Book Review

2002-10/October 1, 2002


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Welcome to the first Fall issue of 2002. It is difficult to believe that we are in the closing months of another year. Time has flown, but much has transpired.


It seems that no matter how often I backup my newsletter mail list, crashes occur after changes, and before backups. That has happened again this month. There were only a few changes lost, and I have tried to reconstruct those. However, if you have asked to be dropped from the mail list and still receive this newsletter, or if you have asked for an address change that is not reflected in this months mailing, my apologies. Please let me know and the situation will be corrected.


As this is written, a shipment containing a complete set of Nevil Shute hardbound books, including several first editions, is on its way to the Nevil Shute Memorial Library in Alice Springs, to join the complete set of recorded books we donated last year. We are in the process of ordering an additional set (Stratus editions) for the library to use on the loaner shelves, so that wear and tear can be reduced on the hardbound editions.

We have offered matching funds to the Nevil Shute Memorial Library, up to $1,500 USD, for a small Nevil Shute memorial there. The library staff recently responded to our gift and offer of matching funds, thanking us and informing us that the matter of a memorial was being raised with the Alice Springs Town Council.

The other project in the planning stages is an offer of an annual scholarship to some deserving person planning on a career in aviation. There are many details yet to be worked out, but some consideration is being given to placing the scholarship in Australia. We will keep everyone informed through the newsletter as planning for the scholarship progresses.

Although we are adequately funded for the projects we now envision, the coffers are not exactly overflowing. Donations, either through the PayPal button on the web site home page, or through are always appreciated. Also, anyone interested in leaving a small bequest to the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation is encouraged to contact the Foundation Secretary at


Shutists Jim and Jerre Schermerhorn, and Webmeister Jack Calaway, have been doing a fantastic job of creating an entirely new Aviation Section. When it is finished, it will contain pictures of every aircraft ever mentioned in a Nevil Shute book, with a description of each, including those manufactured by Airspeed, Ltd., and mentioned in Slide Rule. Currently, twenty of twenty-six books are represented in the section. It must be seen to be believed!


Richard Michalak, AKA The Mad Australian, has now finished the first iteration of the Time Line/Photo Album. Due to the enormity of the task, and the fact that Webmeister Jack Calaway has been on walkabout, it will be a while before the new section is on the site. Richard sent the whole thing to me on a CD though, and it is fantastic. I try to avoid the use of words like awesome - but this is AWESOME! Jack will get it up on the web site as soon as he possibly can.


It is a bit early to be writing about Christmas presents, but this is an opportunity too good to pass up. If spouse and kiddies have bemoaned the difficulty of buying you an appropriate present in the past, their difficulties are over.

The Foundation has recently been contacted by Mr. Tom Baldwin of House of Stratus publishers in the UK. Mr. Baldwin has provisionally offered to arrange substantial discounts for Nevil Shute book orders from Foundation members (that's everyone who receives this newsletter) in Australia, the UK and the US. We are still working out the details, but the suggested discount would be 25% off for orders of five or more books, with free postage, and 20% off lesser orders, with postage at cost.

As nearly as I can figure, that amounts to around $200 USD for the complete set of 23 books!

Additionally, Mr. Baldwin has arranged to provide a complete set of the Stratus Shute editions to the Alice Springs Library for 30% off, with free postage. Thus, we are able to provide the Nevil Shute Memorial Library there with another complete set of high quality reading copies for just about what it cost us to mail the last complete set we donated.

The House of Stratus offer is undoubtedly the least expensive way I have ever seen to obtain a complete set of new Nevil Shute reading copies (less Vinland the Good and The Seafarers). They are paperbacks, but much better quality than the sort of thing you see in most book stores. I have a complete set that I use for research purposes, and can attest to their quality.

To order from House of Stratus in Australia contact:

Nick Walker (
House of Stratus, PO Box 299 Kew, Victoria
3101, Tel: 03 + 9654 0250.

