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Beyond the Black Stump
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Beyond the Black Stump

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  369 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The expression “beyond the black stump” refers to the deepest, darkest wilds of the Australian outback, the setting for Nevil Shute’s novel of a romance tested by cultural difference. Stanton Laird is an American geologist sent to hunt oil in a remote part of Western Australia. There he befriends the highly unconventional Regan family, the rough-and-tumble owners of a mill ...more
ebook, 300 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Vintage (first published 1956)
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This is a great book with strong characters that are allowed the time and pace to develop properly. It takes place in both America and Australia and tracks the story of an Oregonian (Stanton) and an Australian (Mollie) as they come together and try their hand at love. It is not a sappy love story though - rather it deals with the trials, misunderstandings and controversy that are inherent in close relationships between people who physically come from worlds apart.
Nevil Shute does a wonderful job of exploring Australia from a British point of view and examines the post WWII lifestyles of both America and Australia with a unique perspective that always interests me. This story focuses on a young man raised in a small town in Oregon and his time spent on the Australian frontier. The comparison/contrast between what America now (or at least mid 20th century) considers "wild country" and the vast "lunatic" frontier of Australia is interesting. He does a beaut ...more
I love stories about the taming of Australia. Beyond the Black Stump satisfies this craving, describing life in frontier sheep grazing portions of the country as seen from the eyes of an American geologist traveling there to explore for oil. The culture differences between his life and that of the people he meets is interesting and at times incredibly funny, although also sobering and sad as well. Shute does a good job telling the story and the book easily kept my interest throughout.

If you like
The way the author explored the notion of how different cultures judge outsiders made for a terrific read and some pretty humorous situations. The ways the author was able to illustrate the difference between progress and development was intriguing too. The story of the taming of the kangaroo mouse must have started out true somewhere! The picture of that creature and it's master is too detailed to be made up! Somwhere, at some time there must have been a man who really did mince up bugs and che ...more
Clare Smith
I read all of Shute's books when I was a teenager, however this one was missing from the set. Now I found it online ($45 phew) in order to complete the set that my parents are going to pass on to me now some 35 years along.

It was a real surprise to read this final novel and thoroughly enjoy it. I was concerned that this many years on I may no longer have found the style or content relevant. But the memory of the authors other works was not disappointed. The story itself is at face value one of t
copied and pasted review from "KIRKUS REVIEW
A good idea and bad execution- a disappointment for Nevil Shute enthusiasts. Frankly, for this reader, it has the earmarks of something written earlier in his career- and inadequately revised. The thread of plot is adequate enough- but the dialogue, particularly the lame attempt to simulate middle class American speech, is amateurish and thoroughly annoying. Let's hope the English public won't accept it as authentic. (It must be comparable to an Americ
Beyond The Black Stump is by my sister’s favourite author, Nevil Shute. If you like Steinbeck, you’ll probably like Shute.

This author, who started life out as an engineer, writes books about foreigners and their interactions with Australians and Australia around the 1950s. As a English immigrant to Australia at the time, he has a talent for capturing the sensibilities and curiosities of Australia of the time, and expresses a true fondness for his new country, often in comparison to an England h
Jim Puskas
As Nevil Shute's stories go, this one is about middling. Parts of it reminded me of the latter portion of "A Town like Alice" but it doesn't measure up to that one. It lacks the great characters of "Trustee from the Toolroom" and the suspense of "The Chequerboard" but if you enjoy Shute as I do, you'll probably find this one a good read. If you're not really a Shute fan, you may want to give it a pass.
Lucy Gray
Loved this book - there's a simplicity about Shute's plot and writing that belies his understanding of human nature. Particularly surprised and impressed with his female characters in this novel.
Stanton Laird works for an oil company as a geologist. Recently in Arabia, he has a month vacation at home in Oregon before he is sent to Western Australia to check out a very remote site for the possibility of oil. Stanton is very fond of his family and hometown Hazel, and he and his best friend (who shared everything including girl friends during high school) go deer hunting with bow and arrow. In the Australian outback, he meets Molly at the sheep ranch on the property where he is working. Mo ...more
Hans Guttmann
Not his greatest work, but I like his writing. Nice backdrop, time and place, US & Australia 1955. I guessed the ending.
I did not enjoy this book. Written more for male readers I think and never finished it
I've read all of Nevil Shute's books. Have not read On the Beach recently but plan to.
Trustee of the Toolroom is also a ******
Joy Guenther
My second novel by Nevil Shute and I'm definitely a fan! Great read, with cultural mores of a different time, but if you can get past that, quite an interesting story.
it is a story of two frontiers; western US & West Australia. American geologist,Stanton Laird, working for the Topeka Exploration Co.meets Mollie Regan & they fall in love. They discover the local customs & free way of life Mollie has led clashes with her prospective in-laws when she goes to visit them in Orego & caused a serious barrier.
A hard book for me to figure out. Intellectually, I knew the scenes connected meaningfully, but emotionally, it was a string of scenes that I could never really get interested in. Only one character seemed to experience any growth, and she was not the protagonist, leaving me to wonder what the point of basing a story around him was.
Nevil Shute is a great story teller. Greatly enjoyed this story of oil exploration in Australia - similar to what is happening in North Dakota now. A modern western set in Australia.
This is an interesting view of two people in love who have to bridge the gap between cultures. Despite feeling that 'Western' cultures aren't that different, differences abound.
Marie Murphy
Life in the 50's in both Australia and the small town of Hazel, Oregon.
Wonderful contrast and a great read. Makes you wonder who is the more civilized!
American geologist Stanton Laird goes to the Australian outback to search for oiland falls in love with Mollie, a girl from a farm family there.

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.”
Quick easy read. An insight in to Australia and America in the 50's. I enjoyed this, though some of Shute's other books are better
My third favorite story by this author. So good.
I find I really enjoy all of Nevil Shute's books.
Jen Hicks
Not my favorite book by Nevile Shute
Susie Brekke
Just thought it was a bit depressing...
Hard to beat Nevil Shute.
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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...
A Town Like Alice On the Beach Trustee from the Toolroom Pied Piper The Far Country

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