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Minutes of  the Cape Cod Nevil Shute Meeting on April 9, 2017
Last Sunday, April 9, the Cape Cod Shute group met at Wimpy's in Osterville.   Art, Joan, Judi N, Marianne, and Sally attended.    I will admit that Judi, Marianne and I definitely took the long way but we made it.   Wimpy's supplied us with a small room; we were able to stay and talk about Pied Piper for as long as we wanted.  Therefore, it may have been the most book chatting we have done in a long time.  Also Howard  instructed us to spend more time talking about the book!!!    We all agreed that this is a tremendous book; seems even more so as the years have past.  Some of us have read it many times, each of these readers found something to speak of that we had overlooked in the past.  We remembered the gist of the story but had forgotten many of the details. Shute's ability to depict interesting characters of various ages with unique personalities, is  so evident in this book; even some appropriately evil ones.   If ever a book could have a sequel this is surely one of the best.  There are 3 or 4 reviews on the Nevil Shute Norway home page, definitely interesting, I recommend them.   

Our next meeting will be  August 20, reading Landfall, which we have not read many times before.   We will meet on the beach in Brewster near  Marianne's house, each of us bringing a lunch and a chair!!  Marianne and Judi will provide drinks. 

  Sally Rossetti recorder.
Minutes of the Cape Cod Nevil Shute Meeting on December 11, 2016
The Cape Cod Nevil Shute Chapter met on December 11 at  Larry and Judie Rachman's home in Falmouth.   As they live on an airstrip it is so appropriate for Shute people to meet there, wonder what Shute would have thought of this group, am sure he would have approved, always awesome to be at their home and hanger!!.   Those attending were Larry and Judie, Art and Joan, Judie Novak, Howard Steiffert and Sally Rossetti. As always we had excellent food, Judie had made pulled pork in her slow cooker, was perfect, a real treat for us all.   
We had read The Chequer Board, for some of us a "many time" reread.   We all greatly admire this novel and are happy to reread.  Art always tells us that it is his favorite.  Shute uses his skills intricately in this writing. There is one main hero and other minor characters, all very compelling.  The action takes place in several very different locations and is connected skillfully by the author.  A review on the foundation page tells us that in this book  Shute shows his intentions to write future novels that will address the topics of bigotry, injustice, and intolerance, all part of the very well constructed novel Chequer Board, and we know that he does continue with these themes.   Some of us felt that the book's last chapter is some of his best writing.  We admired the final line   when  Mr. Turner is asked by his doctor "Well, Mr. Turner, what have you been doing since I saw you last?"

Our next meeting will be at Judi Novak's home in Brewster.  We will reread another favorite The Pied Piper. The meeting will be on April 9 at 12:30, menu to be decided! 
Secretary,    Sally Rossetti  


Minutes of Cape Cod Nevil Shute Meeting, September 11, 2016

Those attending were Art and Joan Cornell, Judi and Larry Rachman, Marianne Smith, Sally Rossetti, Howard Seiffert and a California visitor, Jack Ayer – Sally’s brother. We met at the Yarmouth House restaurant in South Yarmouth. We sat next to a scenic large paddle water wheel.

We read No Highway. This book was made into a movie starring Jimmy Stewart. We all agreed that Stewart was the perfect actor to portray the lead character, engineer, and researcher, quirky, Mr. Honey. The plot involved a problem of possible metal fatigue of a Reindeer airplane used on long distance commercial flights. Our meeting occurred on the same weekend of the release of the movie Sully which also involved the study of possible plane fracture, an interesting coincidence.

A number of interesting and colorful characters tell the story, narrated by one of them, Dr. Scott. This is a technique Shute uses in many of his books. Art commented that he thought Shute was wrong to have Mr. Honey use a planchette to actually locate the tail of the Reindeer. Previously in the book, Mr. Honey said, “But there ought to be more time for scientific work” and then he employs an Ouija board to prove his scientific work – not very scientific.

Howard mentioned that the book could have had more discussion. We will try to do that in the future.

Helen Yeomans commented in the Nevil Shute Foundation book reviews that No Highway took place, “during one of its periodic collisions with reality when the sum of human knowledge leaps upward and mankind’s horizon become suddenly wider.” Sound familiar?

Next meeting will be December 10 or 11, to be determined, at Larry and Judi’s house in Falmouth. We will read The Chequer Board.                                   Secretary,      Sally



Minutes of the Cape Cod Shute meeting June 26, 2016

The Cape Cod group met on June 26th at the Cornell’s home in Osterville.  Attending were Art and Joan, Judi Novak, Marianne Smith, Frank Yow, Sally Rossetti and a new enthusiastic member Howard Streifford.  We reread The Rainbow and the Rose published in 1958, his next to last book, although 2 early ones were published after he died.  This book supplied many threads for us to discuss.  We noted that the main colorful character had died before the writing began; last meetings choice (The Breaking Wave) also started with an already deceased heroine.  Johnny Pascoe’s life is told through a series of dreams that Ronnie Clark experiences in some heavy dreams and the heroes life is slowly unfolded in a most compelling way.   Ronnie Clark moves between his real life and the dream life in an amazing well constructed way that often fooled us for a bit!  We   may have discussed this book in more depth than any other we have recently read.  Therefore we had one of our longer much enjoyed meetings!!   The Cornells had prepared delicious shish kabobs; there were other excellent treats as always!!   Since Howard had not read any Shute previously, we spent some time suggesting our choices for a new reader, in the end think we probably settled on The Checker Board.    Next meeting is scheduled for September 11 at Judi Novak’s home in Brewster. After much discussion we selected No Highway, maybe also finding a copy of the film to view.

P.S .  Frank and Howard have since told us how much they enjoyed our meeting, as of course, we all did too.


