Book Review

2002-9/September 1, 2002


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If you have skipped over the above note regarding attachments, please heed these few words. We continue to receive returned virus laden mail, falsely identified as being sent by a address. As none of this returned mail has been addressed to any of our newsletter recipients, it is apparent that whoever is doing this has not been able to break into our mailing list. Still, it is possible that a newsletter recipient may receive one of these virusgrams as a result of a random mailing. ONE MORE TIME: WE DO NOT SEND ANY MAIL WITH ATTACHMENTS. IF YOU RECEIVE A MESSAGE FROM A NEVILSHUTE.ORG ADDRESS THAT CONTAINS AN ATTACHMENT, DELETE THE MESSAGE WITHOUT DOWNLOADING THE ATTACHMENT. NUFF SAID!


The Foundation Board of Directors has been reconstituted. Board members serve for two years, and may elect to fill their own vacancies, with the assenting vote of other board members. The current board members, who will serve through August 2004, are:

Heather Mayfield, President
Shirley Norway, Vice President
Dan Telfair, Secretary/Treasurer
Jack Calaway, Webmeister/Member at Large
Jim MacDougald, Member at Large

Congratulations to new board member Jack Calaway, and welcome back to Heather, Shirley, Dan, and Jim.


Due to the generosity of several Shutists, our coffers are now at a satisfactory level, if not exactly overflowing. As a result, we will be sending a complete set of hard bound Nevil Shute editions to the Alice Springs Library to go with the set of Nevil Shute audio books we donated previously. We also plan to offer matching funds, up to $1,500 USD, for a small Nevil Shute memorial there. Here at home, we are working on an annual scholarship fund for worthy students of aviation related studies. More on that later.

In the August newsletter, we mentioned a very generous offer from an Aussie Shutist who happens to run a web hosting service (UltraFast Communications), to provide the Foundation web site with free web hosting. Our transition to UltraFast is now complete. The transition was rapid, smooth, and seamless to those visiting the web site, and the new server more than lives up to its name.

Although UltraFast did not ask for a testimonial or for free advertising on the site, you will notice that we have added a link to their site at the bottom of the web site home page. Any Shutist who might be interested in ultra-fast and ultra-efficient web site support, should definitely check out our new web host.

You will also notice the PayPal button at the bottom of the web site home page. Anyone wishing to donate to the Foundation coffers is invited to do so either through PayPal or through


Richard Michalak, AKA The Mad Australian, continues to work on the Nevil Shute Time Line, the most comprehensive compendium of important events/dates ever assembled on our favorite author. He is now working on a plan to illustrate the Time Line with photos, and/or redesign/enlarge on our present Photo Album page. Please check out the Time Line at, and the photo album at


Shutists Jim and Jerre Schermerhorn are working on a similar task for the Aviation Section. Current plans are to have photographs of every aircraft ever mentioned in a Nevil Shute book, including those manufactured by Airspeed, Ltd., and mentioned in Slide Rule. At last report, they had over 200 pictures. Progress has been slowed a bit by family health problems, but neither Jim nor Jerre let anything slow them down for long. Thanks to both and all our hopes for speedy and complete recoveries.


From Babette Hills:

Greetings Colorado Nevil Shute Fans:

Nan and Don Harvey are hosting the Sept. meeting in Rollinsville. Candace would like to meet Sunday, Sept. 29 instead of the 28th. An early start at 2:00 PM would allow everyone to be home before dark and enjoy the fall drive. Please RSVP to Nan Harvey at Hope this is convenient for everyone.

Our topic will be A Town Like Alice. Please bring an item mentioned in the book to share.

Those able to attend will be provided with directions and suggestions for the pot luck.

Looking forward to another enjoyable gathering,



HREM (Her Royal Event Manageress) Steph Gallagher continues her valiant efforts on UK2003. This from Steph:

Dear Friends

I was hoping to be able to announce dates for the gathering this month, however things are moving rather slowly with our venue of choice. I visited the venue again in early August and am currently in negotiations with them. Before making a final decision, I really want to be sure that what they can offer meets our needs as closely as possible. Please be assured that as soon as a contract is signed with the venue, I will e-mail everyone who has asked to be sent details.