To order from House of Stratus in the UK contact:

Tom Baldwin( queries, and ( for orders.
House of Stratus Ltd.,
Thirsk Industrial Park, York Rd. Thirsk,
North Yorkshire,
YO7 3BX.
Order line: 0800 1691 780.

To order from House of Stratus in the US, contact:

House of Stratus, Inc.,
2 Neptune Road,
NY 12601,
Order: 1-800-724-1100, Fax: 845-463-0018.

Be sure and mention that you are with the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation, and ask for the discount and free postage.


Webmeister Jack Calaway posed an interesting question a few weeks back. Into how many languages have Nevil Shute books been translated? An associated question is how many Shutists collect Uncle Nevil's books in languages other than English? (American, as used in Morrow and in some paperback editions, does not count as other than English).

I have heard of his books translated into Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish. Who can add to the list?

I have been working on a collection in Spanish for several years. So far, I have found only eight of his titles in Spanish. Assistance in finding remaining titles would be most appreciated.

Anyone else out there collecting Uncle Nevil's books in other than English?


From HREM (Her Royal Event Manageress) Steph Gallagher:

Dear Friends

Last month I mentioned that I was drawing up a rough plan for an "outing" (Magical Mystery Tour) day during the gathering. The good news is that I have just received a phone call from the owner of Exbury House, AKA "HMS Mastodon" in "Requiem for a Wren". The current owner is very much interested in the NSN foundation and the gathering planned for next year. Whilst the grounds of the house are open to the public, the house itself is strictly off limits. However the current owner indicated that we might be able to visit part of the house and perhaps have tea with him on the terrace, plus meet up with some veterans from WW II who were based at HMS Mastodon. More details to follow in future updates.

Regarding dates for the event. Our chosen venue are drawing up a contract this week. As soon as it is signed, I will release all date details. Hopefully that will be in the couple of weeks. I do apologise for the delay in getting out date details, but I'd rather send out finalised dates, than send out estimate dates which would be subject to change.

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,



Note: Letters to the Editor are published, complete with the name and e-address of the sender, unless the sender specifically asks that his or her name and/or e-address not be published.

From in the UK:

I have been a Nevil Shute fan since aged 8/9 years old when I started reading my Father's collection nearly 30 years ago. I have since collected a full set of paperbacks. I am now contemplating collecting hardbacks, having recently found a couple of dusty first editions in a relatives attic!

I have a video of the 1940ish film Pied Piper. Recorded from television in long play format, the quality is reasonably good. Is this of any use to the library to copy and return? My main reason for writing is that I thought other members might be interested in a novel (Pandora Inn) I picked up and purchased in a Cornish Tea Shop (Jenny's, West Looe). It is an unusual novel which links real events from the 1930's to the modern day, as the basis for an intriguing mystery set in Cornwall.

How does this relate to Nevil Shute Norway? Well some aspects of the book draw on "Lonely Road" and the smuggling of arms into England. However in Pandora Inn, the author speculates that Nevil Shute based his novel on arms movements not into the country, but smuggled out to Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The novel uses NS's autobiography "Slide Rule" and the speculation over the destination of Airspeed Envoys/Viceroy and their eventual use in Spain.

The Author in his foreword asks that fans of Nevil Shute accept the tale as his tribute to their multitalented hero. I have no connection to the author, etc., but write this in case it is of any interest to NS fans.

Pandora Inn - Liam West ISBN 0-9541911-0-2

However I do recommend Jenny's Cafe for a Cornish Cream Tea!


(Responding to my vituperative criticism of the movie adaptation of The Far Country)


I'm far from an expert on the subject but I have done a little reading on writing screen plays from novels. I actually got interested in the subject after reading NS's screen play adaptation of "Farewell Miss Julie Logan". I went on the internet and found a copy of the original book by J. M. Barrie and did a comparison. At this point I went to the library and found a couple books on writing screen plays, one of which had a chapter on adapting short stories and novels to screen plays. In general, it said you have to make the characters more extreme and be more dramatic in how you tell the story. It seems to me this is what has been done in most of the movies made from NS's novels. I would certainly agree it has not been done very evenly; obviously some adaptations are better than other. Interestingly, after reading the original "Farewell Miss Julie Logan" and the NS screen play, I have the feeling J. M Barrie might not have been pleased with the result. It seems to me to have some of the same problems that we've been talking about.

