I devoured this dystopia. Set in 1961 in Australia, the world is mostly dead from radiation poisoning. WWIII saw to that in under a month, but amidst the wreckage, we meet a small group of survivors trying to salvage their last days in the land down under. I read On The Beach at Laguna Beach. It was dark and depressing, unlike the weather, but also unexpectedly moving and sincerely sentimental. By exploding the situation with doom and gloom, Shute spotlights within his characters the profound meaning of everyday encounters shared between people, and celebrates this vernacular of quiet, everyday heroism.
I especially appreciated Shute's economic, press-on-quickly prose that wove together the tapestry of casual and intimate conversations, risky submarine missions, and lethal 'Grand Prix' Ferrari races of the novel. The whole afternoon reading experience felt surreal and left me longing to meet Commander Dwight Lionel Towers and his half-sweetheart Moira Davidson, Lieutenant Commander Peter Holmes and his wife Mary, in Connecticut too. [JG]
WHO IS NEVIL SHUTE?
Nevil Shute (1899-1960) was an Oxford graduate, aviation engineer, Navy officer who served in WWII, and novelist. His first work, Marazan, was published in 1926 and in his life wrote twenty other novels and one autobiography. I've received a few strong recommendations for A Town Like Alice as well as Trustee from the Toolroom, but if you have any recommendations for where to continue, I'm all ears. (I've also picked up The Breaking Wave, a murder-mystery set in post-WWII Australia, Shute's adopted homeland.)
Discovering Nevil Shute was a great reminder for me to continue tracing the creative lineages and preferences of other favorite writers.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE