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Trustee from the Toolroom (Vintage Classics) [Paperback]

Nevil Shute Norway
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 Sep 2009 Vintage Classics
Keith Stewart is an ordinary man. However, one day he is called upon to undertake an extraordinary task. When his sister's boat is wrecked in the Pacific, he becomes trustee for his little niece. In order to save her from destitution he has to embark on a 2,000 mile voyage in a small yacht in inhospitable waters. His adventures and the colourful characters he meets on his journey make this book a marvellous tale of courage and friendship.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (3 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009952998X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099529989
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,225 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


"Something about this author's calm, deliberate style creates unexpected excitement... we are warmed by the justice and sheer pleasure of it" (Independent)

"Nevil Shute made me yearn for a faithful, plodding, Shute-type of man. I imagined us trekking across the Australian outback, finding a run-down hamlet, and then transforming it together until death or flood parted us" (The Times)

Book Description

A classic adventure from the author of A Town Like Alice and On the Beach.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Words to Live By 6 Jan 2001
This was Neville Shute's final novel, and perhaps derives much of its mood due to this. Best known for the depressing nuclear holocaust story On the Beach, Shute wrote this as a celebration of the simple pleasures in life. The protagonist Keith is an unassuming, married, but childless, middle-aged man living in suburban London (Ealing) with his working wife. He has forsaken a more lucrative engineering career in order to pursue his love of miniature modeling and a very meager income as a columnist for "Miniature Mechanic" magazine. When his sister and brother-in-law die in a shipwreck near Tahiti, he becomes the guardian and trustee for his 10-year-old niece. Next thing you know, Keith, who has never left the country, has to find a way to make his way to a remote Pacific island to recover a box of diamonds that was on the wreck. Shute writes convincingly of the things nautical and engineering Keith encounters on his adventure. Along the way he is aided by a somewhat improbable number of people who know him from his reputation in he world of miniature mechanics. It teeters on being trite and corny, but ultimately works as a celebration of karma. Keith has been a good, selfless man, and so other good, selfless men are willing to help him--and he ends up doing what he loves. At the end of his life, Shute returned to this basic message on how to live and love life, and it works.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read 14 Jan 2011
I won,t outline the story, others have already done so, and well.
This is one of my personal favourites that I have read and reread so many times.As films were made of "No Highway in The Sky" , "A Town Like Alice" and "On the Beach", it surprises me that Trustee from the Toolroom was not spotted as perfect film material. It has everything, excitement, travel, south sea islands and sex.Even the technical passages about building miniature engines I find fascinating.
Buy this one and treasure it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite book of all time! 9 Mar 2009
Timeless classic about an extrondinary journey taken by a very ordinary man. Not one of Nevil Shute's more well known novels, but underated in my opinion.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nevil Shute 4 Dec 2009
Nevil Shute to me is the amongst the the top five authors. Having read practically all the books he wrote. Finding this one amongst vintage classics was
a gem and did not disappoint. It was a wonderfully crafted story and a joy to read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overjoyed to see this title on Kindle.... 20 Oct 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
I was so pleased not only to see this title but a whole host of Mr Shute's work available on Kindle.
For me this is the best of Mr Shute's works and is one of my most favourite reads. If your looking for pleasing uplifting tale of one ordinary chap doing extraordinary things look no further, using quite unwittingly the network of enthusiasts and hobbyists who follow his monthly column is "miniature mechanics" (this is pre-social networking on the tinternet!) he sets out on a trip to the far side of the world to secure his nieces future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Shute 28 Jan 2012
The only downside of this terrific novel is that you need a fairly specialised vocabulary to understand some of the engineering references. Fortunately, my first indoor job was operating a lapper (a grinding machine capable of tolerances of a few ten thousandths of an inch) and I stayed in engineering throughout the '60s - so I loved the technical references. Much less firmly rooted in the middle-classes than Shute's customary work, this is a yarn of Keith Stewart's journey to the Pacific islands to bring closure to the deaths of his sister and her husband in a typhoon. Stewart is the engineer of the novel, but he is a model engineer, writing for a magazine in the UK. I always wondered if Elleston Trevor based the similar character in 'The Flight of the Phoenix' on Shute's work of four years earlier. Shute also conjures up one of my favourite characters in literature, Jack Donelly. Donelly, an illiterate ex US-navy man with a Polynesian mother, designed and built his own sailing boat and sailed it single-handed from the USA to Honolulu. His craft was lovingly-honed using a sure feel for what looked right, and perfected using trial and error. In these days of computer-designed fibre-glass catamarans, it is wonderful to read of a simple boat that worked well and looked good because the builder had an instinctive understanding of what is 'boat-shaped'. Donelly navigates by following the track of passenger aircraft crossing the Pacific during the day and the stars at night, firming his route as he nears land by observing birds, drifting debris etc and, it must be admitted, sometimes asking passing ships for his location. The almost broke Stewart sails with Donelly to Tahiti, where bureaucratic disaster threatens, only to be averted by the aid of the captain of an American luxury yacht. Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read, read and reread 15 Dec 2011
This is a book I have bought twice and have read three times and will probably read again. This author amazes me. His books are truly a treasure. I have old and new copies of his books,some vintage hardbacks. They are a treasure for me. You should by all means buy this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST NEVIL SHUTE , (in my opinion) 2 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved this book as a young man, bought a copy for my blue-collar father who, like Keith Stewart, the hero, was a mild mannered man of integrity.
Now I've retired I downloaded it and read it again. Such sweet writing. Not afraid to grasp the technical, not an unnecessary word, a story-line that moved me to tears several times, I loved it. How I regret the passing of the era it's set in. But it's not just a wallow in nostalgia, it's a well written, thoroughly satisfying novel. I commend it to all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
A really nice story another classic.
Published 20 days ago by Kerry O'Connell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful read
Published 23 days ago by J B Tempest
5.0 out of 5 stars through trials numerous
A beautifully neat tale of a modest character achieving great things for the sake of others. My favourite Neville Shute Story remains 'Round the Bend'. But this is very diverting.
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book which I first read 40 years ago. Still had the same unputdownable magic..Wonderful !!!!
Published 1 month ago by Michael Gibbons
5.0 out of 5 stars A stalwart.
What can I say other than it's a classic. One point, I think you'd have to be of a certain age, and male, to really appreciate this story.
Published 1 month ago by Herman Muttongleuber
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I'm a Nevil Shute fan and have read this far to many times. has become and obsession.
Published 2 months ago by Clive Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Delivery and Packaging Excellent. Book good too.
Published 2 months ago by Alan Tolson
5.0 out of 5 stars Atrue classic
For me a reread,as good as ever. I usually like crime etc but this is a morally uplifting read with a happy ending.
Published 2 months ago by A. Frost
1.0 out of 5 stars Ordered this book after enjoying 'A Town Like Alice', but so...
Ordered this book after enjoying 'A Town Like Alice', but so disappointed. Only part way through 38%, & finding it tedious & boring. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nici B.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for everyone.
A classic and one of my favourite Nevil Shute novels. Mind you all of them are worth reading.
Published 3 months ago by Jo
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