Minutes of the April 10, 2016 Meeting
     Cape Cod chapter met at the British beer Company in Falmouth on Sunday April 10.   It was a beautiful and cold day.  We met at the British Beer Company in Falmouth located directly on the stunning waterfront.   We had read Shutes book The Breaking Wave,also titled Requiem for Wren published in 1955.  Some of us had read it more than once, but we were all better read this time than the last meeting in January.   It is a dark story using the technique of revealing the ending in the first chapter.  This does not work very well in some books but seems to do the job  nicely for this story.   We were  all very positive in our reactions to the read.   Some of us mentioned that it didn't seem likely that the hero could climb ladders and walk long distances using artificial feet, made for him after his war injuries in the 1940s as Shute writes of his activities.   Some also felt that the final comment regards the heroes future was not  a likely scenario.  Shute did not write sequels, most of his books could  easily use one.   We had another fine day, a great group!  Our next meeting will be at Joan and Art's  home in Osterville on June 26 at 1:00.   We will read the Rainbow and the Rose.  When Art mentioned that he could still remember the last line in The Rainbow and The Rose, we decided to have a last line quiz at our next meeting   
     Sadly our long time member, Margaret, died this past year.  We will miss her.  We will miss her hospitality and especially her contributions to our meetings, particularly when Shute's books were located in England as her knowledge and memories of her home country always added greatly to our discussions as a special feature.

Sally Rossetti, Secretary 



Minutes of January 9, 2016

Yesterday we had one of our more unusual Shute meetings.  We had deiced to meet Off Cape at Tbones in Plymouth.   It was great fun, a restaurant with lots of interesting  food choices but pretty noisy!!   First time I can remember that practically none of us had read all of the book and some not at all.   Truly we are all still great Shute fans but Slide Rule is a bit of a challenge, its  long discussions about making calculations more meaningful to the engineers in this group than the ones  who aren't!!  Paul had just moved so had not had time, Art's Joan is in the hospital recovering from knee replacement surgery so he has been busy with support for Joan.  Judy N. had not been successful with the download on her kindle.  I am pretty sure Judi R had not read it either! Marianne who was not able to attend had read about 80 pages as had I.   Larry, I think, had read it all, he is a trooper!   I know Art had read it once a while ago and honestly so had I.  I forgot to tell the group that Art had  decided to try and come.  When he appeared everyone was surprised and happy!!   We all had a splendid  time in spite of our negligence to the book at hand.   Our next book will be Requiem for  A Wren.  We will meet on April 10 at a restaurant in Falmouth to be determined by Larry and Judi.    Best Wishes to you all, Sally

Minutes of Sept 27, 2015 Meeting

The Cape Cod Nevil Shute Chapter held their meeting at the home of Larry and Judy Rachman on Sunday afternoon on September 27, 2015. We discussed the book Round the Bend. Those attending were Larry and Judy, Art and Joan Cornell, Paul Bodensiek, and Frank and Joan Yow. It was the first meeting in about 20 years that Sally did not attend so the minutes are being written by Art.

We talked about many things but with much effort, Art was able to get the subject back to Round the Bend.

One of the questions that came up was: Why did Shute write this novel? Did he write it for the religious part? Did he write it for the work ethic necessary for airplane mechanics? Or for the problems associated with running an airplane business? These questions were discussed in detail and repeating them would fill a book.

Each of us read a short part of the story. I read about when he mentioned Harpic. As Tony Revel, a Shutist who lives in England, explained many years ago, Harpic is a toilet cleaner that is advertised as being able to Clean Round the Bend. We Americans had no idea what Shute was writing about.

Our next meeting will be held on January 9, 2016 in Plymouth—assuming good weather. We will have digested Slide Rule and will be prepared to discuss it.


Minutes of the October 2014 Nevil Shute Meeting

The Nevil Shute Cape Cod chapter met on October 19 at the Cornell home in Osterville.   As always we had an excellent luncheon.   There was also a bit of Australian wine.  At Joan's suggestion we had maple syrup for the vanilla ice cream  as maple was a favorite in the book ! Attending were Art and Joan, Sally, Judi N, Judi and Larry, Paul and Marianne.  We read Beyond The Black Stump, most of us for at least the second time some even for a third.  As always we gave it high marks.   It was particularly interesting to read Shute's perspective of  life in America in that time period in the early 50's.  Most of the  book's characters come from diverse early lives creating a great framework for a story teller.  

We spent some time discussing recent books we had  read, would recommend to the group.  Some books and or authors mentioned were  The Gollum  and the Jinni, The Eye of the Needle, Pillars of the Earth,  several mysteries of the Northwest by William Kruger Kent,  Louise Penny mysteries, Hieroglyph, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Locke, John Varley, Red Thunder, Millennium, Rocket Ship Gallileo, Heinlein, any of the many Henning Mankell books

Next meting will take place off cape in Plymouth at TBones restaurant at 12:00 noon on Saturday, January 24, 2015.  The book will be The Far Country.   Judi Novak will drive people to the meeting if needed, exit 10 in Harwich leaving 11:00.

Sally Rossetti



Minutes of the July 2014 Nevil Shute Meeting

On Sunday afternoon I met with a bunch of my Nevil Shute buddies.  We met at Marianne Smith's house in Brewster and as always had delicious food!  Those attending were Marianne, Art and Joan, Judi N, Margaret and Sally We watched the original film from 1956 of On The Beach. I am a Shute fan but had resisted watching the film for years. It was a moving afternoon for us all, rewarding perhaps even comforting to be seeing it with a group of friends. Much to discuss, both the story and the making of this kind of film in 1956, lots of kind of dated dialogue and bathing suits so interesting. The story is moving and sad, maybe a rewake up call in these days. Cast includes Gregory Peck Anthony Perkins Fred Astaire Ava Gardener and others all fascinating also.   Below is what I wrote about our reading in 2009.   So read this  paragraph and  the next and  then attend the next meeting at Art and Joan's house  at 1:00 on October 19, 2014, book to reread is Beyond the Black Stump.   by Sally

