Round the Bend ~ Nevil Shute

► door: A.IJ. van den Berg

Whoever denies Nevil Shute’s work has any literary merit, at least has to be able to explain me what this book is lacking. Because, apart from offering a moving story, it asks a couple of fundamental questions, without offering the usual easy answers. Like, quite elementary: what is religion?

It’s a strange book this, that could be called the gospel according to Cutter, instead of Round the Bend. With the small reservation that the main character Tom Cutter doesn’t believe that his friend Connie Shaklin is anything more than someone who spends a bit too much time thinking about spiritual matters.

One advantage of is that Shaklin/Shak Lin inspires his colleagues, which makes them much better airplane mechanics. Which for one thing enables Cutter to run his business with an Asian staff, instead of more expensive European personnel.

Nevil Shute, Round the Bend
365 pages
William Heinemann ltd 1968, first printed in 1951