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On the Beach by Nevil Shute - April, 2014  

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  1. 1. What did you think of this book?

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    • 3/5 Enjoyed it.
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I have quietly been mulling over the assertion that this book started the anti-nuclear movement (which very sadly seems to have rather died a little - I am personally still very anti-nuclear anything! We think pollution with the junk we pump into the water, ground and atmosphere is bad, and that stuff dissipates comparatively quickly. Nuclear waste will still be haunting us for millions of years. And they chuck it in the ocean!); and mulling over just how much of an anti-nuclear war message it sends. I think that the impact of its message can only be judged in terms of the time of its publication. I first read this book in my mid-teens at a time when I was profoundly impacted by a number books and movies about war and neither then, nor now did it strike me as being particularly anti-war or anti-nuclear. It has always struck me as a book about people, which is primarily how Nevil Shute writes. He is a keen observer of behaviour and that is what he writes. I can't judge the impact it had at the time of publication - perhaps in some way it did help reshape how people viewed nuclear war, or perhaps it was rather that there was already a shift in consciousness and Nevil Shute simply reflected that in his writing, which puts us in a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. Was he ahead of the pack in his observations, or merely reflecting a change that was already occurring?  I'm inclined to think the latter, but perhaps that is because I have read nearly all his books, and he is not a prophetic writer, he is an observer. 

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CuriousGeorgette, on 11 Apr 2014 - 11:29 PM, said:CuriousGeorgette, on 11 Apr 2014 - 11:29 PM, said:CuriousGeorgette, on 11 Apr 2014 - 11:29 PM, said:CuriousGeorgette, on 11 Apr 2014 - 11:29 PM, said:CuriousGeorgette, on 11 Apr 2014 - 11:29 PM, said:CuriousGeorgette, on 11 Apr 2014 - 11:29 PM, said:CuriousGeorgette, on 11 Apr 2014 - 11:29 PM, said:CuriousGeorgette, on 11 Apr 2014 - 11:29 PM, said:

I have quietly been mulling over the assertion that this book started the anti-nuclear movement (which very sadly seems to have rather died a little. . . .I can't judge the impact it had at the time of publication - perhaps in some way it did help reshape how people viewed nuclear war, or perhaps it was rather that there was already a shift in consciousness and Nevil Shute simply reflected that in his writing, which puts us in a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. Was he ahead of the pack in his observations, or merely reflecting a change that was already occurring?  I'm inclined to think the latter, but perhaps that is because I have read nearly all his books, and he is not a prophetic writer, he is an observer. 

Curious G,

I think you raise a fascinating question, and one very well worth thinking about, both i) in general and ii) also using as a specific example the possible connection of On Tne Beach and the anti-nuclear movement.

 

In a very general sense, I have often wondered how one can characterize "the temper of the times."  People who have lived through the times often put labels on them, such as the Beat Generation, The Silent Generation, The Angry Young Men, The Hippie Generation, the Baby Boomers, and so on.  And these terms gain a certain currency as they are first announced in the media and then adopted by the media for general use. 

 

I am one of the so called Silent Generation and have often wondered about myself and why someone who never knew me put me there.  So I have always been a bit skeptical of identifying so-called trends in larger society and supposing they represent the attitudes of individuals in the society at the time.

 

I think your mention of On The Beach and the anti-nuclear movement is a good way to isolate and focus on one strand of intellectual thought in a much larger society which can contain a much broader range of conflicting views, both agreeing and opposed, at the same time.

 

From my own memory: I can mention: i) an arms race in which having a larger number of missiles and warheads was thought to be a good thing; ii) an alleged "missile gap" which was used as a key part of a campaign to unseat a previously respected President; iii) a Cuban Missile Crisis which scared the bejeezus out of everybody.  And someplace, in the middle of all of that real saber-rattling and official belief in atomic and nuclear superiority, On the Beach was published, and (maybe) an anti-nuclear faction was beginning to grow.  Chicken and egg? I'm not sure how the intellectual realization spread, but I think the realization of Nuclear Winter marked a real turning point against hawkish thinking.

