i admire nevil shute's discipline. he was passionate about this book at the time he wrote it. he was worried (he was not alone) that the world was going to hell in a hand cart. he wanted to warn us of danger just over the horizon, just as he had done in "corbetts" and "no highway". yet despite this passion he managed to quell the exclamation marks. he has written the most chilling doomsday novel with such matter of fact directness that you have to believe it. you keep hoping for a way out, but steadily, inexorably you realise there is no escape. there is no ripping, blasting destruction, just the inevitable approach of the big sleep. nevil shute likes to fill his books with people in his own image, striving to "do the right thing", hard working and phlegmatic. in a time and place where we have buggered up everything, he still makes us proud of what we can be. this is a devastating book, made more so by the way shute portrays the courage and nobility of his characters in confronting the hopelessness of their situation.
it must have been truly a chilling read back in the sixties.
think i might move to hobart