Ally Armistead's Reviews > Pied Piper

Pied Piper by Nevil Shute
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Oct 31, 2010

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Read on October 31, 2010

Three out of five stars for Nevil Shute's "Pied Piper," a story of an old man who risks his life to deliver six children to safety during the second world war. A huge fan of Nevil Shute (ever since I read "A Town Like Alice"), the "Pied Piper" was not in the same league, unfortunately, though still a pleasant read.

Written in spare, muscular language, and juggling the flavor of German, French, and British diction, the novel has a relaxing, meandering pace to it, despite the suspense of the subject matter.

The story is a straight-shooter, a plot of economy, and simply follows the journey and obstacles of an old man and a band of ever-growing children. The novel sticks to this narrative fiercely, rarely venturing off-course into back story or flashback, which makes for a very one-dimensional story arc, and provides very little insight into the old man, his grief over the loss of his grown son, or his deeper, more complex motivations as to why he might venture on such a risky adventure for these children.

However, the book is charming in its descriptions of the children--each his or her own little personality--and in the interaction between an old man and gregarious youth. The book also offers a fascinating look at the German invasion of France, the propaganda against the British, and the differences and history between the people of France and England.

I'd highly recommend "Pied Piper" for any fan of WW II literature, and sentimental stories.

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