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An old captivity Paperback – 1965


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Product details

  • Paperback: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprint edition (1965)
  • ASIN: B0000CMQ2I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,482,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nevil Shute Norway was born on 17 January 1899 in Ealing, London. After attending the Dragon School and Shrewsbury School, he studied Engineering Science at Balliol College, Oxford. He worked as an aeronautical engineer and published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926. In 1931 he married Frances Mary Heaton and they went on to have two daughters. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve where he worked on developing secret weapons. After the war he continued to write and settled in Australia where he lived until his death on 12 January 1960. His most celebrated novels include Pied Piper (1942), No Highway (1948), A Town Like Alice (1950) and On the Beach (1957).

Product Description

Review

"Exhibits his talents at their provocative best" New York Times "Nevil Shute's books always have a real hero...intensely romantic along with the realism, intensely real along with the romanticism, and peculiarly absorbing" Sunday Times

Book Description

A classic adventure from the author of A Town Like Alice and On the Beach. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Here we follow the exploits of a pilot, Oxford Don and aloof daughter. An expedition by seaplane to trace the origins of a Norse settlement becomes a fascinating tale of drama, intrigue and history. The reader gets more than they bargain for with the clever flip in time but all becomes clear. The development of the characters as the journey progresses will keep all intrigued. Yet another understated read from one of our greatest storytellers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Shepherd on 14 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
Most people today think nothing of getting on airplane, and a few hours later, arriving at their destination half the world away with no more to complain about than poor service by the stewardess. It wasn't always this way, and even today going to some remote locations has at least some difficulties associated with it. This book details the adventures of three very disparate people, an Oxford don, his class conscious daughter, and an independent-minded pilot as they embark on a trip from England to Greenland during the mid-thirties in an attempt by the professor to prove that the Celts came along with the Norsemen during their exploration and colonization period of about AD1000.

Greenland is not a very hospitable place, with few inhabitants, almost no ports, unpredictable and typically highly inclement weather, and ice-locked most of the year. The preparations needed to go there at the time of this novel were extensive, approaching the level of effort of the Scott and Amundsen polar expeditions, though on a much smaller scale. Almost all of this effort falls on the shoulders of the pilot, from purchasing, assembling and testing an appropriate sea-plane to ordering supplies, obtaining the required documents, setting up logistical support bases, and finding and hiring an appropriately skilled photographer, all while working under a time deadline dictated by Greenland's very short summer.

Nevil's description of all of this work and the thought processes of his pilot are vivid, detailed, and highly believable. While progressing in the story line, his characters are richly developed.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Mar 2002
Format: Paperback
I have read this book perhaps five times, so much so that my old copy is falling apart! It is a satisfying story on many levels. Firstly, it is structurally sound. It has an old fashioned beginning, middle and end. Then the reader is led by the thoughts of the protagonist and identifies with his problems, desires and motivations. The characters are well developed and you want them to succeed. You care about them. The pilot's strengths and weaknesses are brought out and the girl's respect for him grows out of old fashioned class prejudice.
As with many of Shute's books, you have to read this one bearing in mind the class structure and ideas of the forties and fifties and the prejudices which middle and upper class Englishment carried around with them. If you can ignore these irritations and go with the flow, this is a hugely enjoyable and absorbing book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy Laverick on 25 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There's something incredibly reassuring reading this book. Time, love and archaeology rolled into one. Time and the discovery of a real Norse settlement in Newfoundland make the details wrong, but Shute's description of the voyage is brilliant. The flights, and characters are all well rounded and all live on the pages. A great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. W. A. M Burroughs on 31 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another really good read, all of his stories are different and all are the sort of book
you cannot put down
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tomtiger on 29 Jun 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is another of Shute's books that I have read and re-read over the past 40 or so years. I would not want to say too much about the plot for fear of giving anything away. But it is in essence a ghost story, but not one to leave one fearful or distressed. For it is also a love story whose end Shute leaves his readers to guess.
This is really one of his very best. I have read all of Shute's fictional works, and this is among the two or three than I consider to be his finest. I would thoroughly recommend it to all who have only recently discovered how readable he is, quaintly dated though he may be. But is is the datedness that is its real charm.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of my favourite of Nevil Shute's books. The ancient love story is so delicately written and the question left k. Your mind - was it real, or just a half remembered memory brought back by fatigue? A clever bringing together of old myths and archaeology together with Shute's favourite subject of aircraft maintenance. And an insight into early air travel!
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By Mr. E. Bray on 18 Jun 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Is it a ghost story, or isn't it?
The start is pretty innocuous, planning a trip to an out-of-the-way place, where the only access is by air, and the location and acquisition of a suitable aircraft for the (of course) rich scientist, his mad daughter, and a financially pressed pilot.
You will have to read it to find out what happens!
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