Book Review

2002-2/February 2, 2002


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Due to a recent computer crash, we had to scrap our most current mail list, and go back to the mail list used for the January newsletter. We tried to add all January changes, but we may have missed one or two. If anyone asked to be removed from the list after January 1, and is still on the list, please accept our apologies, and resubmit a request to be removed.

The NSN Foundation does not send e-mail with attachments. Any e-mail purported to be from The Nevil Shute Norway Foundation or from that contains an attachment, should be immediately discarded without opening the attachment. To avoid sending attachments, newsletters are sent as e-mail text. Because of the limitations of some servers, the newsletter may be truncated. Should that occur, the entire text of all newsletters may be found on the NSN Foundation web site.


The big event at Casa Telfair/NSN Foundation Headquarters this past month was the aforementioned computer crash. We were able to retrieve everything from the period prior to January 1, but lost a number of items from that date on. This month's newsletter and the Letters to the Editor section will be a bit skimpy as a result.

A catch-up from last month: We neglected to mention last month that the NSN Library sent a copy of the Trustee From The Toolroom audio tape as a present to a New Mexico Air National Guardsman who spent Christmas in Afghanistan. We asked that he pass the audio book on to others in the area when he had finished it. In communicating with the New Mexico ANG public relations officer, we had been told that audio books were among the most often requested gift items.

More help for those overseas: After being informed by one of our correspondents/NSN Library patrons in Germany that there was not a single NSN book available locally, we donated a complete set of hard cover NSN books to the Pioneer Kaserne Library in Hanau.


Zia has just finished her review of Flight of Fancy by James Riddell. The book is a narrative/spiritual journey based on Riddell's trip with Nevil Shute to Australia in 1948. The review is available on the NSN Foundation web site at the Bibliography/Book Review/Related Books section, and is also mentioned in the What's New section.


Character Analyses: No new character analyses this month. I know I was supposed to have the one on Keith Stewart done by now, but the computer crash and a few other distractions have hampered progress (excuses, excuses, excuses).


A Town Like Alice, Round the Bend, and Trustee have firm hold of the top three slots. Check out the latest results at Favorite Books Score Card at What's New or under the Bibliography page on the web site.


We recently received a catalog from The Audio Book Collection in the UK. You can check them out at They offer 15 of the 22 audio books made from NSN novels, all at prices well below those of the competition. In same cases, the audio books are available for less than half the price that they are available elsewhere. A list of the audio books currently available through The Audio Book Collection is available on the Resources page of the NSN Foundation web site.


The Colorado Chapter of the NSN Foundation met recently at Babette Hill's home in Denver. Check out her report on the web site under Gatherings and/or What's New.


It is apparent that many Shutists are interested in their favorite author as much as they are in his books. In order to provide as much information as possible on the life and times of Nevil Shute, we are in the process of creating a new page/section for the web site. It will be called Reminisces - The Family and Friends of Nevil Shute, or something like that.

The basis for the new section will be transcriptions from Heather Mayfield's talk and associated Q&A at the Centennial, Shirley Norway's talks and Q&A's at the Centennial and OZ2001, and the presentations and Q&As from the Friends of Nevil Shute panel held at OZ2001. To these, we will add Q&A correspondence between Shutists, Heather and Shirley, quotes from others who knew and worked with Nevil Shute, etc. In order to get this up and running, we may start with a less than complete offering. In any event, it will be on the web site some time in February.

As usual, we owe a great debt of gratitude to Jerre Schermerhorn for transcribing the above mentioned tapes. Also, thanks to Fred Weiss for permission to use the transcriptions from the Centennial, to which he has sole copyright.


This from HREM (Her Royal Event Manageress) Steph Gallagher

UK 2003 Planning Update

Hello Friends. You may remember from last months planning update, that I mentioned a survey to capture your thoughts on the UK 2003 gathering. Thank you to those of you who have completed the survey. So far I have received 26 responses which is encouraging. However, I'm sure that for those of you who have not had time to complete the survey, it is top of your "to do" list. Please do take a few moments to consider the survey, as we really want to make this your gathering. It can be located on the NSN web site under "gatherings". I hope to be able to make a recommendation next month on location, time of year and length of conference.

As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, I am now on the lookout for volunteers. At this stage of the game, I would like to create a small team, to help with decision making and brainstorming on ideas. It doesn't matter where you are located, as most of the interaction will be by e-mail. However, it would be extremely useful to have a couple of UK based people as in time there will be a need to view locations & possible venues and I would like a second pair of eyes. If you would like to volunteer, do drop me a line, include a couple of lines about yourself and how you would like to help/contribute. I will be begging for volunteers for other specific tasks as time goes by.

Not much more to say for the moment. However if you have any questions about the gathering, please feel free to drop me a line at

Kindest regards, Steph


From in Israel

Please add me to your list newsletter receivers. I have been an ardent fan of Nevil Shute since I was a teenager (long time ago), and thought I was a one and only, as no ordinary bookshops in London seem to stock anything but "On the Beach". Via your site, I have now found and successfully used the ABE site, which seems to be well-stocked. I got them to update their prices to show sterling as well as dollar prices, as they were showing the sterling price with the dollar sign by it. Also I got a $ 11.50 refund when I queried the $ 21.50 I was charged for a book sent from the US.

Marion Cohen
Kfar Saba, Israel

From another (Somewhere)
I have a question for the group, something about which I've puzzled for some time. In what literary genre would you classify these wonderful books? They certainly aren't romance novels, although many contain romances, nor are the mysteries nor do they fall into the inspirational category...although they have mysterious elements and many inspiring passages.

Whopping-good-story-well-told-with-ethics-and-moral-guidelines-firmly-intact is not an accepted genre, at least I've not heard of it. Any thoughts?


From in the Netherlands
Dear Dan,
Thank you for your prompt reply. I do indeed live in the Netherlands an am Dutch. Carel is the dutch equivalent of Charles, although it is usually spelled "Karel". In my family they have opted for Carel for some reason or other. As far as know I am no. 11 in the family I have always enjoyed Nevil Shute very much, I have copies of all his books. About 10 years ago I tried to find out what had happened with him, I even had plans to write a short biography. After numerous attempts to get information I gave it up as a bad job. So you will realise how pleased I was to discover all the information on the internet. I look forward to receiving the newsletters. I have downloaded the biography, it looks quite interesting. I had, of course, formed my own ideas about Nevil Shute, based on his novels and Slide Rule. It will be fun to see if my ideas have much in common with those of others.

Kind regards,

Carel Roelants

This is undoubtedly old news to many of you, but a picture of N. S. Norway can be seen at

Scroll down to the second picture. He is the fellow with a raised left leg on the stairs coming down to the lounge, looking over the scene of Great Frivolity below.


From Your's Truly to the NSL January 16, 2002
Three years ago tomorrow, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we celebrated the 100th birthday of Nevil Shute Norway. I am not sure that the Centennial changed the world, one way or another. I am sure that it changed my life for the better, and forever.

Regards to Donald, Alix, Stephen, Philip, Henry, Jerry, Mona, Peter, Gervase, Charles, Connie, Nigger, Rosemary, Carl, Jennifer, Joe, Jean, Keith, and all the others who have so enriched my life.

Happy Birthday Uncle Nevil!

That is it for now folks. Keep those cards and letters coming.

Regards from TLOE&E (The Land of Enchantment and Enchiladas),


Nevil Shute Norway