Beyond the Black Stump ~ Nevil Shute

► door: A.IJ. van den Berg

This must be the book with the most boring and tight assed main character Nevil Shute ever wrote. Stanton Laird is a serious and hard working American dull-boy, and the love story told in Beyond the Black Stump was bound to end in tears. So, their breaking up came as a relief in the end.

Curiously enough, because the main character is so uninteresting all the other people in this book’s cast seem to get more room to shine. And a colourful bunch they are, gathered together in the Australian outback, in the old days before air-conditioning.

I liked the juxtaposition of the Australian outback against the rich and somewhat spoiled American life in the 1950s in this book, and the not too subtle culture criticism Shute allowed himself here.

Nevil Shute, Beyond the Black Stump
271 pages
William Heinemann, 1956 oorspronkelijk