Minutes of the Cape Cod Nevil Shute Meeting October  18, 2009

 We met at Sally Rossetti’s house on Sunday afternoon in the middle of wild rainy windy weather that  kept no one away!   Sally, Margaret, Kathy, Maryanne, Art, Joan and their guest all attended.   We had decided to read On The Beach.  Margaret suggested that this may be the best crafted book that Shute wrote, and I think we all agreed.  We also spoke of the growth shown in his writing skills as compared with some of the earlier works.   I found this book so compelling, poignant, full of interesting diverse and appealing characters.   The plot is dark and sad, the end of the world!!   Yet it is also uplifting as the ways Shute devises for his characters to live out their final days are so terrifically interesting. Most of the action takes place in Australia, some in the USA and some at sea. Near to the finish of the story when Moira tries to question the whys of their plight, Dwight says with compassion “Don’t try to analyze it”  And then when he further says to Moira “I’m sorry, I have to go home to Mystic, CT now”,  oh my!   So I will take Dwight’s  advice and analyze this story no more.

Minutes of April 27, 2014 Meeting

Nevil Shute chapter of Cape Cod met on Sunday April 27.    Sally. Margaret, Marianne, Judi N, Larry and Judie attended.   Next meeting will be on July 27 at Marianne Smith's home in Brewster at 1:30.  We will read On The Beach, also see the film on that afternoon at Marianne's.

For this meeting we read Pied Piper.  We had read this book at least once before in one of our early meetings.  No notes taken then but I remember that we chose it as Margaret mentioned that it was her favorite.  Again we all agreed that the book was a compelling and  excellent story, even more so as it was written during the early days of World War 2. Shute could not have known first hand some of the events that were truly happening.  Larry made many notes of items to discuss, one , the ending rather  unbelievable, with the German office who had allowed the execution of an innocent man then produced a  nephew of his to add to Mr. Howard's  group of  escaping children thereby letting the evacuation take place.   We discussed this for quite some time, and wondered about possible other endings;  perhaps Shute did also.  Another reason some of us liked this book as there was very little "technical airplane talk"

There are 3 excellent reviews on the Nevil Shute Foundation site, one written by a 12 year old girl.

Our group was formed in 2001, met 2, 3, or 4 times a year since the first meeting.  We did not begin to keep notes until 2007, so some of the books we read before then are from memory only.   I am sure we read Checker Board very early and also of course Old Captivity.

Sally Rossetti  secretary.


Minutes of the December 15, 2013 Meeting

Cape Cod chapter of Nevil Shutists met  Sunday , December 15 at Four Seasons Trattoria in Yarmouth.   Margaret, Sally, Judi, Joan and Art, Larry and Judi attended the meeting.  We were welcome at the restaurant staying there until after 3:00.   We  read Most Secret for this meeting. This is a pretty dark story that was challenging in some ways to read.  The time frame is World War II in England and France, many atrocities were being committed by the enemy at that time.  Shute does his usual remarkable job of spinning a tale about this dark time some before events actually happened.   John Forester, who writes a review on the Nevil Shute home page  says, "I presume when Shute wrote this he had no accurate , if any, information about the gas chambers and other atrocities that did not surface until the spring of 1945."   This has so often been true of Shute's writing, making this novel even more remarkable.    


Next meeting will be at 1:00 on  April 13, 2014  at Margaret Ostro's house in Orleans, menu to be determined.   We will read Pied Piper, also a  World War II novel, seemed a good time to follow up  Most Secret with Pied Piper.

Sally Rossetti for the Cape Cod group, December 2013.


Minutes of the September Shute meeting, 2013

 We met in late September at Judie Novak’s home in Brewster.  As always we had a feast including a turkey that Judie had roasted on the grill!  Attending were Art and Joan, Frank and Joan, Arne and Marylou, Judie and Larry, Marianne, Margaret and Sally.  I am including the minutes written at our 2010 meeting recording our response the  reading at that time.  However will add that Larry suggested the Shute gave his hero too many chances to escape from danger and we all  seemed to be taken with that idea this time.  Marazan one again created an excellent discussion though.    We had hoped to meet at Chatham Bars Inn in December but will not be possible, the alternate restaurant  picked was the British Beer Company in Hyannis.  Meeting date is December 15,  the book  is Most Secret.    Reminders in November and I can call to make a reservation then.

 Minutes, Nevil Shute meeting, April 2010

 The Cape Cod Chapter met on April 18th at Alberto’s in Hyannis.   Kathy, Marianne, Paul, Enid and Sally attended.  We had read the earliest book of Shute’s titled Marazan.  It was pleasing to all of us.   It was written in 1927 and is dated in some ways; yet in other ways it is completely contemporary.  It seems I have written that about Shute’s early books before. Shute’s hero tries to interrupt and end drug smuggling that was taking place at that time.  It almost seemed Shute imagined that somehow smuggling could be stopped forever; but of course we know that has not happened and probably never will.

 Paul made maps for us yet again marking the travels of the main hero.  Captain Phillip Stenning, a pilot, was employed to fly and deliver planes to various places in England.  After a crash Stenning is rescued by a recently escaped convict and the story proceeds from there.   Stenning must travel by train to the South of England and to the Scilly Islands where much of the action takes place.   It is very interesting to see that Shute completely reorganized the geography of the Isles even giving one of them the name of Marazan.  There is a town in the south of England called Marazion but no place in the Scillies with that name.  Shute also renamed some of the other islands.  The book even includes a drawing of the area as Shute was seeing it for this tale. There is action in France and Italy also. We thought it all came together in a fairly believable way for the reader. We probably would not have read Marazan on our own. Once again though, we were all glad that we had.

 Next meeting will be in August and the book will be The Far Country completing the Shute slate.  I believe we began about 6 years ago!!

