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22gigantes.com - Three reputations cling closely to the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford. To the clever people it is the Reading Room of the famous Bodleian Library and, as such, entitled to the utmost veneration. To tourists and sightseers it is a quaint old circular building, from the roof of which a fine view of the colleges can be obtained. But to the young undergraduates it has more unusual associations, for that same circular roof is one of the very few places in the city of Oxford where they can meet in intimate conversation unchaperoned. Nobody else connected with the University ever dreams of going up there.
Most helpful customer reviews 24 of 24 people found the following review helpful. A Remarkable First Novel and a Good History as Well By Dr. Hypersonic STEPHEN MORRIS (inc. PILOTAGE) is both a compelling work of fiction and a very fine and thinly disguished memoir/history of the early days of British aviation immediately after the First World War. It is so good, in fact, that one wonders why he chose not to publish it: it did not appear until after his death. In its graceful and arresting writing, it anticipates his later aviation-theme novels, and in its glimpse of the proto-British aircraft industry, it calls to mind his autobiography SLIDE RULE. Shute, of course, made his living as a professional aeronautical engineer and stress calculator (as Nevil S. Norway), working for de Havilland on early biplane transport development, then the Vickers concern during the great days of British airship development, and then as a founder of the Airspeed company, a firm noted for the production of small, very high quality executive aircraft and trainers. As a novel, STEPHEN MORRIS and PILOTAGE (the two works are linked) anticipate those great novels of Saint-Exupery, SOUTHERN MAIL and NIGHT FLIGHT. As well, they call to mind Ernest Gann's best fiction, particularly his book BLAZE OF NOON. Shute understands the world of the airman (he was an accomplished light aircraft pilot), and, given his participation in the industry at the time, naturally understands the course of the field as well. This, too, echoes Saint-Ex and Gann. I would recommend that readers read all of these works to gain their own perspective on Shute, Saint-Ex, and Gann, as novelist-airmen and (in the case of Shute) as a designer and entrepreneur as well. In sum, STEPHEN MORRIS and PILOTAGE need to be read far more widely than they have been, and considered as major contributions to the early popular understanding of flight. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. Loved Stephen Morris By Mike Loved Stephen Morris. Simple, unsophisticated, and just everyday stuff. I find these novels set in the 20's and 30's really help me understand my parents and grandparents and the way they were and lived.Much enjoyed, and a fascinating glimpse of the great writer's early thinking. 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. garbled text in Kindle edition? By J Austin I read all the Nevil Shute novels years ago and am now seeing if I can find good Kindle editions. So far I've downloaded 2 and read the sample for this one. The sample for this one had the same problem as one of the others - apparently the text is scanned in and then never proofread or something because many of the words make no sense. In the sample, the word "die" was substituted for "the." The other one I downloaded was far worse - if I hadn't already read it about 10 times and had it practically memorized I wouldn't have been able to follow at all. For those who have downloaded the kindle edition for this book - did you notice a lot of this garbled text? See all 9 customer reviews...
An example of trim, professional storytelling with technical know-how (splendid accounts of flying, driving by night, and sailing) giving extra thrust to the narrative. --ObserverThe English novel's only down-to-earth romantic... there is a quality of golden light that hangs over his books. That comes, I think, from his sense of order and from his own vast, undemonstrative solicitude. --Guardian 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).
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