One other thing I am working on at the moment, is drawing up a rough plan for an "outing" (Magical Mystery Tour) during the gathering. We need to think about this now as it will influence costs for the gathering. Therefore, if there is anything in particular in the Portsmouth/Southampton area that you would really like to see or do, please drop me a line and let me know. No promises, but everything will be considered. In addition to the official "gathering" outing, I plan to put together details of some places people might like to visit in their own time, so your ideas could be included in that.

If you have any questions about the gathering, please feel free to drop me a line at I do reply to all e-mails received, however I do travel a lot for work, so it might take a few days for me to reply.

Kindest regards,



Two from in OZ:
(Mike is the generous Aussie who donates UltraFast hosting to the web site.)

Hi Dan,

No worries. I'm really pleased to be able to help.

I was reading the last newsletter and, following my own prediction, I clicked on the link and started browsing an interesting area of the site. Pastoral was mentioned, and I have this funny kind of dyslexic problem where although I recall the entire contents of all the books, I can't sometimes put which story goes with which Title together in my head. So I leaned back to my Heron complete works collection, which is just behind my office chair, and pulled down Pastoral. That was it, read it from cover to cover again. Marvellous way to spend a Sunday!!

Best regards,


Also from Mike:
Hi Dan,

Here's a snippet for the Newsletter. Last night I was privileged to be one of the finalists in the Qld and NT Franchise Council of Australia awards. One of my fellow finalists runs a bookshop franchise in Alice Springs. When we were being interviewed, she was asked what the best selling books were. She listed a few and added "and of course, A Town Like Alice. It's always in the top four or five".

Obviously the tourist trade in Alice still owes much to Uncle Nevil!

Best regards,


From in Tennessee:
I'm glad to have run across this website. Nevil Shute Norway was one of two writers who have affected most of my life, including both my choice of profession and my hobbies (the other one being Robert Heinlein). Thank you for helping keep Mr. Norway's name in the public eye. He was a superb engineer.

All the best,

Jim Cunningham
Cunningham Engineering Assoc.
578 Whittenburg Drive
Collierville, TN 38107

P.S. I really liked Shute's multiple vote system. Heinlein had a remarkable ability to describe believable futures. But I don't think most people realize how many of Shute's books were science fiction at the time he wrote them, and are unaware of his uncanny ability to predict the future. As an aside, Shute's two stories 'An Old Captivity' and 'Vinland the Good', combined with my interest in Celtic history and language (actually Irish language and history) led me to Gudrid and Karlsefni and an eventual invitation by the Canadian government to do some field work at the Old Norse site at L'Anse aux Meadows. I wasn't digging, I was taking field measurements to try to sort out some problems with the local coordinate systems and extracting 3D info out of old prediscovery aerial photos and snapshots taken during the early excavations. Which led indirectly to the announcement of a previously undocumented room on Hall F and its inclusion on recent models of the site. All thanks to Mr. Norway.


From in the UK:

Delighted to find the web site this evening. I have downloaded the previous letters for 2002 to get me up to speed, so please add me to the list for September.


Simon Allen

From somewhere in the USofA:
Hello Dan,

On reading the book recommendation from Peter Murray in the last news letter it got me thinking. I really love reading Nevil Shute simply because it's so refreshing after wading through some of the amazing junk that is published today. The right amount of adventure, romance and mystery. In reading him I know that I won't be dealing with intimate descriptions of body parts, vigorous panting or unusual, unimagined angles.

So, I would appreciate additional reading recommendations that other Shute devotees might have. If you enjoy him as much as I do, I like your taste in authors.


From whereabouts unknown:
Just to let you know I am one of the vast numbers of unwashed and non responsive individuals out there. I Really do enjoy the letter so please keep it coming. I have read most if not all of NS's books. With the exception of On the Beach and Round The Bend. I read NS for the raw emotion of his stories. If I recall, Round the Bend was the one about the new tolerant relegion and the "Prophet's" sister would not marry out of respect for his memory. These two stories are just far too painful to enjoy.

Dave Atherton

From in California:
I have read every Nevil Shute book I have ever found. Thanks so much. It was seeing "A Town Like Alice" on "Masterpiece Theatre" that made me start. I'm finishing grad school next week (at 48!), so I think I'll pull out my books and read them again. I learned a lot about WWII and was so impressed with the attitudes of the British to cope. It helps me stop being a whiner.