 

PS: One should never forget that an esteemed and intelligent a man as Dr. Albert Einstein himself, was strongly in favor of building "the bomb."  So there was a time when it definitely seemed to be a good thing to those who knew.

 

These are my initial reactions and I will be very interested in any further discussion of how we got to where we are.

Edited by Paul

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CG, I think it's easy to look back on history, and say with great certainty......this is what (fill in the blank) it meant.  Whether or not that person's view is true or not is a whole 'nother ball of wax.  And one person, or one group's opinion isn't necessarily so.  In the eye of the beholder, and all of that, I think. 

I can see that the rise of nuclear capability would cause an equal rising of worry about the outcome of that increased capability. 

 

Paul, I remember well, the scares, and scariness of "the bomb" and what would happen.  I also remember the ideas put out by the media that "we" should definitely have more bombs than "they" did. 

 

I'm glad you brought up the idea of Nuclear Winter.  Naturally, I'd heard of it, and read fictional stories of it's effects.  I didn't know when the idea of it first surfaced.  Well, wiki to the rescue. :)  Apparently it was first put out in 1957.  (hah!)  Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_winter#History  I wonder if Shute knew anything about this.

 

In June 1957, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons by Samuel Glasstone was published containing a section entitled "Nuclear Bombs and the Weather" (pages 69–71), which states: "The dust raised in severe volcanic eruptions, such as that at Krakatoa in 1883, is known to cause a noticeable reduction in the sunlight reaching the earth ... The amount of debris remaining in the atmosphere after the explosion of even the largest nuclear weapons is probably not more than about 1 percent or so of that raised by the Krakatoa eruption. Further, solar radiation records reveal that none of the nuclear explosions to date has resulted in any detectable change in the direct sunlight recorded on the ground."[41]

In 1974, John Hampson suggested that a full-scale nuclear exchange could result in depletion of the ozone shield, possibly subjecting the earth to ultraviolet radiation for a year or more.[42][43] In 1975, the United States National Research Council (NRC) reported on ozone depletion following nuclear war, judging that the effect of dust would probably be slight climatic cooling.[42][44]

According to Dr. Vitalii Nikolaevich Tsygichko, a Senior Analyst at the Soviet Academy of Sciences, the author of the study, Mathematical Model of Soviet Strategic Operations on the Continental Theater, and a former member of the General Staff, military analysts discussed the idea of a "nuclear winter" (although they did not use that exact term) years before U.S. scientists wrote about it in the 1980s.[45]

Starley L. Thompson of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, claimed that the Soviet Union's 1980s nuclear winter models were developed in the United States in the early 1970s.[46]

 

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CG, I think it's easy to look back on history, and say with great certainty......this is what (fill in the blank) it meant.  Whether or not that person's view is true or not is a whole 'nother ball of wax.  And one person, or one group's opinion isn't necessarily so.  In the eye of the beholder, and all of that, I think. 

I can see that the rise of nuclear capability would cause an equal rising of worry about the outcome of that increased capability. 

 

Paul, I remember well, the scares, and scariness of "the bomb" and what would happen.  I also remember the ideas put out by the media that "we" should definitely have more bombs than "they" did. 

 

I'm glad you brought up the idea of Nuclear Winter.  Naturally, I'd heard of it, and read fictional stories of it's effects.  I didn't know when the idea of it first surfaced.  Well, wiki to the rescue. :)  Apparently it was first put out in 1957.  (hah!)  Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_winter#History  I wonder if Shute knew anything about this.

 

Pontalba,

Interesting Wiki quote, definitely.  Nuclear Winter finally burst upon my own consciousness at the end of that narrative (rather than at its first allusion in Glasstone).  Perhaps an indication of the time it takes for ideas to spread through the population.

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Right, I'm not sure, but I think it might have been as late as the 1980's before I heard of it in fiction. Maybe the late '70's.

