by Nevil Shutehttp://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1...
A Town Like Alice
Nevil Shute's most beloved novel, a tale of love and war, follows its enterprising heroine from the Malayan jungle during World War II to the rugged Australian outback.
Jean Paget, a young Englishwoman living in Malaya, is captured by the invading Japanese and forced on a brutal seven-month death march with dozens of other women and children. A few years after the war, Jean is back in England, the nightmare behind her. However, an unexpected inheritance inspires her to return to Malaya to give something back to the villagers who saved her life. Jean's travels leads her to a desolate Australian outpost called Willstown, where she finds a challenge that will draw on all the resourcefulness and spirit that carried her through her war-time ordeals.
A brilliant romance set in WWII Malaysia & 1950s Australia. I love Shute's evocation of country Australia, he seems to have a great fondness for the place - the Alice & the Gulf country in this novel. The romance is between people & the land, as much as between lovers.
I set out to read Alice, but ended up reading all three of the books in this omnibus in a row, & enjoying them all.
The Far Country
Jennifer fled the drab monotony of post-war London. When she landed in Australia, it was like coming home. She loved it and when she met Carl, she had every reason to stay.
But the two of them came from quite different worlds, and it is the story of their building a life together that Nevil Shute tells in his matchless way. With warmth and understanding, and with his natural affection for the people he creates, the author brings to life his characters and the pioneer country in which they live.
Such a lovely old-fashioned romance, & a great love of place. Beautiful descriptions of this Victorian farming area, & I loved the Melbourne shopping trip that the Dorman's (the people Jennifer stayed with) took when the big wool check came in - a touch of nostalgia.
On the Beach
Nevil Shute’s most powerful novel—a bestseller for decades after its 1957 publication—is an unforgettable vision of a post-apocalyptic world.
After a nuclear World War III has destroyed most of the globe, the few remaining survivors in southern Australia await the radioactive cloud that is heading their way and bringing certain death to everyone in its path. Among them is an American submarine captain struggling to resist the knowledge that his wife and children in the United States must be dead. Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from somewhere near Seattle, and Captain Towers must lead his submarine crew on a bleak tour of the ruined world in a desperate search for signs of life. Both terrifying and intensely moving, On the Beach is a remarkably convincing portrait of how ordinary people might face the most unimaginable nightmare.
It's quite eerie reading this knowing the inevitability of the end. I suppose people would try to carry on with their lives after the initial panic, with that very faint spark of hope despite all evidence to the contrary. Written with Shute's usual compassion for his characters, & with old-fashioned values, it is both frightening & very human.
I'd love to see the 1959 film of this starring Gregory Peck & Ava Gardner, and the 1956 A Town Like Alice with Virginia McKenna and Peter Finch, or 1981 with Bryan Brown & Helen Morse.
|Title||A Town Like Alice / The Far Country / On the Beach|
|eBook format||Hardcover, (torrent)|
|File size||3.5 Mb|
|Book rating||4.18 (17 votes)