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The story is set during the opening months of the Second World War and it concerns a young pilot, Roderick 'Jerry' Chambers, who is part of an air patrol unit guarding the southern coast of England – around Portsmouth. One day, Chambers sees a submarine and, believing it to be German, attacks with his weaponry and bombs. The submarine is sunk. Back at the base, it is revealed that the sunken submarine was, in fact, a British vessel. Chambers escapes discipline but is censured and posted far away to the north of England. Meanwhile, by a curious chain of coincidences, his love interest, Mona Stevens (a local barmaid), discovers that the submarine was, in truth, a German vessel – it having previously attacked and sunk the missing British sub that Chambers was accused of sinking. Chambers is offered a chance to redeem himself in a dangerous mission to test a new marine attack system. His plane explodes in mid-air but he survives, and manages to make his report. The novel ends with his transfer, as an instructor, to a pilot training school in Ontario with Mona, now his wife.
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Nevil Shute Norway was born in London and worked as an aeronautical engineer at Vickers before setting up his own airship company. Worried that his reputation as a fiction writer would damage his engineering career, he wrote without using his surname. He served in both world wars and was a commander in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in World War II, working on secret projects. After the war he became a full time author completing a fictionalised account of his war time experience in 'Most Secret'. Moving to Australia in 1949 he based seven of his novels against that background including his most successful title On The Beach. This was subsequently a hugely successful film starring Gregory Peck, Antony Perkins and Ava Gardner and became arguably the major after the bomb movie of all time. Shute became one of the top selling authors of the 50s and 60s with wide appeal to a broad international market attracted by strong story lines which were always meticulously researched..Review:
"A story that grips the reader with its quiet veracity, its truth to character, its understanding of the young man of the R.A.F and the nature of their job, of the so much owing so many to so few. The story has pace and excitement, unforced sentiment and wholly unaffected gaiety...Alive, humourous and finely restrained in feeling throughout...fascinating descriptions of Service operations...thrilling and eloquent" * Times Literary Supplement * "A admirably good story, full of drama and good humour" * Evening Standard * "A good simple story...genuinely moving" * New Statesman * "Direct, simple, wholly free from highfalutin nonsense and entirely charming" * Daily Mail * "Exciting reading of war on land and in the air" * kirkus reviews *
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Book Description Ballantine Books. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0345226615 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.2072871