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Most Secret

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  547 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Aboard a fishing boat named “Genevieve,” a small group of British officers and French fishermen—armed only with a flame thrower and small arms—plan a secret commando mission against the might of the German army after the fall of France in World War II. Each man has experienced a terrible loss of one kind or another, and each is fully prepared to face the risks of their des ...more
ebook, 300 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Vintage (first published 1945)
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(showing 1-30 of 983)
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Ian Laird
May 25, 2015 Ian Laird rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, wartime
Nevil Shute led a full, varied and active life in peace and war, which informed his work as a novelist.

Shute was an aeronautical engineer with a successful business career in aviation, specifically airships. He flew his own plane to Australia after World War Two (to research On the Beach), and ultimately settled near Melbourne. Serving in the Royal Navy during the war, Shute worked on ‘secret projects’ which I’m willing to bet are not a million miles away from the events of this tale Most Secre
...more
Beverly Gray
Mar 10, 2012 Beverly Gray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have long been a fan of Nevil Shute. I was delighted to discover that a number of titles I have not read are now available for the Kindle and the Nook.

MOST SECRET was his usual job of craftsmanship. The characters were memorable and, as with many of his works, there was a subtle moral issue at the core of the book.

The following description comes from the book's product overview: Aboard a fishing boat named “Genevieve,” a small group of British officers and French fishermen—armed only with a f
...more
Lili
May 18, 2012 Lili rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, paperback
This is a book I read years ago and I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve read all of Nevil Shute’s books. The best by far is “A Town Like Alice.”
Zora
Jul 27, 2015 Zora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More convoluted narrative devices that slowed the book down. (I want to visit his grave and yell, "Just tell me the g.d. story!" But I guess that'd be weird. And ineffective.)

But, that said, a thrilling war tale with great characters. You really root for the rabbit guy and his Wren. The attack on the Germans is a horrendous thing, really, but he takes time to make you believe they'd all been logically brought to this morally ambiguous place.

It also struck me that there is no bloody way a book l
...more
Peter
Dec 10, 2014 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In truth this is a bit of "Boys' Own..." fiction. It was written mid-way through WW2, although I believe that actual publication was delayed almost until war's end. I'm an admirer of Shute's work, but acknowledge that it can be variable. I enjoyed the book, but I feel it's important to bear in mind the context of 1942 - just after the worst of Hitler's Blitz on Britain - before rushing to judgement on some of the sentiment and morality. Certainly do not start on Shute with this novel!
Jennifer
Aug 28, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
My least favorite of the Nevil Shute books I've read so far. I had a harder timer connecting to the characters. It was, however, still worth reading.
Vikas Datta
Nov 27, 2015 Vikas Datta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly vintage Shute! If you had to read one book about war, especially the demands it makes, the heroism it evokes and the cost it levies on the participants, especially those on the front lines, then you cannot do worse than to pick this one up. Not only does Mr Shute depict with immaculate detail the planning and the very 'nuts and bolts' of operations, the stories of the characters and the very structure of the narrative are engrossingly engaging.
David Foster
Sep 21, 2014 David Foster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great war story. Offers a better understanding of what French villages went through under German occupation. Nobody is a saint during war!
Derek Collett
Jan 05, 2016 Derek Collett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like the way this novel opens. A Brigadier visits a naval officer in London to ask for his help with a secret mission that the army wish to undertake against the occupying forces in Brittany. Shute reveals just enough information to lure the reader gently (but firmly) into his story. In fact, the opening is very reminiscent of that of the same author's The Chequer Board, as are the chapters that follow immediately after.

Shute then delves into the back stories of the four principal chara
...more
Jim
Nov 26, 2010 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wartime drama that lacked a certain amount of depth but made up for it by being a cracking yarn. I couldn’t resist of thinking often about women knowing their place, because they really do like fluffy bunnies as the Wren did in this story. The bloke did too, when he wasn’t bathing dastardly Nazis in sheathes of flame with his new and improved flame thrower. Another time another place, but that was part of the charm of the book, if charm’s the right word because there was also a hard-headed rea ...more
Ann
Jan 17, 2011 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read for people interested in WWII stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. In the middle of WWII, a group of unlikely young men come up with a plan to sail a Breton fishing boat that somehow ended up in England back to France. They plan to slip in with the fishing boats of Douarnenez under cover of night and destroy one or two of the German Raumboote that accompany the fishing fleet. Their secret weapon? A powerful flamethrower with a new and lethal fuel called "Worces ...more
Elinor
Jun 04, 2014 Elinor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a HUGE Nevil Shute fan. I adore his characters, his writing style, his characters, and his plots. Having said that, this is probably my least favourite book of his, simply because of the theme. Four British guys who all hate the Germans form a small commando unit with the express purpose of burning Germans to death with a newfangled flamethrower. Certainly this book was written in a different time and place, but I just couldn't get past the horror. I still love Shute, though.
Sean
Jan 17, 2015 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Love how the narrator is known to us as a minor character who interjects his thoughts and opinions from time to time. He seems like a delightful, stiff upper lip with a sentimental streak kind of fellow. Shute tells a story like he personally had it told to him and now he's passing it along.

