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Preview — Round the Bend by Nevil Shute
Round the Bend
With little more than personal grit and an antique aircraft, Cutter organizes an independent flying service on the Persian Gulf. He sees opportunities everywhere, also dangers.
"In Cutter's growth from pro...more
Nevil Shute was a great writer and a wonderful person. Aviation in his time did for those few people who pursued it what the internet does in ours for everyone: makes the world into our own small neighborhood. Connie is one of my favorite characte ...more
This one, other the other hand, involved Tom Cutter, a Brit whose main emotional ties were with aircraft from the time he was very young. The novel is rather like a tedious log of flying and buying various planes as he builds his own flying business in the Middle East and Asia from his home airfield of Bahrain -- an is ...more
Perhaps what I like best is that is seems the last kind of book a post-Victorian English Man would have written, especially one born into the “upper middle class”. He treats the "non-Europeans" like people, and not "wogs". He shows disdain for Europeans who do treat people like "wogs". As a wog myself I appreciate ...more
Anyways, this book had all the features of a true Shute book and I got hooked pretty quick.
What stopped me from giving it 5 stars was that I found the main character Tom somewhat self-righteous (he kinda lacked flaws the way he portrayed himself and I like when they come out a bit rough, so I can relate...) and al ...more
Round the Bend is one book where you really should avoid spoilers. Specifically for the last page, which will turn many of your perceptions on their head and also cause you to rethink other things you have read.
The (non spoiler) plot follows the progress of aircraft pilot and engineer Tom Cutter who establishes a charter airline business in the Arabian Gulf, shortly after the second world war. This is a fascinating journey ...more
If done to the best of one's ability, any work, whether humble sweeping or intricate mechanical engineering, is an offering to God and mankind.
The book also contains interesting detail of the day to day running of an air freight business based in the middle east, and it's expansion to the far east.
Both practical ...more
I got this after hearing that it was the inspiration for Illusions, my favorite book ever. I can sort of see why people say that, but I don't see it that way. Round the Bend is about religion and airplanes, yes, but it's also about entrepreneurship, colonialism, guilt, and most of all, it's about how we're all basically human beings ...more
Very broadly, it's about an English guy who starts up an air charter company in Bahrein in the late 40s, but that's also not what it's really about.
I think that at the time it was actually trying to be racially progressive, but nowadays it reads as Orientalist and colonialist and so on, ...more
What sets Shute apart from many other writers is his constant dabbling with spirituality, religion and other parts of the human condition not often covered in such a profound way in fiction. In this one he got everything perfectly balanced.