Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated September 2009


Editor: As you know Joy Hogg gave us a new question to answer. So far I didn't get any reactions.
The question is:
What has been the reaction to a Shute book by new readers of his work ?
As there were no reactions yet, I'll start myself. I have been a keen reader of Nevil Shute's books since my teens. When I met my wife in the mid 80's I wanted to introduce her to Nevil Shute too, so I gave her Trustee from the Toolroom. She liked that, so the next one was An Old Captivity. In that book there is too much dreaming according to her. She hasn't read a Shute book since.
Just before the holidays I was speaking to somebody who works at the store where I buy my office supplies. She said that she liked to read during the holidays and I lend her a copy of Landfall. She came back very enthusiastic, and has already been browsing on the internet to our website and to bookstores, to buy more Nevil Shute books. Currently she is reading Trustee. We may have a new member here.
So that is the first answer, who is next?



I wish you could all have been at the York Conference in July. It was amazing. I am constantly astounded at the amount of knowledge so many people have about my Dad, and how well presented it is. The hotel and food were excellent, as were the surroundings - York, my birthplace. I even got to see the house where I spent the first few months of my life! York is such a pretty city, and I was fascinated by all the flower baskets adorning it. The petunias were so pretty. My son, Keith, was amazed at the old walled city, and the architecture. He had never seen anything like that, and must have taken about 200 photos !

Our next conference will be in 2011, in the U.S., probably in Seattle. Some of the same people are involved in the planning of this, and we also have some new blood. Keep your eyes open for details as they are finalised and publicised, and then make your reservations. You won't be disappointed!

Best wishes to you all,



My introduction to ole Neville [sic] was many years ago, back in the 50's probably, when I read "Slide Rule". I was using a slide rule then. Early hand held calculators were available but at prices way way beyond my reach. I finally did get one, a Columbia thing that I still have, and later, with improved and less expensive models in hand, my slide rules, small and large, drifted to the bottom drawer of my desk. I still have them too.

I think I read On The Beach about that time. I must have read one of his stories about aviation also because it got me interested in early flyers and I started reading the Antoine de Saint Exupery books. Incidentally I have two copies of Antoine's "Night Flight" and will trade it for "A Town Like Alice" if anyone has an extra.

I purchased Nevil's earliest books, 10 of them, from Paper Tiger Publishing last month and I am reading them with gusto. The progress of his writing skill can be seen in those books, but in my opinion he started off with more talent than most writers rise to.


Nevil Shute was a seer into future. Many of his ideas are being used right now. For example, one Irish airline is now trying to provide standing/squatting room in the aircraft to provide cheap transport. This he already did in his book long back carrying all sorts of merchandise including goats !

Secondly, he was tolerant of human foibles. The behaviour of the secretary in the face of criticism by his employer in "The ruined city" was just reported - without any author's comments. But by and large, his characters have a human touch and mostly idealistic. If his books are read by the present crop of youngsters ( How to get them to read these books has been a problem. One good reader told me that the first few pages of Nevil Shute's books do not carry any stuff that makes you read the next page. They are like a slowly meandering brook, giving an introduction in a prosaic manner ) I wish that these books are presented to this generation for a Nevil Shute revival in a format more like Sidney Sheldon etc.!


My father had me reading Shute when I was about 13; now, 50 years later, I'm still discovering new angles to his work - incidentally also understanding my father a bit better. I could not meet up in England but am doing my best to follow the proceedings via the home page and would be delighted to establish more regular mail correspondence with others on the List. As a culture historian I have all sorts of strange contacts. Since the advent of Internet, these have proliferated to a point where I am very careful with acquiring new sets or getting engaged in things which I cannot do justice. I am, however, member of another list, "On Reflection" (, which centers upon the output of British multi-music group Gentle Giant but also allows for interesting discussions concerning thoughtful music in general. This list also has many members from The Netherlands, some of which are very active.

Maybe my two favourite novels are "In the Wet" and "Round the Bend", although to me there are superb highlights scattered throughout his work. RTB could very well depict my own position vis-à-vis religion; ITW for other reasons, one of which is its absolute uniqueness in describing reincarnation, backwards in time !