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In a sort of jumbled reply to both points - Nevil Shute was an aviation engineer - I'm darn sure he was quite possibly more aware than the average person in the street about things like the effects of a nuclear bomb, radiation, nuclear winter etc. I think we can see that awareness quite clearly in his subdued but nonetheless fairly technical explanations in the book of what happened and how the radioactive fallout is spreading around the globe through the jet stream and the symptoms of radiation sickness. However that doesn't give us any indication of how that information was received and perceived. It is, as I said, subdued. For me that doesn't read as an overt anti-nuclear message, but I'm reading it from a different perspective and awareness of the issues to some one in the 1950's. It may well have had a completely different impact on a significant number of readers at that time. Having said that though ideas don't occur in a vacuum and the whole reason we have those generational labels is because there are clear defining characteristics of that time. My Dad was also from the silent generation and I can remember him saying how much growing up in the austere post-war years defined his generation. I think in many ways there is something of that silence and austerity in this book. There is no wild debauched lets make hay while the sun shines type behaviour. There is just a quiet sort of desperation and a very understated railing against fate.f you think how much people were expected to follow the roles society set for them, this book reflects that, right down to keeping the lights on right to the bitter end. We, who have seen the protests of the last 40 / 50 years don't perceive this book as a protest but that doesn't mean it wasn't if only in that it didn't justify, support, condone or support the use of nuclear weapons. It is quite clear that Shute considered the reasons for the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons as farcical and something of a comedy of errors which definitely would not have been in keeping with the common belief at the time about the necessity for the arms race.

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CuriousGeorgette, on 12 Apr 2014 - 3:23 PM, said:

 My Dad was also from the silent generation and I can remember him saying how much growing up in the austere post-war years defined his generation. I think in many ways there is something of that silence and austerity in this book. There is no wild debauched lets make hay while the sun shines type behaviour. There is just a quiet sort of desperation and a very understated railing against fate.f you think how much people were expected to follow the roles society set for them, this book reflects that, right down to keeping the lights on right to the bitter end.

 

Curious G.

Thank you very much for your impressions.  I don't recall austere post war years, or quiet desperation, or roles set for me.  I've heard times were tough in England for a long time, with rationing etc, but times were good in the US.  I went to college, had a dozen offers of employment when I graduated, and have been employed productively throughout my entire life.  Times have been good to me.  Are we speaking of different experiences in England vs US?

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CG wrote:

It is quite clear that Shute considered the reasons for the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons as farcical and something of a comedy of errors

 

 

His description of the war did rather sound like a Monty Python routine.

 

 

Re the post war years.....business was booming over here.  Suburbs were being built at a rapid rate.  They couldn't build 'em fast enough for the families that were forming and re-forming when the soldiers came home from the European and Pacific Theatres. 

As Paul said, the European/British experience was quite different.  I have known many ex-pat Brits over here that had stories of the privation they suffered in those post war years. 

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Yes perhaps - certainly Britain and Europe were slow to recover, in some places still recovering, as buildings destroyed in the war are only now being rebuilt. Of course the US was not directly touched by the direct effects of the war as most of the rest of the world was. Perhaps one of the contributing factors to the willingness to engage in the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

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Our country was not invaded, but how many thousands of our men were killed.  America sent men, money and machines in both directions.  A generation of young men were lost, not to give short shrift to the women that served.  That was our effect.

Edited by pontalba

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Yes perhaps - certainly Britain and Europe were slow to recover, in some places still recovering, as buildings destroyed in the war are only now being rebuilt. Of course the US was not directly touched by the direct effects of the war as most of the rest of the world was. Perhaps one of the contributing factors to the willingness to engage in the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Not directly touched? I would go slow with the rhetoric there CG. I consider the casualties among our young men over there and in the Pacific to be quite enough. Slurs at this point won't help anything. (There are counter-slurs, also, you know.) Edited by Paul

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Yes perhaps - certainly Britain and Europe were slow to recover, in some places still recovering, as buildings destroyed in the war are only now being rebuilt. Of course the US was not directly touched by the direct effects of the war as most of the rest of the world was. Perhaps one of the contributing factors to the willingness to engage in the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

 

I think this is a very unfair and inaccurate statement too. You don't have to be bombed to be effected by war, the loss of lives is a huge sacrifice and loss.  And there is little logic in saying that a country that has not taken direct attack is likely to encourage the proliferation of nuclear weapons. We in NZ were not directly attacked during either of the World Wars, and we have a total ban on nuclear power of any sort, including nuclear powered ships entering our waters. Because of our geographic isolation and alternative power sources, we are able to do this. It isn't so simple for other countries.