 Sally Rossetti, Secretary  


Minutes of the Nevil Shute Meeting, June 9, 2013

We met at Art and Joan’s home in Osterville.   Attending were Art and Joan, Larry and Judie, Judi #2, Maragret, Kathy and Sally.  We had read Checker Board, some of us for the second or third time.   Unfortunately I made no notes of our earlier meeting and my notes from this one have disappeared!  We did have a lengthy discussion and as always were very delighted with Shute’s tale and the development of the interesting and diverse characters.     I am including a quote from the International Shute page written in a review from 1998.  Some of Shute’s thoughts presented here are very interesting.   Picturing Shute and wife traveling around America by Greyhound bus is quite startling.

“In a letter written just before his death in 1960, Mr. Shute admits he thought that his handling of the racial issues would ruin book sales in America. But as sales soared in 1947, he and Mrs. Shute toured the US on Greyhound buses and in local restaurants to avoid the usual promotional hoopla and "get in touch with the man on the street". He found the American attitude refreshing and learned a valuable lesson. As he stated in that letter, "Sincerity is the first attribute for making money in the business of writing novels." “

Next meeting will be at Judi Novak’s home in Brewster, food details to follow.  Date is September 22, 2013.  We will read Marazan.

Sally Rossetti, July 10, 2013

Minutes from April 14 2013

Our February meeting twice postponed because of horrible weather in February took place on April 14, 3013 at the British Beer House in Hyannis.  Attending were Margaret, Marianne, Kathy, Sally, Larry and Judi, and Paul.  We had read Ruined City, written in 1938, republished many time obviously a very successful book.  Margaret mentioned that she thought the title used in the US was a far less appropriate title that the original, Kindling, as it was known in the UK.  She read a definition to us of the word Kindling to prove her point!  Paul brought us each a copy of his wonderful maps highlighting most of the towns and cities mentioned in Mr. Warren’s remarkable journeys.  Kathy brought copies of a piece written by David Brooks from the NYT describing Lincoln politics depicted in Spielberg’s movie about Lincoln and comparing some of his political technique to Henry Warrens.  All of this made for a very interesting discussion.  Even though this was a reread for some of us there was high interest in our discussion, maybe even because of the reread.   Kathy discovered “Hatry”   None of us had ever questioned the use of the word or what it might mean.   With the magic of modern tools we discovered quickly that he was a British scoundrel whose scheming financial ways had sent him to prison for a number of years.   Mr Warren mentions that he is thinking of Hatry leaving us to discover why!

The next meeting will be on June 9 at 1:00 at Art and Joan’s house in Osterville.   Judi will bring meatloaf, Marianne dessert., Paul Salad, Margaret drinks, Sally rice, Kathy snacks and or wine, Larry chopsricks! Our book will be The Chequer Board. 

 

Minutes from June 2012 and October 13, 2012.

We met in June at Margaret’s house in Orleans; I think there were 12 of us!!  We had read Art’s sometimes favorite book Rainbow and the Rose.  It was the first time we had met since Enid’s passing and we missed her.  At that meeting we planned for the October one just passed.  It was decided that we would attend the Osterville Historical Society October meeting as Art would be giving a talk that day, called “Finding My Roots”   We did do that, and enjoyed the talk immensely,  the museum and the Farmer’s Market.   After the talk we moved on to the Cornell’s home for snacks and a discussion of Trustee.  Attending were Art and Joan, Candace, (their daughter), Cathy, Sally, Larry and Judy, and a new member, another Judi!  We reviewed the different ways we had all come to be connected to the Cape Cod Chapter.  We also had a lively discussion about trustee, remarking that Shute had created once again a “good” man.  There were lots of characters in this book for us to discuss, and we did!  It was the third reading for some of us, a very popular book with us all.

After this discussion we adjourned to Wimpy’s in Osterville for a few more happy hours!.

The next meeting will be on February 10, 2013 in Hyannis at the British Beer House at 12:30.  We chose to read Ruined City.

 

 

Nevil Shute Meetings, Oct.  2 and Dec. 4, 2011

We met in October in East Falmouth at Larry and Judy’s home.  Those attending were Larry and Judy, Art and Joan, Marianne, Frank, Laura Schneider, Sally, Paul and Kathy.  In December those attending at Art and Joan’s house were Larry and Judy, Art and Joan, Margaret, Sally, Marianne and Paul.  We had wonderful food at both events as always.  In October Judy created cheeseburger pizza and in December she brought us a cheeseburger cake, honest!!  So along with Joan and Art’s chicken pot pie, it was a time of excellent food.  Laura (a long time Shutist) had attended the summer gathering in Washington State along with Kathy and Larry.  Since she has recently moved to Massachusetts she was able to be with us for the meeting.  I should also mention that all three were delighted with the summer gathering, nice to know that the high interest continues.

We read An Old Captivity for the October meeting.  It is a sure favorite for this Cape Cod group as it always raises a discussion as to whether Shute had actually ever come here, or had he relied on associates to supply him with some of the local facts in the book.  Whatever the answer may be the locations on the Cape that are included in this charming story are familiar to us all.  Because of our interest in this book we decided to use the script created by John Cooper at the time of the 2005 Gathering for our next meeting.  The script is a condensation of a radio play written by Shute titled Vinland the Good, (and inspired by Captivity) is located again in many areas of Cape Cod.  As far as is known, the actual play was never produced but we can  state with surety that it has been heard twice by those of us who attended both the 2005 gathering and the meeting on Dec. 4.  We all entered into the task with apparent pleasure.   And of course, since Art does have a rune stone we were reading it in the right place!!

In October we were awed to see Larry’s plane parked in his own hanger right in the back yard and directly connected to a Falmouth  airstrip, amazing!!  Art has an ancient oven located in his backyard, quite a contrast!

We will meet on May 20th at 12:30 PM at Margaret’s house in Orleans.  The book selected is Beyond the Black Stump.

