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
Here's a quote about one of the minor characters :
"Dwight was an American, a soldier of fortune by profession. Wherever there is trouble in the world the Dwights of all nations foregather. There are not very many of them, thirty or forty perhaps, and they are all supremely competent men because because the ot ...more
The narrator of Round The Bend is Alan Cutter, an aircraft engineer, pilot and entrepreneur who starts an air freight business in Bahrain. The story is the account of his frie ...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
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
This book is so matter-of-fact, I will write my review as much like it as possible. It is a first person book. There is virtually no description at all. There is only the story. It is a story about a person starting an aviation company in the Middle East. Somewhere early on, somebody dies, but there's no emotion in this book either, so there we go. It just happened. Much of it reads like a travel itinerary ...more
...we are not like that, we engineers. We are men of understanding and of education, on whom is laid responsibility that men may travel in these aeroplanes as safely as if they were s...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
The plot was slow going and the ending was severely disappointing to me. Would have given the book 4 stars if Shute hadn't blown the ending so badly.
I won't spoil it for you, but will just say that I needed things to work out better for the main character, Tom, in order to have the novel be satisfying and for the story to have any meaning to me.
Good points: well-written, and SO interesting to read about the Persian Gulf i ...more
From a humble beginning when he is 14 years old working as a clown in an aerial circus, Tom Cutter soon learns everything about maintaining the airplanes and eventually to fly them. During World War II he finds himself working as a civilian in Egypt helping keep all the British airplanes flying.
Following the war he has saved enough to buy a small Fox-Moth airplane. After this purchase and with his recently acquired knowledge of "the East," Tom begins a car ...more
Round the Bend is the least engaging of his novels that I've read so far. The protago ...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
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.