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Landfall

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  693 ratings  ·  69 reviews
A romantic World War II adventure about the strength of true love and how it can overcome any obstacle. A British air reconnaissance officer falls for a pub waitress, but finds his lift in chaos when he accidentally bombs a British submarine, mistaking it for a German U-boat. What begins as a romantic fling develops into true love as Mona fights to present the evidence she ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published July 1st 2001 by Paper Tiger (NJ) (first published 1940)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  693 ratings  ·  69 reviews


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Ingrid
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Reading it for the second time hasn't changed my mind. It's a good and clever story. I read it for the first time when I was in my teens and I didn't expect to remember any of it, but after a few pages it all came back to me. How satisfying! I did have to put my 1940's specs on to enjoy it to the fullest :) ...more
Anne
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, ww2, audible
3.5 stars rounded up.

Landfall was written in 1940 so this is another Nevil Shute novel which deals with an aspect of WWII in England. It does not have Shute's trademark structure with the main protagonist, a "regular guy" (or gal), put in an unusual situation and asked to do something very difficult. Nor is the story narrated by the main protagonist; it is told from many POVs. Despite it not feeling like a Nevil Shute story, it is still a well-told story with terrific characters and it held my i
...more
Margie
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Margie by: My mom
Nevil Shute was an amazing storyteller in addition to being an aeronautical engineer, pilot, owner of an aircraft company that developed planes for the RAF in WWII and inventor of secret weapons for the war effort. How he did this and managed to write novels at the same time is mind boggling to me.

Landfall is a war story and a love story detailing the experiences of a young RAF pilot during the early years of the war. It was published in 1940 and takes place in 1939. Shute was simultaneously wr
...more
^
I’ve never been one for reading much in the way of novels, historical or contemporary; but thoroughly gripped, I read Nevil Shute’s “Landfall”, a Naval story (first published in 1940) at one sitting, totally immersed, utterly engrossed, barely noticing day change into night.

The topology given for the Hampshire coast between Southampton and Portsmouth reads believably. The plot and characters likewise stand up remarkably well. Over-the-top heroics, bathos, sulking, none of those unattractive tra
...more
Bill
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, war
The more I read his work, the more I love the writing of Nevil Shute. His book, Landfall, written in 1940, falls into his 'war' period of writing. In its simplest form, you could call it a war story. Flying Officer Jerry Chambers is a pilot of Angus aircraft. His mission is flying over the English channel with his crew of 3 and, following a grid, tracking ships sailing up and down the Channel and also looking for German U-boats that might present a threat to allied shipping. One mission he sees ...more
Sam
I actually rather enjoyed this book as it was nicely balanced between the action and horrors of war, the romance between Chambers and Mona and the despair he felt after the sinking of the submarine and the politics that followed as the RAF and Navy tried to blame each other. The writing is easy to read and engaging, bringing the characters and story to life while leaving just enough for the reader to build on from their own imagination. At first I wasn't particularly keen on Mona but she really ...more
Jim Puskas
Sep 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Typical of Shute's work, the story revolves around aviators and their cohorts during WW2. Rich in detail concerning military aircraft and military life in general, it celebrates the character of fairly ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges. The rigid class structure of early 20th century Britain, while slowly being eroded still pervades society -- for example the idea that a young officer's military career would be compromised by a marriage below his class is being challenged but is st ...more
David Dennington
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Engrossing World War Two Aviation/Love Story:
Warning spoiler alert.
An intriguing story of a young British pilot on coastal patrol who is given specific instructions not to bomb submarines within certain guidelines. He winds up bombing what he thinks is a German submarine outside the specified zone. This causes massive distress to all parties and to the pilot when signs that the sub had been British are found floating in the English Channel. The pilot is disgraced and sent away while the Navy f
...more
Sharone Powell
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
A pilot and a barmaid begin to date in the beginning of WWII in England. The pilot bombs an
unidentified submarine, later to be believed it was an English one. The young couple's love affair suffers as he is transferred somewhere else. The barmaid is resolved to help him reclaim his good name.

It's a short gem by Nevil Shute and is definitely worth your time.
...more
Taly
Oct 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice little book.
I couldn't understand much about the nature of the dangerous experiment the hero was involved, but that did not affect much my understanding and enjoyment of the story.
It's not the best of his books, but certainly worth reading.
I just love in Shute books how he describes the era. The language, the places, and people changed so much since the days of the 2nd world war.
...more
Greer Andjanetta
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A splendid story! This is the sort of book that people who read for pleasure should have. A story of two young people who meet and fall in love in England in wartime. One is an aviator who sinks a submarine while on a reconnaissance patrol and later finds out it might have been an English ship. Very much a "feel good" story. ...more
Peter
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Not Shute's best work - but worth a read. After some Boy's Own action sequences the plot concentrates on the determination of Mona - waitress in a café - to fight to expose an injustice which blighted the career of her pilot boyfriend. Shute is a bit variable in his portrayal of women and but Mona is one of his stronger female characters. ...more
Dave
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
As with all by Nevil Shute, the characters are vivid and believable. This story has Naval and electrical engineering stuff in it, too. A WWII story set in England, I wonder who reads this stuff anymore ...
Jenne
In order to make them last longer, I've decided to only read Nevil Shute books that I find in used bookstores, rather than trying to track them all down thru interlibrary loan.
This one was from the SFPL Friends of the Library bookstore.
...more
Lili
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paperback, novel
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.”
Vikas Datta
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superbly done... Mr Shute has a penchant for weaving a great story with all the necessary atmosphere and deft characterisation...
Dave Morris
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having recently abandoned two supermarket-fiction books (by Mark Haddon and Edward St Aubyn) halfway through for being too flip and hip, I turned to Nevil Shute as an author who believes in his characters unironically and makes sure we care about what happens to them. This one is set in the early days of the war and has none of Shute's trademark gimmicks (end of the world, view of the future, etc) but is fuelled by his usual fury at "the idiocy of the system".