 

Minutes of the Nevil Shute Meeting, June 12, 2011

The Cape Cod chapter of the Nevil Shute Society met on June 12th in Osterville at the home of Art and Joan Cornell.  Besides the Cornells, those attending were Paul Bodensiek, Kathy Martinez, Marianne Smith, Margaret Ostro, Sally Rossetti, Larry Rachman, and after an absence of 7 years Frank Yow renewed attendance.   (Please do not let another 7 pass by)

We had chosen a rereading of The Rainbow and the Rose.  Art had reminded us last fall that  this was his favorite book then.   At our meeting Art organized us so that everyone had a chance to comment or question their response to the R and the R. Good idea, Art, we should keep doing this.  This story is set in England, Australia and Tasmania.    It is told mostly through Ronnie Clarke’s dreams that tell us about Johnny Pascoe’s colorful life.   This is also an interesting flying story from very early days of commercial flight until sometime in the 50s.  As almost always with Shute, it is also a bittersweet poignant love story.  We felt there were some unanswered questions, but overall everyone seemed to have enjoyed the book.  This was a happy afternoon for us all!

Joan served delicious strata using foods that were mentioned in the book   Lots of other delicious goodies were supplied by everyone else.  We will meet 0n October 2 at Larry’s house in east Falmouth, details nearer to the time.   We will reread An Old Captivity for the upcoming meeting.

Sally Rossetti, June 15, 2012.

Minutes of the Cape Cod April Meeting, 2011

We met at Alberto’s in Hyannis to discuss Shute’s 1951 book, Round The Bend.  In the end due to a variety of reasons there were only 4 of us, Kathy, Sally, Paul and Larry.   However that did not stop our conversation; perhaps if more folks had come they would not have been able to get a word in edgewise!!    We all agreed that this was a complex,  compelling book.   It encouraged much stimulating conversation.   According to Wikipedia, Shute called this his favorite book   It was written soon after he emigrated to Australia, and takes place geographically in England, many places in the near east and Australia.   There are really 2 heroes, Tom Cutter, who starts a commercial air service in the Arab countries, bringing them the needed supplies to assist with the expanding oil industry, and Connie Shanklin, whose ideas and work ethics evolve over time to demonstrate him as possibly being divine.  Although Connie does not see himself in that light, many of the people in the area come to look on him this way creating many interesting complications.  There are many threads that all intertwine and work well with each other.  A few of these are Connie’s work ideas and the quickly growing impact of his beliefs on the people of these areas,  Tom’s  expanding business abilities,  2 love stories  and many interesting descriptions of the topography  and culture in a variety of Eastern  cities and countries.    Sumatra, Bahrain, Jakarta and Bali are some that figure in this story.  

Kathy felt that as Shute considered this his best work,  it must represent his beliefs.    Another point of discussion concerned how remarkable communication was considering the lack of sophisticated materials available at that time.  Larry mentioned the engineer’s idea mentioned in this book that there should be little difficulty in mastering the function of so crude a mechanism as the human body when actually it would seem that just the opposite is true with today’s knowledge.  Paul, once again provided us with aerial maps of the areas spoken of in the book, a wonderful resource.   Larry is going to bring a slide rule for us to examine at the next meeting.  

This was a  difficult review to write as there were so many ideas, plots and descriptions that we wanted to explore, and probably could have discussed them for many more hours.

Our next book is The Rainbow and the Rose.       We will meet on June 12 at Art and Joan’s house in Osterville; menu as yet to be determined!!

 
Minutes of the Shute meeting in November 2010
 
There are no minutes for the November 2010 meeting but we did read A Town Like Alice.  
 
Minutes of the Shute meeting August 29, 2010

 

We met on August 29 at Marianne’s home in Brewster.  She treated us to lasagna and we supplied some additional items. As always we were very well fed!!  Those present were: Art, Joan, Margaret, Sally, Marianne, and Kathy.  Enid and Paul were unable to attend and we missed them.   However we had one new member, Larry Rachman from East Falmouth.  I believe he told us that he found us on the internet!  Our book was The Far Country.  It takes place mainly in Australia connecting people of different cultures.    Characters from drab post war England, thriving post war Australia and an immigrant  from Czechoslovakia were all combined to tell this entertaining and  compelling tale.   We were all pleased with this book.  However Art brought up his newly discovered displeasure with Shute from an earlier book and we spent some time talking over Shute’s use of the Ouija board in the earlier book No Highway.   It was a perfect afternoon weather wise and we all enjoyed the event.   We thought we had completed reading Shute’s  books but then remembered that we had all talked about A Town Like Alice, all had read it at some time but never for this group so that will be the next book for our November meeting,  then we will have finished the books,.  Time to start over again?

 
Minutes, Nevil Shute meeting, April 2010

 

The Cape Cod Chapter met on April 18th at Alberto’s in Hyannis.   Kathy, Marianne, Paul, Enid and Sally attended.  We had read the earliest book of Shute’s titled Marazan.  It was pleasing to all of us.   It was written in 1927 and is dated in some ways; yet in other ways it is completely contemporary.  It seems I have written that about Shute’s early books before. Shute’s hero tries to interrupt and end drug smuggling that was taking place at that time.  It almost seemed Shute imagined that somehow smuggling could be stopped forever; but of course we know that has not happened and probably never will.

 

Paul made maps for us yet again marking the travels of the main hero.  Captain Phillip Stenning, a pilot, was employed to fly and deliver planes to various places in England.  After a crash Stenning is rescued by a recently escaped convict and the story proceeds from there.   Stenning must travel by train to the South of England and to the Scilly Islands where much of the action takes place.   It is very interesting to see that Shute completely reorganized the geography of the Isles even giving one of them the name of Marazan.  There is a town in the south of England called Marazion but no place in the Scillies with that name.  Shute also renamed some of the other islands.  The book even includes a drawing of the area as Shute was seeing it for this tale. There is action in France and Italy also. We thought it all came together in a fairly believable way for the reader. We probably would not have read Marazan on our own. Once again though, we were all glad that we had.

