Nevil Shute 1899-1960
A British aeronautical engineer named Nevil Shute Norway who dropped his last name when authoring his books. Every book of his that I have read relates in some way to aviation. And one of the reasons I relate so well to Nevil Shute is that I spent my career in naval aviation and studied aeronautical engineering. But this is only part of it. Nevil Shute was six years older and died eight years after my father, so they lived in the same times. Nevil Shute wrote 24 books and the autobiography Slide Rule. I have read about ten, as I can recall, but from these I know that each one I read in the future will be another wonderful adventure. I have enjoyed every one of his books, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy each one in the future – he does not write a poor or dull book. It is a great feeling to have a stockpile of books by this wonderful author. I especially like his dialogues – simple, straightforward and so very realistic. He places you right there observing the conversation.
I certainly liked A Town Like Alice and On the Beach. These were probably his two best-known novels, and each was made into an acclaimed motion picture. But two I liked even better were Round the Bend and In the Wet. Both are mystical books, written in his wonderfully elegant yet simple style. Round the Bend centers around airplane mechanics and an airline in the Far East. In the Wet takes place in Australia and is the story of the future told in a most gripping and beguiling manner. Both books absorb you so completely that you truly live the stories – you are there!
This man can write! I heartily recommend him to all readers and especially to those with an aviation bent.