Book Review

2003-4/April 2003


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Greetings from The Land of Enchantment. Apologies for the late newsletter, but we have just returned from The Land Down Under, and things are a bit hectic. There is much to report from our trip to OZ.


In Alice Springs, we met with the Alice Springs Mayor and the Nevil Shute Memorial Library Staff to present them with a check from the Foundation. The idea was that we would donate approximately $3,000 (Australian dollars), to provide matching funds for a Nevil Shute Memorial at the library. That amount included a separate $500 donation from Aussie Shutists Chris and Penny Morton. When we presented the check to Mayor Fran Kilgariff, she informed us that instead of voting matching funds, the Town Council had voted $20,000 toward a Nevil Shute Memorial at the library! The combined amount, approximately $23,000 (Australian dollars), will be used to renovate and landscape the library garden, provide benches with appropriate plaques, and rededicate it as the Nevil Shute Memorial Garden. The library has also created a very nice display for the hardbound Nevil Shute collection the Foundation donated in 2001. At the present time, and in addition to the display copies, the library has available for loan two complete sets of Nevil Shute books, plus a complete set of recorded books. Considering that two years ago, they did not have even one complete set; that there was not a single Nevil Shute recorded book available; and that there was nothing to even indicate that the library was officially named the Nevil Shute Memorial Library, they have come a very long way in a very short time! As an added and totally unexpected bonus, Mayor Kilgariff agreed to join us for UK2003, and be our dinner speaker! A brief report of the presentation, along with photo, may be seen on the Web Site under the FOUNDATION Page.

Back in Melbourne, we visited Moorabbin Airfield, presented the Nevil Shute Norway Excellence in Aviation Scholarship check to the Royal Victorian Aero Club (RVAC), and met the first recipient of the scholarship, an outstanding young man with his sights set on a career in aviation. As a matter of interest, Moorabbin is where Nevil Shute kept his Percival Proctor, and the RVAC is where his wife, Frances Norway, took her flight training. A report of that presentation, with photo, may be seen on the Web Site under the FOUNDATION Page.

In addition to those presentations on behalf of the Foundation, Zia and I met with and interviewed a number of friends and associates of Nevil Shute. Our trip included two days spent with Fred and Ruth Greenwood, and two days with Pauline Edwards and family. Fred Greenwood was the manager of the Norway farm in Langwarrin, and Pauline Edwards is the widow of Jimmie Edwards, the real life ringer who Nevil used as the model for Joe Harmon in A Town Like Alice. There is much to report in that regard, but we will save that for UK2003.


Shutist Ed Yess has had NSN Library responsibility for one year now, and he has been doing a booming business. The 2002 statistics are as follows:

Books  28 requests filled
Audiobooks  48 requests filled
Videos  55 requests filled
Manuscripts  7 requests filled
Other tapes  1 request filled

Total items loaned: 139

Unfortunately, we have lost two videos to a borrower in France (obviously someone disguised as a true Shutist).  We have replaced both tapes, but a Pox on those who would discredit other Shutists by borrowing materials and not returning them. Also, a small number of borrowers have neglected to reimburse the library for postage due. I am sure that these incidents are simply oversights. However, if we are to keep the library going as a free service to Shutists everywhere, it is important that patrons reimburse postage costs.


For some time now, I have been in the habit of referring to Nevil Shute as Uncle Nevil, a term of affection and respect that was not intended to suggest any actual kinship. Several other Shutists have taken up the practice, whether from my bad example or on their own, I do not know. In any event, this has led a number of our readers to mistakenly believe that I am related to Nevil Shute. That is certainly not the case. As much as I admire him and his work, I cannot claim any kinship other than the bonds of common ideals. Additionally, Nevil's relatives have indicated that they do not care to have him referred to as Uncle Nevil by anyone not actually related to him. Henceforth, I will refrain from referring to him in that manner, and request that others also avoid the use of that term. Mea Culpa!


Long time Shutist Allan LeBaron has begun a review of Nevil Shute's Flight Log. The first installment of his review is posted on the Web Site under the BIBLIOGRAPHY section. More to come!


