Theodore Honey is a shy, inconspicuous aircraft engineer whose eccentric interests in quantum mechanics and spiritualism are frowned upon in aviation circles. But when a passenger plane crashes in unexplained circumstances, Honey must convince his superiors that his unorthodox theories are correct before more lives are lost.
The title, No Highway, is taken from the poem "The Wanderer" by John Masefield, which Shute quotes at the start of the book:
"Therefore, go forth, companion: when you find
No Highway more, no track, all being blind,
The way to go shall glimmer in the mind."
Nevil Shute Norway (17 January 1899 – 12 January 1960) was a popular British-Australian novelist and a successful aeronautical engineer. He studied at Balliol College, Oxford, and published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve where he worked on developing secret weapons, but after the conflict 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).
©2012 Nevil Shute (P)2012 Audible Ltd
"Mr Shute is a storyteller in the tradition of R.L Stevenson and Kipling." (Evening News)
“No Highway is a novel which engages the heart and grips the mind." (Evening Standard)
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"Fine writing keeps this story fresh"
This novel became a movie with Jimmy Stewart and Marlene Dietrich - ignore that. The movie didn't work well. The movie was awful, and I never realized it was based on a Shute novel. Ben Elliot's great vocal characterizations bring the subjects to life. Shute writes on a subject he knows - aircraft engineering - but it's the character clashes, especially those in the decision making meeting rooms, that make this piece sparkle. Great surprise alliances when people are speaking bluntly - I love a good scene like that - it's as good as any courtroom scene written in the past generation. Shute probably doesn't get his due for anything other than "On The Beach."
"In many respects, a pioneer work."
Be warned that this is an old book and the author has been dead for some while. I like it because of my interest in aeronautical matters and especially the problems of metal fatigue in early jet airliners. The film made in black and white has not stood the test of time but the plot of this story is really quite good as an obsessed and driven man tries to prove he is correct before more disasters occur. I am extraordinarily pleased that audible.com has secured rights to a number of old books. My paperback copy of the book fell apart years ago but as someone who was born to fly and loves the experience, Nevile Shute did a very good job given the time. There is some congruence with Michael Crighton's Airframe and the technological differences are considerable. Well worth a read.
"One of Nevil Shute's best"
In the top 25%
Dr. Scott for his overall understanding
Very enjoyable. Highly recommended for the older reader
"Fiction Becomes Fact"
The history AFTER the fictional story. No Highway was published in 1948 a full year before the first flight of the DeHaviland Comet. The Comet was the first commercial passenger jet, and like the fictional Reindeer in the book, was supposed to get England into the trans-Atlantic jet passenger service before anyone else.
The real Comet ACTUALLY HAD structural metal fatigue failures that caused crashes and required extensive testing at Farnborough to identify. On the real Comet the failures were around the cabin windows as opposed to the tail plane on the fictional Reindeer, but the parallels between the story and the actual history are amazing.
In No Highway, the "fix" was easy and inexpensive and England got to lead the world in jet transport. Unfortunately, the problems with the real Comet were unfixable on existing aircraft and the redesign took long enough for US manufacturers and airlines to unseat England in the lead for air service.
I liked Dr. Scott, the narrator. He had both vision and conviction.
Another great story from Shute! I've noticed a pattern in his stories, someone with a small place in life keeps chugging along, and when they find a difficulty, people they didn't know were friends come and help, and the difficulty is solved, with a good ending. This is another one of those, well written, well narrated.
"Great story but dated gender roles"
Excellent story set in early 1950s showing the difficulties of communications before mobile phones in the investigation of air accidents. A recent listen to Neville Shute' s autobiography 'Slide Rule' gave the story added meaning as it sets out the author's expertise. Although dated, the story hangs together well and sets a good pace. Ben Elton's reading is enjoyable although a couple of accents get mangled occasionally.
"An old story with present relevance"
Nevil Shute was one of the great story tellers of the last century, the essence of his tale is still relevant as we see the Dreamliner grounded for modifications shortly after entering service. If you have never read this book give yourself a treat and do so - if you have read it try listening to it - you will find it fresh as ever.
"Read this in school 45yrs ago."
Brilliant story read at school 45 years ago prompted me to create a career in aviation. Saw the film too.
Wasn't sure about the narrators stable to start with by it does fit the book well. You just don't get stories up to this standard nowadays!!!
"loved the storey the audio book performed v well"
one of the best from all audio book sources not just Audible
The lead male as he kept going despite the incredulity of his opponents and proved his worth and willingness to take resopnability for his actions
he has a calm voice not grating and can provide the necessary inflections when questions, outrage or emotions are needed.
i use these books for dogwalking and my GermanShepherd gets about 2.5 hours a day so I tend to listen to the books in largeish chunks and not all at once.
I listen through a bluetooth headset on an iphone and the audible books are just right for me, the second part automatically follows on from the first with no user action required. Theykeep my mind occupied whilst the dog is having a good sniff and the headset remote controls for play / pause and ffw and frw all work just as they should.
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