Book Review: Trustee from the Toolroom, by Nevil Shute

Shute was a professional engineer in the aeronautical field for many years, before focusing on his writing, and eventually publishing twenty-three works, all with the same firm. He was born in the UK in 1899 and lived in Australia for the last ten years of his life, passing away in 1960 at a relatively early age. "Trustee" is a good example of the use of his engineering background, with plenty of technical descriptions of the weather, sailing, airplanes, yachts, aviation techniques, machining methods for metal, and the handling of temperatures of fluids in hot systems. If you are a bit glossy-eyed from the previous sentence, you will "get" the feeling at times during this 300-ish page work. But it's worth it to follow the exacting twists and turns as an "every-day man" plans and executes and outsmarts the legal systems of the UK in particular to secure the righteous inheritance for his niece, for whom he is the trustee. In the process of his adventures, he succeeds in ways not planned but deserved. To conceive of the various intricate twists and turns is way past normal creativity, and to include these with a story of human kindness and perseverance is a triumph, if one can stay with details upon details.

3 Responses

  1. I'm probably the person who recommended this book to Jim. I reread it whenever I need reminding that there are good people in the world.
  2. JK James George
    From DK by email: I read On the Beach when I was about 17. Cold war days. Scared the hell out of me.
  3. JK James George
    From Anon-1: Hi Jim. I've "read furiously" since my older sister and my mother taught me how. I read only non-fiction now: history, biography, memoir. I still have your book, Contact Sport on my Kindle and it's about time to re-visit it.

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