In the March Newsletter, I mentioned that there were some common errors between the thumbnail descriptions provided in the House of Stratus Nevil Shute editions, and in some of our earlier book reviews. When we pointed this out to Tom Baldwin, our friendly House of Stratus representative, he opined that the Stratus Thumbnails had likely been lifted from the Nevil Shute Norway Web Site, but when and by whom were not known. After we assured him that he was most welcome to use the web site as a resource, he asked for assistance in correcting the errors for the next printing, which was in progress at that time. We were happy to comply with his request. Future House of Stratus editions should be free from these errors.


From HREM (Her Royal Event Manageress) Steph Gallagher:

Dear Friends.
I am delighted to be able to announce that Her Worship, Fran Kilgariff, The Mayor of Alice Springs, has agreed to give an after dinner speech at our Gala meal, planned for Tuesday 25th June 2003.  I have it on good authority that Mayor Kilgariff is an excellent speaker, and will give a very interesting talk on the effect "A Town Like Alice" has had on her community. Many thanks go out to Dan Telfair for initiating contact with Mayor Kilgariff.

With this confirmation we now have a fully confirmed agenda.  However there is still a lot of work to be done in pulling everything together.  The two biggest priorities are, firstly to fill our Exhibition Hall and secondly, to finalise plans for our "Magical Mystery Tour".  If you are interesting in getting involved with helping with either of these two aspects of the gathering, please contact me directly at

We now have 50 confirmed registrations for NSN UK 2003, and the number is steadily growing.  If you have not quite made up you mind about attending, check out the web page at for full details of what we have in store.

If you have any questions, about any aspect of the gathering, please do ask.

Kindest Regards,



Donations to the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation, either through the PayPal button on the web site home page, or through are always appreciated. Also, anyone interested in leaving a bequest to the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation is encouraged to contact the Foundation Secretary at


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. Also, we like to list letter writers' full names and locations, just to give our readers some idea of the areas of the world that the web site and newsletter cover. When writing, please include full name and country/state/region.

From in North Carolina:

A useful guide for the book collector may be found at:

J. B. Robert
459 Atoah Loop
Murphy, NC 28906-4123

From Emily Browning-Jung in Jakarta, Indonesia
Dear Dan:

I was just checking out your site after being referred to it by my father, Larry Browning. I'm actually a relatively new Nevil Shute reader, having been recruited by my dad after he sent me "A Town Like Alice". It just so happened that I began reading the book a few days after I arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia, where I lived for the past year doing missionary work.

Being so close to the origins of the story made it all the more special and real. I decided to use it as a supplement to my 13 year-old home-schooled daughter's social studies and literature curriculum. Reading it together was a highlight of many of our days. We related to the story not only because we were living in a setting close to the one in the book, but also because we lived many years in Japan as well.

A few months later, my father sent me a copy of Round the Bend which I also enjoyed. I got a bit lost in some of the technical talk, but once again, having visited or lived in a few of the places mentioned in the book, such as Bali, Jakarta and Hua Hin, Thailand, the book came very much alive. Connie's message came across loud and clear: God and prayer should be an everyday part of our life, not just a ritual or something done on a certain day of the week in a certain place. What a different world we would live in if more people practiced that concept (I say this after having just returned from an antiwar rally)!

Thanks and God bless,

Emily Browning-Jung

From in the UK:
Hello Dan.

Please allow me to introduce myself to you. I am Mike Meehan, a recently retired aircraft design engineer now living in Bournemouth, England.

I have recently discovered NSN 2003 which I will be attending in June. Although an avid fan of Nevil Shute for most of my life, I was not aware that there was such an international following of his life and works. Like many I supposed I was almost alone in my enthusiasm! What an eye opener it was for me to start discovering all the things I have in the past week. This is one of the perks of retirement and to have the time at last to indulge in such pleasures.

I have been in touch with Steph Gallagher to arrange my registration, etc. She kindly told me of your newsletter and gave me your address. I would be very pleased if you could add me to your circulation. Steph said you are traveling at the moment so I realise this may not happen right away.

I look forward to meeting you at Portsmouth in June. In the meantime may I thank you in anticipation.

Kind regards.


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

Regards from The Land Of Enchantment,


Nevil Shute Norway