsters, but he risks his entire meager net worth and his life in his quest to fulfill his duty as a trustee.

Richard Bach once wrote that Neville Shute's writing is 'a hologram of a decent man'. Nowhere is that hologram more visible than in this book.


Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the sailboat voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti quite a bit.


If you could take any character from Trustee from the Toolroom out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I'd like to take the BOAC navigator out to lunch, because I used to be a Navigator also.


Any additional comments?

This book takes place in the immediate period following World War II. It is startling to the modern reader to read how difficult, time-consuming, and expensive travel and communication was only a short time ago.

Besides the wonderful story, this book provides a fasinating look at how many of the everyday aspects of life have become so much easier in recent years.

I only gave the narration four stars. Frank Muller is just about the best American reader there is, but he's still an American. He reads the European characters as well as any American could, but not as well as a Brit would have.

I'm a Texan who had the happiness of living in England for several years. I don't think all Americans appreciate the hundreds of different accents and dialects that we just combine in to a 'British Accent'. I assure you, regional and class accents are a huge deal in UK.

While he can't read every book, I sure wish Patrick Tull had read this one,

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- Jim In Texas! "I'm just a big kid."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-04-2011
  • Publisher: Recorded Books