The story itself is not one of his best but it's likely that that old easy chair you always find yourself in is not the best piece of furniture you own. It's just so familiar and comfortable that it's where y
...more
Clare Smith
Jun 02, 2015 Clare Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read with complex and layered characters who the author manages to portray surviving war times in a seemingly simple way. Having recently re-read Shute's first novel also I can really see how his writing had progressed by this novel. This novel is written eloquently and concisely.
Jeremy Trumble
This is a great story written during World War Two about some brave people and the lives they lead. It shows you how war effect people and the lives they lead. This is a great story written when the war was raging across Europe....
Logan
Jun 03, 2014 Logan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Nevil Shute's writing. It is very matter of fact and simple and clear, yet intriguing. I enjoyed this one.
Judy
May 10, 2014 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy Shute's books because of his clear and concise writing. An entertaining WWII story.
Michael Carlson
Oct 25, 2012 Michael Carlson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who knows where I got this book or why. And while I was reading it I thought it was a memoir while, in fact, it's a novel. But I'm glad I had it and even gladder I read it!
Most Secret is a novel written and set in England during the dark years of World War II when victory was at best a hope, not a certainty. It concerns the valiant efforts of a motley crew of agents who bravely try to disrupt the peace of German-occupied France. The book has aged well although it's black and white depiction of g
...more
Alaric
Dec 30, 2015 Alaric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb. It's Christmas time and I'm feeling generous -so 5 stars.
Jill Dean
Jun 28, 2014 Jill Dean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved the period writing and the swift action.
Scilla
Dec 30, 2013 Scilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by Nevil Shute. In this one a motley group take over a French fishing vessel, do damage to the Germans in Brittany, and bring hope to the fishermen of Douarnenez. Simon, born of an English father and French mother is working in France when the Germans come in. He does some spying and then gets to England and leads the group. One man is American; one signs up after his wife is killed in an early blitz on London; and the last is a chemist. The personalities are well described, a ...more
Linda
Aug 20, 2015 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this in 1956 and have re-read it now because my son and daughter and I are all reading (or re-reading) Shute as the case may be. I didn't remember this one at all, and aside from the grim subject matter of killing Germans by flame throwers during World War II, I enjoyed the book. Shute takes the time to give the background stories of his main characters so that the reader really gets to know and identify with them as the story goes on.

Liz
Oct 01, 2010 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fine WWII novel from Shute, with the usual mix of technical detail (in this case spy missions, flamethrowers, boats) and ordinary people that rise to the occasion and act nobly under pressure. This one had a little less strong of a plot and framing than some of his others, but if you're a Shute fan, you'll enjoy it anyway.
Dave
Jan 22, 2012 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, but not a great Nevil Shute because too many details on characters' lives and fictional sea skirmishes with the Nazis. Written during WWII and illustrates the British and French Resistance determination to kill German soldiers, as many as possible, and in any way possible - e.g. using a floating flamethrower.
Christiane
Feb 07, 2013 Christiane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I think N. Shute is a brilliant writer. I read most of his novels and found them interesting. There is always a streak of romance in them. But the people are real people, simple and described with lots of details. I like his description of war-torn Britain and what it does to people.
Julie
Classic Shute. A group of free French fishermen and British officers crew Genvieve to lead raids on German boats. Shute brings to the reader the stories of Genvieve's flawed, earnest and heroic crew.
Vicky Gauthier
Dec 15, 2013 Vicky Gauthier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Neville Shute book that will not disappoint.
Sophie
Apr 13, 2015 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't in the mood so will come back to it later.
Shaun
Nevil Shute at his storytelling best
Cameron
An old book, but it still reads well.
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Nevil Shute Norway was a popular British novelist and a successful aeronautical engineer.

He used Nevil Shute as his pen name, and his full name in his engineering career, in order to protect his engineering career from any potential negative publicity in connection with his novels.

He lived in Australia for the ten years before his death.
More about Nevil Shute...

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