Best regards,

Andy Banta

14 September 2002

If Mr. Shute has any living relatives, I would like them to know how PERMANENTLY IMPRESSED was one American by his powerful anti-war book, ON THE BEACH.

The motion-picture version has stuck with me all these years since I saw it. Every time I hear WALTZING MATILDA, I think of those Australians dying so heroically.... and I weep.

I just read the book for the first time yesterday: in one sitting (I could not put it down)! Even today, so many years after its publication, it is still so very powerful.

Sadly, the people who MAKE wars probably won't read it.

It is in the group of great anti-war books as ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (Erich Maria Remarque) and JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN (Dalton Trumbo).

At that Great Writing-desk in Heaven, Nevil Shute, I hope you are looking at me and hearing my gratitude for what you did!

David Dunbar

From in Alaska:
Dear Nevil Shute Newsletter Editors,

I just finished the last Nevil Shute book (Marazan) in our library's collection. I discovered Mr. Shute quite by accident and proceeded to read all 14 of his books here at Kettleson Memorial Library, Sitka, Alaska.

A friend told me of this web site and am thrilled that so many people feel like I do about Mr. Shute! I am waiting for Sliderule to be sent to our Library via inter-library loan from Washington State. Looking forward to reading that and any other of his titles I can get hold of. Great stories by a great storyteller.


Thank you,

Steven Jehly

Hi Dan,

i don't seem to yet be on the Newsletter list...will you add me?..just read the last 4 issues on line, and learned about and ordered The Seafarers...can't wait.....

am re-reading my full collection in sequence.....for the 4th time!!..about every 10 years since 1960.....just finished What Happened to the Corbetts(Ordeal) yesterday and have started An Old Captivity today...they are still so moving...and so fresh..and so addictive....

For Shute fans like myself who have run out of Shutes to enjoy, here are a few books i consider worthy of a place in your bookcase: Time and Again (Finney), The Power of One (Courtenay), Gray Eagles (Unkefer),The Bridges at Toko-Ri (Michener), To Serve Them All My Days (Delderfield), and the nine novels in The Brotherhood of War series by W.E.B. Griffin...the first title in this Griffin series is The Lieutenants, and these nine should be read in sequence....all of these books are about ordinary people being called upon to perform extraordinary deeds...and first class reads...


John Lorenz


You may recall, prior to the '99 Centennial, I set up the International Nevil Shute Society Yahoo Club.

The purpose was to provide members a place to have a chat room to discuss NS's books, airplanes, thoughts, whatever, and/or to post msgs requesting responses.

Unfortunately the Club did not seem to catch hold as I had hoped; nonetheless I left it on-line. I STILL get requests from school kids asking for me to tell them ALL I know about Nevil Shute and his books and let them know right away because their report is due on Friday (This being Thursday!) <Grin>

Recent events have kept me from tending to this club as I'd like, plus, I'm just not that knowledgeable about NS's books!! (I hang my head in shame.) As you know, my forte is typing about him!

I'm wondering if there is anyone out there who would be willing to take over the moderation of the club. There's not a lot of work involved - it basically runs itself - The person would perhaps generate some interest in on-line chats - set up chat times for people to meet (I've talked with people from ALL areas - Wales, Brazil, Bangkok, PI, Australia AND New Zealand!!! - as well as here in the states!) -- You can "chat" by written msgs, or can, IN FACT, Chat - if your system has a mic. Plus, THERE IS NO FEE.

Or - as I said previously, you can leave an open message on the message board in hopes someone will respond.

There is also a 'photo' gallery, where I posted a few of the '99 Centennial photos.

Anyhow, if you will - please kick it around and let me know your thoughts.

Thanks and TAKE BEST CARE,


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

Regards from TLOE,


Nevil Shute Norway