Friday, June 24, 2011
An Old Captivity by Nevil Shute
46. An Old Captivity
by Nevil Shute
Kindle book - 26
This is one of the strangest books I've ever read. I can't imagine anyone reading it. Yet, I did. And I enjoyed it. There's just something about the way Nevil Shute writes that rivets me to the page, no matter what he is saying. An Oxford don wants to fly over Greenland and take pictures to see if he can learn who settled there long ago. He needs a flyer, and ends up hiring Donald Ross. The professor's disagreeable daughter decides she must go along to watch over her aging (not quite 60!) father. This will add weight to the plane, and the pilot must eliminate baggage to accomodate her 100 pounds. So that's the premise. The rest of the book is about how they get there, all the problems in flying and landing because of the weather. And then the pilot, exhausted from the constant work he must do on the plane, and taking sleeping pills, falls into a sort of dream state where he finds himself reincarnated back in time to a Viking. Sound interesting? I didn't think so. But it is. Why? I can't really tell you. We barely get to know these characters. They don't get to know one another, except at some point the girl and the pilot fall in love. Huh? How did that happen? Must be all that proximity with no other young people about. Do I recommend it? Yeah, but with reservations. This may help. If you read A Town Like Alice and didn't mind the rather in-depth sections on communications, then you might like this. Except that Alice had so much more going on. If you liked Trustee From The Toolroom, and didn't mind all the technical stuff, then you might like this. Except that book had good character descriptions. So, that's why this book really stands alone in my mind. But yes, I liked it well enough.