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I'm sorry, but America had not directly experienced the impact of an attack on the nation until 9-11 which is one of the reasons the attack had the profound effect it did. I'm not trying to play down the loss of lives during WW2 and the impact that had, nor am I trying to belittle the horror of 9-11 but there is still a difference in perception, impact and psychological effect when the bombs aren't landing on your head, in your streets, on your houses, and when it did happen in America with 9-11 the shock to the nation was profound. It changed many perceptions, changed attitudes, changed the people, changed the nation.

 

I also have not directly experienced what that feels like but I am perceptive enough to realise that there is a difference, must be a difference. How can we know what it felt like to have to hear the air-raid sirens go off and sit in cellars and bomb-shelters and basements listening to the planes go over head and straining to hear the whistle of the bombs falling? To sit and feel the explosion near or far and to come out and find your house, your neighbour's house, the street flattened to rubble? We can not.... but I don't think I'm so far off in saying that some one or a nation who has experienced that may well be a little less inclined to be enthusiastic about making war and collecting the accouterments of war than people who have not. 

 

There was a small scale protest in the US in 1946, followed by the first large scale protests in Japan in 1954  / 1955. The first Aldermaston March by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was in the UK in 1958 while the first large scale anti-nuclear protest in the US was only 3 years later in 1961. The first marches were held in Australia in 1964. So the publication date for On The Beach in 1957 slots in right between the first meeting of the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs held in Japan in 1955 and the first protests organised by the CND in 1958. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-nuclear_protests_in_the_United_States

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-nuclear_protests

 

And yes we are in a way discussing the difference between the US and the UK's experience etc. You can not separate the experiences from the author because it is those experiences that shaped what and how he wrote. Nevil Shute was British. He served in both World Wars - in weapons development during WW2 - and emigrated to Australia in 1950. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevil_Shute

Edited by CuriousGeorgette

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I usually try to stay out of the argumentative end of these things, but have you forgotten about the attack on U.S. soil at Pearl Harbor?  Also, I would be careful marginalizing someone's contribution of help, especially when that contribution involves laying down their lives for people they've never met a half a world away.

 

Furthermore, I have family who died in the Pentagon on 9-11, so don't tell me that the impact was merely psychological.  You weren't here that day.  You don't live here now, so don't presume to tell me what things were and are like.  You don't look insightful, you look insensitive.

Edited by dtrpath27

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I usually try to stay out of the argumentative end of these things, but have you forgotten about the attack on U.S. soil at Pearl Harbor?  Also, I would be careful marginalizing someone's contribution of help, especially when that contribution involves laying down their lives for people they've never met a half a world away.

 

Furthermore, I have family who died in the Pentagon on 9-11, so don't tell me that the impact was merely psychological.  You weren't here that day.  You don't live here now, so don't presume to tell me what things were and are like.  You don't look insightful, you look insensitive.

 

Isn't Pearl Harbour located in Hawaii... and while yes technically that is US territory it isn't quite the same as the continental US is it? It is also a military base which is also not the same as bombs dropping on civilian targets. I did not marginalize the US's contribution of help, and I thought I made a point of saying that I was not trivialising it - but you can't dismiss the fact that the US did not experience the war in the same way that Europe and the UK did. It is also true to say that none of us experienced it in the same way that the people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima did either. And I'm quite sure that the people in those cities perceptions of the bomb is shaped differently by that experience as well. Certainly that experience must have played a role in the fact that the first world conference protesting nuclear weapons was held in Japan. You can't just dismiss the differences in experiences by being defensive about what you perceive as an attack. Facts are facts and different experiences create different perceptions and have different psychological effects etc. 

