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Most secret by Nevil Shute

Most secret (1945)

by Nevil Shute

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An entertaining tale of a fictional exercise carried out during the second world war. A bit bloodthirsty, but a good read if you enjoy a ripping sea yarn. ( )
  cazfrancis | Jan 13, 2015 |

This is one of Shute’s boat novels (he really, really likes boats and airplanes, especially airplanes) set in WW2 with a cast of characters who all want revenge against the Germans for one reason or another. An Englishman raised in France is put in charge of a boat of Free French, Danish and odd English characters in a series of daring raids on the French Coast. Since it’s Shute you know it’s not going to end well although it was a better ending for some of the characters than I expected. It’s a bit of a slow burner as Shute spends over half the book setting up the characters, and plot. He also uses an interesting technique which serves to distance you from the action as the narrator stays in Britain whilst the action happens and then there’s a report of how the action went followed by a personal account by one of the men. It’s a bit odd and I’m not sure it worked all that well. Still this is a WW2 adventure story that ticks all the Shute boxes - engineering as hero, affection for transport (in this case boat), romantic involvement, manly men, action, pathos, a downbeat ending. Shute is one of my go to authors who seems to be consistently good but is a bit of a comfort read. Although this is perhaps not the best place to start with his catalogue.

Overall – Stiff upper lips and derring do in one of Shute’s boat novels ( )
1 vote psutto | Mar 12, 2014 |
Review A magnificent thrill; it is also a tale of character, for every member of the little ship's company is worth meeting. A book that should not be missed Daily Telegraph Mr Shute's style is ideal for this kind of book. He revels in incident and he draws his people with loving care. Here, he's reminiscent of H. E. Bates at his best; that same ability to make you passionately interested in anything he's interested in, and to make the most outlandish happening seem credible his characters are so real No other writer has brought to fiction of this type quite the same lively sympathy and warmth of imagination or left so engaging an impression of truthfulness...Mr Shute always has good things to offer...the power to convey the springs of heroic conduct in the lightest and least assuming of tones Times Literary Supplement Based around a group aboard a converted trawler in 1942, this is a grand tale of sacrifice and courage and superbly structured. --Express Product Description In their trusty fishing boat, Genevieve, armed with only a flame thrower and limited ammunition, a small group of officers and men take a stand against the might of the German army after the fall of France in World War II. ( )
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
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A burnt child dreads the fire.
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So much happened in the two years that I spent at the Admirality, I had a finger in so many pies, that I have found it difficult to say exactly when it was this thing began.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0884113191, Hardcover)

In their trusty fishing boat Genevieve, armed with only a flame thrower and limited ammunition, a small group of officers and men take a stand against the might of the German army after the fall of France in World War II. This is classic Shute: a thrilling adventure about the heroism of ordinary men that will keep you on the edge of your seat, cheering them on.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:07 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Genevieve is a converted French fishing boat, manned by British officers and a small crew of free French ex-fishermen, armed only with a flame-thrower and a few arms. They carry out their daring attack on German boats off the Brittany coast.

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