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Nevil Shute Norway was born on 17 January 1899 in Ealing, London. After attending the Dragon School and Shrewsbury School, he studied Engineering Science at Balliol College, Oxford. He worked as an aeronautical engineer and published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926. In 1931 he married Frances Mary Heaton and they went on to have two daughters. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve where he worked on developing secret weapons. After the war he continued to write and settled in Australia where he lived until his death on 12 January 1960. His most celebrated novels include Pied Piper (1942), No Highway (1948), A Town Like Alice (1950) and On the Beach (1957).
August 2014 Guest Editor Gerald Seymour on Most Secret... The stories of Nevil Shute have a timeless appeal. He was a complete story teller, knew how to put together a beginning, a middle, and an end. The reader is transported by the personalities he introduces us to, and we live with them and care about them. The one most often in my mind is ‘Most Secret’ which tells of a small group of fighting men who convert a trawler into a mini-warship and sail across the Channel to take on naval forces of the German occupation. I usually end up with an unashamed wet eye when I return to the last few pages of this epic. He’s brilliant.
When Jerry Chambers, a young coastal patrol pilot during World War II, is accused of mistakenly sinking a British submarine he is reprimanded and sent to a remote posting to test an experimental new bomb, a dangerous mission far away from the woman he loves. While Jerry risks his life, his sweetheart Mona sets about trying to clear her lover's name before it is too late.
Contemporary / British English Nuclear war has destroyed all life in thenorthern countries of the world. Now the deadly radiation is travelling south. In Australia, where people are still alive, Peter and Mary Holmes are trying to live their lives as normally as possible as the radiation comes closer and closer. What can they do? Is this the end of life on earth?