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Trustee from the Toolroom (1960)

de Nevil Shute

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
8262822,309 (4.19)77
Keith Stewart is an ordinary man. However, one day he is called upon to undertake an extraordinary task. When his sister's boat is wrecked in the Pacific, he becomes trustee for his little niece. In order to save her from destitution he has to embark on a 2,000 mile voyage in a small yacht in inhospitable waters. His adventures and the colourful characters he meets on his journey make this book a marvellous tale of courage and friendship.… (més)
  1. 00
    Campbell's Kingdom de Hammond Innes (devenish)
  2. 00
    Huntingtower de John Buchan (thorold)
    thorold: If you like adventure stories with modest, middle-aged heroes, Dickson McCunn and Keith Stewart are among the best of the breed.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 28 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This was the second of Shute's books I've read and I enjoyed very nearly as much as that first. Charming, engrossing, funny and very human. ( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
According to GoodReads, I've read eight books by Nevil Shute. This one is the ninth, and the one I've liked the least. The first half rather dragged. Then it got more Shute-like, and I did rather like the last half or so. Still, I think that, if you're trying Shute out for the first time, you'll find better books than this to begin sampling his work. This is ok, but as I just said, not his best, IMHO.

The story revolves around a rather ordinary man, Keith Stewart, who has a hobby of making small models of things in his basement machine shop. He builds little engines, electricity generators, clocks, and such like. He's quite the accomplished designer and machinist. He writes articles about his creations for a hobby magazine, Miniature Mechanics.

His brother-in-law and his spouse decide to move to Vancouver. But they thought to make the trip in their sail boat. They leave their daughter in the care of the Stewart and his spouse. Before going off, however, they call on Stewart's engineering skills to bury a sealed box, allegedly containing some of the wife's jewels, into the keel of their boat.

Well, they shipwreck on a coral reef in the South Pacific and die. Keith Stewart is left as the trustee of his niece's alleged fortune. It turns out that there doesn't appear to be much to the fortune. Shortly before leaving, the brother-in-law had converted all his assets into diamonds, and no one knows where the diamonds might be. But Stewart has an idea that he needs to get to the South Pacific to find the wreck and to discover what exactly was in that box he had implanted into the keel. Perhaps it's his niece's inheritance.

So, anyway, we follow Stewart's trip to the South Pacific and his work there. He has no money, so contrives to get to one place and another by the seat of his pants, so to speak. It turns out that his fame from having written all those articles in Miniature Mechanics opens up a few doors for him. Like all Shute books, there's a lot about sailing and engineering. I found some of it a bit more tedious than in all previous Shute books I've read. But still, all in all, it's a pretty GoodRead. I'm discovering that one pretty much can't go wrong with Nevil Shute.
( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
The plot of the novel hinges on the actions of a modest technical journalist, Keith Stewart, whose life has been focused on the design and engineering of scale-model machinery. He retrieves a treasure from the shipwrecked yacht of his sister’s husband in French Polynesia.
The book is well loved by tool lovers, especially engineers and model engineers, for its reverent treatment of machinery, tools, and craftsmanship. Several of the novel's characters come from groups subject to prejudice. The Hirzhorn family is Jewish, as is the diamond merchant Elias Franck. Jack Donelly is a 'coloured' American who is also illiterate and mentally 'deficient', although a talented boat-builder and sailor. The hero, Keith Stewart, is a 'working class' mechanic, although an extremely talented one. All four characters are portrayed in a positive light.
  MasseyLibrary | Mar 7, 2018 |
Trustee from the Tool Room - Nevil Shute *****

This is Nevil Shute’s final novel first published in 1960 it details the adventures of Keith Stewart, a brilliant but unassuming engineer. Keith is someone that is more than content with his life, despite never really having risen to his full potential. He is a writer for a magazine called ‘The Miniature Mechanic’ a job to which he devotes his entire life despite the less than glamorous wages. His sister is married to a naval officer who has recently retired, and decided to emigrate for a different way of life in British Columbia, but decide to travel there alone on their small yacht. Before setting off they ask Keith to do two things, firstly help them hide their diamonds in the ships ballast (all of their wealth was converted to diamonds for the trip) and to mind their ten year old daughter whilst they make the journey. Things however do not go to plan and Keith soon finds himself as the girl’s trustee and legal guardian. The family solicitor informs him that there are no funds left in the bank and therefore the child’s inheritance has been lost. The usually unadventurous Keith must decide on what course of action to undertake, and we soon see him travelling across the world on a limited budget, relying on the kindness of strangers and goodwill of the readers of his magazine. As much a book of morality, honesty and strength as it is of adventure.

What did I like?

What isn’t there to like? Shute is an author that I have discovered only relatively recently yet I feel as if I have known all my life. Yes, at times the books seem dated, but that is part of their beauty. He transports the reader to a time that probably never really existed, and yet we all wish we lived in. He doesn’t need to rely on violence or sex to sell you a story and ‘Trustee’ is no exception to this rule. The characters are warm, everyday people that find themselves thrown into extraordinary circumstances, although not so extraordinary that we couldn’t imagine them happening to ourselves. I don’t know what it is that draws me back to a Shute book, but he has the ability to drag me into the storyline and get lost there.

What didn’t I like?

Nevil Shute was an engineer by trade, and at times I sometimes felt a little bogged down by some of the technical descriptions, but to be honest they rarely detracted away from the main body of the story, and I probably picked up some free knowledge without even realising it.

Would I recommend?

If I had to recommend a Shute novel as in introduction to the author it would either be this or ‘On the Beach’. Whatever you normally enjoy reading I am sure you will find something here that will get you hooked. It is a real shame that his books aren’t seen more often. ( )
1 vota Bridgey | Jul 4, 2016 |
Camaraderie and goodwill see a humble British engineer halfway across the globe and back in his quest to fulfill his duties as trustee to his niece. This is a charming adventure story that's slow to build but well worth sticking with. Frank Muller's narration of the audiobook was amazing, as always. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 28 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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An engineer is a man who can make something for five bob that any bloody fool can make for a quid. Definition: origin unknown
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West Ealing is a suburb to the west of London, and Keith Stewart lives there in the lower part of No. 56 Somerset Road.
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Keith Stewart is an ordinary man. However, one day he is called upon to undertake an extraordinary task. When his sister's boat is wrecked in the Pacific, he becomes trustee for his little niece. In order to save her from destitution he has to embark on a 2,000 mile voyage in a small yacht in inhospitable waters. His adventures and the colourful characters he meets on his journey make this book a marvellous tale of courage and friendship.

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