 

Next meeting will be in August and the book will be The Far Country completing the Shute slate.  I believe we began about 6 years ago!!
Sally Rossetti, Secretary 
 
 
 
 
Minutes of the December 3, 2009 Meeting of the
Cape Cod Chapter 

We met on December 3rd 2009 at Albertos in Hyannis.  There were 8 of us attending.  Art and Joan Cornell, Margaret Ostro, Marianne Smith, Paul  Bodensieck, Enid Bodensieck, Kathy Martinez, Sally Rossetti. We also have a member, Tony Revell, who lives in England, so does not attend regularly but sends wonderful written  responses to each meeting.  This was the best attendance for us in some time.  Art rewarded us by supplying wine for the luncheon which was much appreciated by us all.

We had read Ordeal (What Happened to the Corbetts) one of Shute’s very early books.  It was published in 1939 so surely had been composed in 1938.  As it was about Britain’s response to bombing and thus coming war it was particularly interesting as this was before the actual bombing of Britain did in fact occur.  Some of the group remember that time and Margaret actually lived in Southampton as a child so we were most interested to hear her comments about life then and how it affected the people she remembers.  I found it interesting that this was a book that we pretty much all found “a really good read”  Much as we are devoted Shute fans that has not been so for all of the books we have read to date.. Paul supplied us all with a wonderful google map of the area talked of in the book.  This was a Shute book I had not reread for many years and I was surprised at how many details had been forgotten although I clearly had remembered the basic plot.   I also have been in Southampton and the Isle of Wight so could picture the area much better than some of the distant Australian areas that he writes of frequently.  This was satisfying too.

Tony Revell, our English member, says in part “Shute asks some difficult questions.  As the story unfolds he forces the Corbett’s to face the dilemma about their duty & loyalty to each other, about Peter Corbett’s work as a lawyer and his duty to his country.  Questions that the reader may find difficulty in answering.”    He also says “I believe the dilemmas posed in the story are as relevant today as they were when Shute wrote this novel.”  He is right.  No doubt this is part of the reason we all responded so easily to the tale.   We thought that in some ways the times were very different though.   At the end Corbett, who is a very likable hero and kind husband and father  in every way says “I’ve got rid of my  wife and family, I came to see if I could still have that commission, sir.”  We didn’t think such a hero would have likely said that today.

 Next meeting in April 2010.   I see we had planned for April 4 at Margaret Ostro’s home in Orleans, but as that is Easter Sunday, I am suggesting we move it forward a week to April 11.  The book we will read is Marazan.

Sally Rossetti, Secretary

 

Minutes of the Cape Cod Nevil Shute Meeting October  18, 2009

 

We met at Sally Rossetti’s house on Sunday afternoon in the middle of wild rainy windy weather that  kept no one away!   Sally, Margaret, Kathy, Maryanne, Art, Joan and their guest all attended.   We had decided to read On The Beach.  Margaret suggested that this may be the best crafted book that Shute wrote, and I think we all agreed.  We also spoke of the growth shown in his writing skills as compared with some of the earlier works.   I found this book so compelling, poignant, full of interesting diverse and appealing characters.   The plot is dark and sad, the end of the world!!   Yet it is also uplifting as the ways Shute devises for his characters to live out their final days are so terrifically interesting. Most of the action takes place in Australia, some in the USA and some at sea. Near to the finish of the story when Moira tries to question the whys of their plight, Dwight says with compassion “Don’t try to analyze it”  And then when he further says to Moira “I’m sorry, I have to go home to Mystic, CT now”,  oh my!   So I will take Dwight’s  advice and analyze this story no more. .

 

We had met in July also at Art and Joan’s house.  At that time we read  The Breaking Wave.    I know Art cooked in his beehive oven, and that we had a fine meeting,  but I did not take notes that day so our thoughts from that day are lost in time.

 

Next meeting of the Cape group will be at 1:00 at the Paddock in Hyannis on Sunday December 6.   The book for this meeting will be Ordeal also titled happened To The Corbetts.

 

Sally Rossetti, secretary.


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Minutes of the Nevil Shute April 2009 Meeting

 

     Five members attended this meeting at the Hearth and Kettle in Hyannis; Sally, Enid, Paul, Margaret and Kathy. We had one new member, Kathy Martinez who traveled a long way to join us. We had read So Disdained (The Aviator) for this meeting. This is one of the earliest stories written by Shute. The forward tells us that he wrote it over a period of several years. So he must have started the writing when he was a very young man. Enid had mentioned that she had not cared much for this book, but, when we thought about the time in his life and realized the lack of experience he had in telling stories, then we could look at it a little differently. The story telling ability obviously grew as the years went on!!! Kathy commented that some of the characters in Shute’s book often demonstrated the ability to “make anything seem possible.” That trait must contribute to the stories continued great appeal. We also discussed how similar his heroines were in many of his books. We had read Ruined City previously and Sheila DArle of So Disdained and Miss MacMahon of Ruined City shared many of the same kind and thoughtful  personality qualities and  loyal character traits  that Shute must have admired  perhaps particularly in women.  So Disdained is presented as a thriller. It is but in the way of that time. The final pages, which include lots of running and escaping both in the air and on land, were pretty unbelievable. Art reminded me that is was a time in the history of England when there were many aviators who had trained for world war I    (and no longer in war ) looking for suitable post war careers often with great difficulty.  Shute must have understood that well. As always, we agreed it is a story worth reading and rereading and we agreed that we were glad to have read it. I noticed that Cherry Cake was not mentioned in this book; when did it first appear?

     We will read The Breaking Wave next (Requiem for a Wren) date to meet, sometime in the summer. 

     Sally Rossetti, secretary   April 2009.

 

Minutes of the September, 2008 Nevil Shute Meeting

 The September meeting of the Cape Cod chapter was held at Art and Joan Cornell’s house in Osterville.   Margaret, Paul, Enid ,Sally, Joan and Art attended the meeting.  Art had fired up his backyard Bee Hive oven serving  pizzas baked in the oven.   They were delicious.   Sally brought a bottle of blended white wine from Australia and the members who had been to Australia really appreciated drinking and discussing its origins!!  (Well, we all did.)