I read his books in my late teens and early 20's. Over the years I have re-read them about every 10 years and was surprised how different the stories appeared as I matured. Now at 70 am r eady to read them all yet again

Reading "In The Wet" again sometime in the 90's, it was obvious how prophetic Neville was when he wrote the book.

He was a peerless natural teller of yarns able to write stories while he built a corporation in the depression years. Such tragedy his life was cut short for us his reading fans.


I don't know if anyone has picked up on this yet, but Gerald Pawle's Book "The Secret War" has been republished by Seaforth Publishing as "The Wheezers and Dodgers".

It's a paperback priced at £9.99. ISBN 978-184832-026-0.

Amazon has it at a discount; however a review on the site says that apart from a new preface it is a straight reprint of the Gerald Pawle book, probably with less illustrations. It also says that the quality of the book material is not good, however the account is excellent and so if you don't have the original its worth buying.


We would like to extend our thanks to John Anderson for organizing a wonderful gathering in York. In addition to the many fine presentations, the Tuesday outing, particularly the aerobatics display, was an enjoyable day topped off by a fine party with great entertainment. York is a charming city and the walking tour really brought it to life. The various presentations about the history of the R100 gave a much clearer understanding of what actually took place and Nevil Shute's involvement with it. As always at these events, it was good to have time to see old friends and meet new ones.


1. John Lorenz sent the following link which I think you will all find interesting:

2. I have been a long time subscriber to This (Amazon) company has about 60 thousand audiobooks, that can be downloaded. They never had any books of Nevil Shute. Last week I checked again, and they have 2 now. "In The Wet" in an unabridged form, 10 hours, read by Stephen Thorne. I downloaded it immediately and am listening to it, while driving my bicycle to and from work. Absolutely great. The second book is "A Town Like Alice", read by Robin Bailey. I wanted to download that later. However when I log into my audible account and search for Nevil Shute I can only find "In the Wet". Turns out that Audible are not allowed to sell "A Town Like Alice" outside the USA. So if you are inside the USA you can download 2 Nevil Shute books from Audible, otherwise only one. It's all about copyrights again. Anyway, if you are interested:


Write in if you want your name listed and would like to get together with other Shutists in your vicinity.


Jim Wells Lindfield, Sydney
Richard Michalak Paddington, Sydney
Ruth Pearson Adelaide
Neil Wynes Morse Canberra
James Fricker Melbourne
Tommy and Polly Thomas Tumbi Umbi, NSW
Jane Lowe Berridale, NSW


Mike Marsh Chepelare


Harvey Fetterly Winnipeg, Manitoba


Joost Meulenbroek Enschede


Julian Stargardt


Gadepalli Subrahmanyam Vizianagaram


Robert Davis


Håkan Larsson lives in Löberöd


Bruce A Clarke lives in Bangkok


Jim & Kristi Woodward live in Broken Arrow (east of Tulsa), Oklahoma, USA.
Priscilla Pruitt lives near Bellingham, Washington State
Bill McCandless lives in Joliet near Chicago.
Joy Hogg, Harrietta Michigan (northern lower Michigan, near Traverse City and Cadillac)
David B. Horvath, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Al Benkelman Warrenton, Virginia
Mary L Barnich St Petersburg, Florida
Art Cornell Cape Cod
Bob King Stanwood, WA
Dave Penniman Newtonville, NY
Jim MacDougald St Petersburg, Florida
Alan Gornik Western Springs, IL
Bob Schwalbaum Honolulu
Mike Miller Chariton, IA
Sally M Chetwynd Wakefield, Massachusetts
John Cooper San Antonio, Texas
Barry Barnes Reno NV
Jim Sterling Modesto, California
Kit Lauen Edina Mn (Minneapolis)
Steve King 30 miles north of Seattle
George Norcross New Mexico
Merle Bedell Buford, Georgia
LauraSchneider New Jersey, Eastern PA, New York