This edition is riddled with errors,
...more
Sue
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii, fiction, england
RAF pilot Jerry Chambers destroys a submarine while on patrol of the English Channel during the early months of WWII. When British clothing is recovered from the site, it appears that he made a horrible mistake even though he’d seen no markings on the sub to identify it as British. He shares part of the story with his girlfriend and she believes him even as the Court of Inquiry considers him at fault. Can he move past this or will it permanently mar his record?
I think this is one of my favorit
...more
Nicholas Beck
This time around Nevil Shute manages to (mostly) rein in his rather alarming attitudes to women. Mona his main female character manages to save the career of her wartime air force lover who has become embroiled in a brouhaha regarding the sinking of a submarine which may or may not have been British or German. Ooh the suspense! Love conquers all despite the class structure that is beginning to crumble due to wartime exigencies. So even though women are dumb as hens, need a spanking when circumst ...more
Passports & Books
Found this little treasure at a used bookstore in Tallinn - Raamatukoi. It had an antique shop vibe with used books, postcards, maps, comics, posters, etc. Their collection of English novels were concentrated on classics set in wartime.

A fictional love story set in World War II - but published in 1940. A straightforward and well-balanced storyline alternating between the action in military vs. Jerry/ Mona's love affair. Shute has done a brilliant job in delivering believable characters who face
...more
Kate
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found an audible version so we listened to this for a road trip. It's not easy to find books my husband and I both enjoy. Nevil Shute so often does the trick and this is one we both really liked. The less you know about the plot the better. Unfortunately I knew a little too much. Nevil Shute loves airplanes and submarines and all sorts of boats. And gadgets. So this is a theme along with "boy meets girl". It's not so much the story as the way Nevil Shute tells his stories. Things unfold very c ...more
Trevor Garland
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A story of persons leading separate and very different life's in World War Two being brought together by circumstances for the good of each.

White is a fine author of the plain and simple circumstances of living in somewhat extraordinary circumstances. The story reveals aspects of the British navy and Airforce that fly below the standard reporting, and that reveals what otherwise would be missed. It is a soft and easy story to read; not long, but complete in illuminating struggle, defeat, and tri
...more
Elsa DeGelder
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A pleasant work of World War II fiction, which, thanks to actually being written in the forties, bears no lingering essence of Research or Anachronism that seem to plague so much WWII fiction written obviously more recently.
Nevil Shute tells a straightforward and honest story; I would speculate that his sense of perception and his attention to detail as a writer are assets that served him well also in his capacity as a mechanical engineer.
Amy Heap
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s really quite funny reading books written in the 50s, particularly in relation to attitudes towards women. Landfall in the story of a young pilot, at the beginning of WWII, who, just as he starts getting involved with a barmaid, bombs a submarine while on patrol, and is accused of sinking an English submarine. There’s romance, mystery, a bit of technical detail, though not as much as some Shute novels. An enjoyable read.
John
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again, this author has given me an enjoyable read with a well produced plot that was believable. As I have said before, I think there quality of his prose is very good although I did notice on this occasion that this prose was peppered with the word "upon"! I wonder if we all do that in our writing.

Because Shute was such a prolific writer, I can't imagine ever being without a good read just a click away.
...more
Gareth Evans
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Published in 1940, this is one of few books set in a war which are published before the war’s end. One might expect the book to be positive and patriotic, and it is, but not overly so. As a story, it’s pretty straightforward and decently delivered. As a historical record of the phoney war, the book gives a feeling for the time. Written later, I am sure the mood would have been different. Overall, an enjoyable read.
Michelle Welch
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I was facsinated by this World War II story of a sunken submarine and the not entirely impartial investigation into the British Air Force pilot responsible for bombing it. The fact that the book was written during WWII both lends great authenticity and makes some elements - like that era's remarkable condescension toward women - a little tough to swallow. ...more
Claudia
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love reading Nevil Shute's books. They are truer representations of the time periods and locations of which he writes than most historical novels written in recent years because he lived in the first half of the 20th Century and knows about that which he writes. No anachronisms or false narratives to be found. I always learn something when I read his novels. ...more
Alan Stuart
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit old-fashioned with sexist and outdated class views (but not out of place in its time period). A page-turning story told at a good pace. It is interesting that it was written about the opening months of the second world war and published in 1940 so what may seem historical today would have been fresh and immediate to its original audience.
Fiona
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book - classic war-time Shute. The best part was the tangle of assumptions that were made about the incident, relying on very basic evidence. It gave a feel of how low-tech the wars were, confirming how much we are now influenced by modern technology.
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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.

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