 

Our current  book was Ruined City/Kindling.   As usual we all enjoyed this book.   It was written in 1937 yet could apply easily to much of the turmoil that exists in the world  today.   We could use a Henry Warren, this book’s hero, now in 2008.  The plot is easy to follow and has all the components of a “turn the page” novel.   One member expressed the thought that Ruined City was a rather light book, perhaps not one of his best.   However, we all agreed that it was most entertaining and had thoroughly enjoyed the reading.   Helen Yeomans, who writes some of the reviews on the Foundation site called it “undoubtedly one of the best of all Nevil Shute’s works.”  I think our group has had this reaction to almost all of the books each time we have reread one.  Perhaps this is the reaction that Ms. Yeomans had.   In any case, it is a great read moving along from various sites in England to the Balkans and other European stopovers in a most interesting way.

 

We have acquired a new Cape Cod chapter member who lives in Birmingham, England. He was aware that we were reading Ruined City. As a result, he read the book and sent us the following review.

 

     I’ve read Ruined City, a fine book. It has it all, Politics, Race, Romance, Corruption, including a criminal conspiracy and a Happy ending.

Henry Warren seems to be a self-centered man, driven/obsessed? By the desire to make money, to the detriment of his health and marriage.   He is suffering from nervous exhaustion, has an undiagnosed medical condition, and he needs drugs to make him sleep.   His marriage has been failing for years, because he has neglected his wife for his business interests.   As a consequence, she is pursuing a torrid [sexual?] affair with an Arab.   Warren knows about the affair, as does his domestic staff, his business associates in 'The City' and his friends, who are all scandalized by her actions.

     A couple of topics stand out in the opening chapters, namely politics & race.   Politics because of the references to the system of relief of the poor in Britain by the Government which had been in place since Elizabethan times and lasted until the late 1930's.   The racial element arises when the Arab Prince is referred to as either a "Black man" or a "Coloured man"   Bearing in mind the era that the book was written/published in, was race an issue of the day or is it a comment/ predjudice of the writer?

     Is there also a Class issue being aired here? Shute portrays Warren as a very wealthy man in a time of poverty and financial depression.  He is well educated & connected and aware of the issues of the day, but who is apparently ignorant of the plight of the ordinary 'working' man - until Warren is confined to his hospital bed and discovers the suffering of the people.  Also, he only interacts with people of a similar social standing to his own.

     Chapt. 4 - 6 are pivotal in this story; a lot happens here.   Warren realizes why the people die prematurely, he discovers the history of the shipyard and adjoining "City".  He is told & understands the resolve of the population to better themselves, and he is treated with a kindness that he will never forget.   He begins to fall in love.   He formulates a plan in his mind to save the shipyard & town, ILLEGALLY, if need be, and he puts his plans into action by buying the shipyard, secretly.   In essence and against his better judgment, he becomes PHILANTHROPIC and wants to help his fellow man!!!

     The Balkan escapade in the following chapters shows Warren’s determination to promote his plans to a conclusion, using any means,[despicable or otherwise], at his disposal.   Is this a reflection of Shute’s own business experiences, or heard third hand from some of his business associates, or purely fictional?

The concluding chapters show Warren, for all his faults to be a man of honour and principal.   He alone takes responsibility for the Balkan debacle.   He also takes sole blame for the Fraud and suffers the judicial consequences.  By doing so he preserves the integrity and prosperity of the shipyard, keeping the men in work, and others out of prison.   During his imprisonment he recovers his health & sanity and upon his release he returns to the North.   Warren triumphs; he no doubt gets the girl and a happy ending is the result.    Shute portrays Warren as a good [misguided ?] man who did the wrong things, but for the right reasons.    A typical N. S. book, AND A GOOD READ!!!

 

     Well, I think I’ve said enough for now, probably too much!   It's a pity we can’t be with you as I would have liked to have gone to your next chapter meeting; but another time.

     Regards to all the family.     Peace & Love    Tony & Pat.

 

Our next meeting will be a 1:00 luncheon meeting at The Cape Codder in Hyannis on November 23. 2008.   We will discuss In the Wet.

 Sally Rossetti, Secretary

 

 

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 Meeting was held at lunch time at Sally Rossetti’s home.   Margaret, Paul, Enid, Art, Joan, Ted and Peter attended the meeting.  We had agreed to read Pastoral.    Our discussion of the book was not very lengthy, partly I think as some folks had not read it so recently and partly we thought it is not as complex a book as many of the other Shute stories.   We had all liked the reading and had little to question or criticize, finding it a really enjoyable love story. It is also a war story.   One of the reviews from the foundation site states “wars are made by the old, but fought by the young, and Pastoral reminds us that the worst of times is also, for some, the best of times.”

 

  Ted, our newest member, told us about reading Shute stories to his children when they were in their early teen years,   We were all interested to hear of that.  He reported that his first choice for them had been On the Beach.  

 

Art also spoke about his recent reading of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, Team of Rivals, the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln; his enthusiasm for that might have interfered with his focus on the Shute book.

 

We will meet again at the end of the summer date not yet determined.   The next book to be read will be In The Wet.

 

Sally Rossetti, secretary

 

 

February 2008

 The Cape Cod Chapter of the Nevil Shute Society met on February 24 at Margaret Ostro's home in Orleans.  The meeting was held primarily to meet two new chapter members.  They are Peter Doegler and Ted Woods both of Orleans.   Unfortunately only Peter was able to attend.   Margaret, Sally, Enid and Paul also were at the afternoon tea.  Peter reported that he owned eight Shute books and when we told him a little about Art's desire to create a series of imaginary dialogues with Shute and some of his characters, Peter mentioned that Marazan might be a good book to consider as there are only 2 major characters in the story.   None of us had read it recently but his idea interested us and we  will consider his idea.  Peter's first Shute book was Trustee as was Art's. Peter also told us that reading P. G. Wodehouse had probably initially brought him to Shute.   That thought prompted Margaret to mention another English author, Arthur Opfield, and told us that she thought he shared some similar styles of writing with Shute

 

Margaret had researched a new recipe for Cherry cake taken from an old booklet of her sister's that had been published long ago as a fund raiser for the Life Boat Association  (England).   She had the booklet available for us to see and was of interest to all.    We are becoming quite well educated in the field of cherry cake!  She had prepared other treats for us also, Paul and Enid came with homemade cookies!!