Thanks again.

Karen Bradford

From in Rome:

Thanks for the newsletter - it always brightens up my day!

A question: are there any Airspeed aircraft still flying?


Chris Phillips
Information Developer
IBM Rome

From in Phladelphia:
The June 2002 issue of Smithsonian Magazine included an article "Comet's Tale" about the De Havilland Comet tragedies.

In the current (August 2002) issue, one of the letters to the editor, written by Alan Kitchen of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania mentions the "No Highway" connection.

I wonder if Alan is a member...


From in New Zealand:
Dear People,

In the front of the book "No Highway" are three stanzas "from the Wanderer, by John Masefield". The poem includes the phrase "no highway more" which is the origin of the title of Nevil Shute's book.

MY problem is that my copy of John Masefields poem "The Wanderer" does not contain these verses. It is possible that the poem came from a Masefield book "The Wanderer of Liverpool" but this is long out of print and is not held in any New Zealand libraries so I am unable to check it.

I have also been advised that it may be in a Masefield poem "The Ending".

If anyone has any useful information regarding this poem I would be grateful to hear from them.

Thank you.

Myles McIntyre
Information Solutions
143 Clyde Road, Christchurch, New Zealand
Phone and Fax: +64 3 351 8950

From somewhere in the USofA:

I didn't respond because July was a very busy month for me. I went out of town, an almost unheard of event in my normally boring life & it entailed a lot of preparation & time & extra excitement going on. Perhaps a lot of people were traveling or away & that is one reason for the few replies. I did go to the PayPal site & make a donation, though.


From in New York:
Dear Friends -

It was a delight to come across your web site. I confess, it has been years, too many for sure, since I last read any Nevil Shute - and I now see I am long overdue!

I am the Director of the Klau Library, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in New york City. Ours has been one of the few libraries outside of Israel to collect "classics of world literature" in Hebrew translations, and I am pleased to report that we possess the following five novels by Nevil Shute in Hebrew translation:

Chequer Board, translated by Y. Vinetski, and published by M. Mizrahi in 1964 On the Beach, translated by Hemda Alon, and published by Idit in 1959. Pastoral, translated by Gila Uriel, and published by M. Mizrahi in 1963 Pied Piper, translated by Y. Ash, and published by Am Oved in 1945 Rainbow and the Rose, translated by Arnon Ben-Nahum, and published by M. Mizrahi in 1960.

Using bibliographical resources at my disposal I have found that there are two other editions The Pied Piper, one published in the 1960s by M. Mizrahi (I have no further details), and another translated by Gideon Toury, published by Zmora-Bitan in 1991). And there is at least one additional translation of On the Beach, done by Dafna Levi, and published by Zmora-Bitan in 1988.

Perhaps such bibliographical trivia is useful to one of your readers.


Philip E. Miller

From in OZ:
Dear Dan

I've read that Nevil Shute 'flirted with mysticism' in a couple of his earlier works. That On The Beach played a major role in the international protest against nuclear weapons - it's message is as strong today as it ever was. That in 1939, Shute's novel, What Happened To The Corbetts, mirrored the subsequent bombing of England by the Germans in WW11. That in 1948, his No Highway predicted the effects of metal fatigue in modern aircraft and foretold the tragedy that befell British comets several years later.

It's also said that Shute gained the reputation of being something of a seer but I haven't heard mention in the Foundation's Newsletter or website that in No Highway, when Mr. Honey spoke to Miss Teasdale about The Principle of Goodness, when he said that The Principle of Goodness would be made known in 1994, it happened too! One need only look around to realise that 'sin and evil' have not been taken away from the world but religions are definitely in need of a clean up and The Principle of Goodness is there for the asking. 'Truth will be seen to be universal, and we shall all believe in the same things' ... possible?...who can say but the eppearance of The principle of Goodness was associated with Glastonbury, as Mr. Shute told us it would be.

Is anyone aware of any other 'little coincidences' parked within Mr. Shute's work?

Regards, Annee

That's it for this month. Please keep those e-letters coming.

Regards from The Land of Enchantment,


Nevil Shute Norway