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Trustee from the Toolroom Hardcover – May 24, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0892440160 ISBN-10: 0892440163

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Amereon Ltd (May 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892440163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892440160
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #479,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

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).

More About the Author

Nevil Shute Norway was born in 1899 in Ealing, London. He studied Engineering Science at Balliol College, Oxford. Following his childhood passion, he entered the fledgling aircraft industry as an aeronautical engineer working to develop airships and, later, airplanes. In his spare time he began writing and he published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926, using the name Nevil Shute to protect his engineering career. In 1931 he married Frances Mary Heaton and they had 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 in 1960. His most celebrated novels include Pied Piper (1942), A Town Like Alice (1950), and On the Beach (1957).

Customer Reviews

An excellent story, well written.
Ian Kovnats
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.
A. Ross
I loved it 30 years ago and it was great to re read again.
J. Carlisle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on March 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this one when it was printed before ISBNs came into being. Before I left London & it has always been my favorite Nevil Shute story.
In this age of in-your-face language & novels saturated with every evil event a human's mind can plausibly conjure up, this master storyteller's quiet & lean prose about real, ordinary people & their choices, entices you into one man's little life of miniature models, hardworking wives & honoring one's vows.
From an unpeturbed basement workshop to the paradise of the broad Pacific ocean, a middle-aged man, more comfotable at his workbench than jetting across the world, takes on a mission to retrieve a treasure he himself hid in the ballast of his sister & brother-in-law's wrecked sail boat.
For the sake of his niece, he leaves the safety of his suburban routine to travel far & wide to bring her inheritance back.
A deeply satisfying & redemptive read, of a time long ago, when things were a lot more simple & simple honor was a lot more evident.
Warms your heart, soothes your soul & tells a good story as well!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The last line of this novel tells it all about the protagonist, Keith Stewart: "He was ...supremely happy". Keith was happy because he forsook more renumerative possibilities to do what he wanted to do most; design and write in the arcane field of "miniature mechanics" or model engineering, working out of a machine shop in his basement. In addition he is also a very moral and responsible human being.
In typical Nevil Shute fashion, the book's plot consists of a wonderful, almost believable adventure during which Keith travels to the South Pacific and Washington State to save an inheritance, but it is really a portrait of Keith and how the goodness of ordinary people, personified by the warmly drawn out characters, will conquer all adversity without resorting to too much guile. Besides Keith there is his wife Katie, their niece Janice, errant boat bum Jim Donnelly as well as a kind-hearted lumber magnate, Sol Hirzhorn, and his family. All are good people and the story ends well.
If all this sounds trite, I suppose it is in these cynical times, but that does not prevent "Trustee" from being a marvelous read. I have re-read it many times and, perhaps more importantly, have learned that model engineers like Keith and the magazine he wrote for really exist. Largely as a result of reading this book, I have taken up the hobby myself, including my very own basement workshop, and work on projects taken from magazines similar to the fictitious one Keith wrote for. Reason enough to love a work of fiction.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Gary M. Greenbaum on July 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Keith Stewart lives quietly in suburban London, working free-lance for a model mechanic magazine. His sister and brother in law have him hide a jewel box aboard their sailboat just before they emigrate to Vancouver. But when the ship goes down in the South Pacific with them both, Keith must not only raise their young daughter, but must seek to retrieve the jewel box from the wreck.
Keith has never before left Britain, and is very much a fish out of water. But there's not that much suspense to this story, as he finds that many people who have read of his work are delighted to help him along.
All the same, it isn't an easy trip for Keith, but it is a far easier one for the reader, with a fine read and memorable characters.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Arline Curtiss on April 19, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. A simple story about an unassuming man who has turned his avocation of fabricating small machines into a modest occupation that makes his everyday existence a pleasure for himself and his equally unassuming and good-hearted wife. He decides to embark upon a quest to reclaim his niece's lost inheritance--a treasure chest of diamonds hidden by himself and her father on the wrecked ship in which both her wealthy upper-class parents were killed. He does not want the diamonds for himself but the education and future of his niece which he will not be otherwise able to supply on his own rather meager income. So the hero starts out on a trip half way around the world with not enough money and no legitimate assurance that he will even make it back alive, much less win the prize. He knows it is a long shot. But, with the encouragement of his wife who will hold down the fort at home, he embarks upon this high-seas, dangerous journey simply because he thinks it's the right thing to do. He wouldn't feel right if he didn't try. That he might fail is not the important thing. This very rational, prudent man who has lived what many would consider a rather dull life of habit and order will now put all his trust in the enexpected and taste a life of risk and adventure. Very inspiring.
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