 

We will meet on Sunday, June 8, 2008 (3 o’clock) at Sally's house. Please email Sally if you would like to attend. The book to read is Pastoral.

 

Sally Rossetti, secretary

 

 

June 2007

MINUTES OF THE CAPE COD NEVIL SHUTE MEETING JUNE 10, 2007

 

     Art and Joan Cornell hosted the June 10th meeting at their home in Osterville. MA. Five of us attended the meeting. We had decided earlier to read and discuss Beyond The Black Stump. We all agreed that we had enjoyed the most descriptive tale. One of our members raised the idea that after her reading she decided that Shute did not care much for Americans. This thought created quite a lot of interesting discussion. In the end I think we agreed that rather than disliking Americans Shute may not have really understood them. (Who does!!) When I reread some of this book before I sat down to write this, I noticed that he had his hero addressing his sweetheart as Honey, many times, once they were officially connected. It occurred to me that this would be his perception of the way an American would address his girl friend, as opposed to the way an Australian or an Englishman would show his affection. Art wondered why Stanton Laird did not reveal his discovery of water on David Cope’s land until the final pages. He proposed the idea that it was a rather contrived strategy to finish the book. All of us women disagreed with him (although he may well have been right!) We had wonderful food. Joan had created a min dish using tinned corned beef as it was mentioned in the story. The Cornell’s had baked Sally Lund bread in Art’s newly created backyard beehive oven.   This was a huge hit.

     Art reminded us that Joe Accrocco had proposed an idea for a future Shute Gathering. His idea is this. An actor (one of the members) could portray Shute, and other members could speak as if they were characters from various books. Then perhaps such characters as Joe Harmon, Johnny Pascoe, Stanton Laird and others could ask Shute why he had made certain decisions!! “Why didn’t Laird reveal the presence of water at the time the drillings proved it?” was a question that occurred to all of us as a possible example. Art challenged us to think of others; perhaps a homework assignment. 

     Next meeting of the Cape group will be at 4:00 on Wednesday, August 29th at Margaret Ostro’s home in Orleans.  The book we will read is Trustee from The Toolroom.

                                   Sally Rossetti

 

Minutes of the Nevil Shute August 2007 Meeting (Cape Cod Chapter)

 

     Seven members attended the August meeting hosted by Margaret Ostro in Orleans.  We had one new attendee, Paul Bodensick, son of Enid!   The book we had read for this meeting was the last one written by Shute, Trustee From The Toolroom.   Our discussion was lively and showed that the members had thoroughly enjoyed reading or rereading this book. .Art remembered that it was the first Shute book he had ever read other than On The Beach, and Joan recalled him urging  her to read it and being resistant and then coming to thoroughly enjoy it!   Sally remembered that she had not cared for this book many years ago, therefore had never reread it, so was delighted to find it such an entertaining story now. Once again we questioned and discussed whether Shute did not care for Americans or just did not understand them.  Paul shared some info regarding model building which was of interest to us all. Arne commented that he had enjoyed the book more the first time around.  Quoting from a review taken from the website, “In this novel, as with any good work of engineering, the interesting thing isn’t so much that it works but how it works.”

      We chose No Highway (partly as we wanted to compare the leading character in that book with Keith Stewart, the major character in Trustee) for our next meeting, which is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 pm at the Cornell’s house in Osterville.

      We had some wine, Margaret’s delicious supper, and lots of desserts.   No cherry cake though.

      Art proposed that we put some thought into choosing a character from any one of Shute’s books that we would like to know more about and perhaps why he or she was depicted by Shute the way he was. Art is suggesting that other chapters may want to undertake this task also, then organize and deliver some kind of program with Shute answering some of the questions raised, at the 2009 Gathering in England.

              Sally Rossetti, secretary

 

 

 November 2007

MINUTES OF THE NEVIL SHUTE NOVEMBER 2007 MEETING

 

The Cape Cod chapter of the Nevil Shute society met on November 18 at Art Cornell's house in Osterville, 6 people attending—Art and Joan Cornell, Diane Lachance, Enid Bodensiek, Paul Bodensiek and Sally Rossetti. Diane Lachance, a new member, had traveled from another state so that she could attend the meeting!  Our current book was No Highway.  I think we spent more time talking about the characters and story development of this tale than any others that we have read as a group so far.  Paul B presented each of us a really special memento he had designed and printed. He had copied one of the No Highway early covers depicting a rather grim looking man (Mr. Honey no doubt) and a glamorous lady peeking over his shoulder, assume this was Marjorie Corder, the stewardess.  (There were two beautiful women in this story so possibly could have been either one of them or even a composite of both! ) Paul had included pictorial maps and had located places mentioned in the book both in Canada and in England.  We were all impressed and delighted to receive this gift.   

Art is continuing with his plan to write some imaginary conversations with Shute and some of his characters.  He read us his latest effort which as you might expect was delightful. Also he read a dialog written by Paul Shein. Paul’s dialog was between Shute and his Alter Ego. We were all impressed. Art exhorted us to all attempt writing similar pieces.

 

Our next meeting will be in June 2008.  The book will be Pastoral.  To date we have read, The Checker Board, Slide Rule, An Old Captivity, The Rainbow and the Rose, Pied Piper, Beyond the Black stump, Trustee From the Toolroom and finally for this past meeting No Highway.  My memory tells me that we have been enthusiastic about all of them, sometimes insisting that the current book is now our favorite only to update that statement at the next reading!

 

Food, as always, was terrific, and Margaret is promising Cherry cake for our next meeting.

 

Sally Rossetti, secretary, Novermber 21, 2007.