 

As for 9-11 I'm sorry you lost family - truly that must be a pain in your heart that will never go. I am absolutely NOT marginalising or trivialising that loss and devastation, but in terms of the discussion between the US experience of war and the European experience it is relevant to say that until that horrible day on 9-11 - the average person in the US had not had that experience and when it did happen (as much I fervently wish it had not) the profundity of the impact illustrates the difference that personally experiencing bombs dropping on innocents and not having that experience does create a whole different mind-set / experience / impact etc etc etc etc ie all the ways in which that impacts a person physically, psychologically, emotionally etc. I am really sorry that you see that as trivialising anything - wow - if you only knew how deeply and profoundly anti-war/anti-violence I am because of all the ways in which it so utterly messes people up and the long term effects it has from generation to generation you would not for one minute think that I am disrespectful of or minimalising the impact of any participation or contribution or effect. 

 

Let's not forget we are discussing a book about war, and attempting to discuss the impact it may or may not have had in forming a broader anti-nuclear protest movement. Discussing the times in which the book was written and the experiences that contributed to both the author's point of view and the perception of readers is relevant. The book was written by a British author who had an up close and personal experience of two world wars and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is a British organisation - discussing the psychology, experience, etc of Britain during the war is entirely relevant. And the fact that it is different to the US experience has to be mentioned, if only, to realise that there was a different experience and that may be why I and other readers perception of the book may not be the same as readers in the UK in 1957 / 1958. 

 

I am acknowledging that my own experience was already sufficiently different not to immediately perceive this book as anti-nuclear or even anti-war. I first read it in the early 1980's. I can't remember exactly when I read it (this is the problem with devouring books at the speed I do LOL) but during those years I was deeply impacted by the construction of the first (and so far only) nuclear power station here. I was profoundly impacted by movies such as Ghandi, Gallipoli, Apocolypse Now, Dr Strangelove and others and reading books like Heart of Darkness, Lord of the Flies, Catch 22,  as well as any number of post-apocalyptic sci-fi books (too many to mention) that created in me a profoundly deep and abiding hatred for war, violence and anything starting with 'nuclear'. And yet even in that context and rereading the book now - I do not experience it as primarily anti-nuclear war / weapons. So trying to ascertain how and if the book was a part of forming an anti-nuclear movement as claimed is both interesting and challenging.   

 

 

*******

 

Actually just thinking about it in these terms makes me realise that the book reflects the British 'stiff upper lip' attitude and behaviour during the war more than I think it accurately reflects the Australian character it is supposed to. 

Edited by CuriousGeorgette

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I get where you're coming from, CuriousGeorgette, as far as it being a different experience living under constant bombing to being in a country that has troops involved but not actually under attack. I have huge admiration for those who suffered under those conditions. None of us can really imagine what it's like to experience those things, be it 9/11, Hiroshima, the London bombings or whatever, unless we were there.

 

 

We can not.... but I don't think I'm so far off in saying that some one or a nation who has experienced that may well be a little less inclined to be enthusiastic about making war and collecting the accouterments of war than people who have not.

 

However, although you would think it would be so, I don't think this statement holds much truth. Otherwise countries in the Middle East, Israel and Palestine, Ireland ....the list goes on, would have settled their differences long ago.

 

I'm by no means up on history, but as far as I understand, the USA has never started any war since the Civil War in 1861. As abhorrent as I think war is, there is the moral dilemma of  whether or not to go to the aid of countries who are being invaded by crazy dictators etc.  And also arming yourself sufficiently that should you ever be attacked, you are able to protect yourself and your people.

In an ideal world, there would be no wars, no greedy rulers trying to take what isn't theirs, no need for any weaponry whatsoever .....I'm looking forward to that day.

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CG, I really think you missed the point of where my objections lie.  Having said that, I come here to have fun and relax, not argue, so I shall return to a state of neutrality in future discussions.

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I think my own attitudes and their origins have been eloquently represented here by others, and more eloquently than I would have been capable of. So, I'll just offer one further thought. Pearl Harbor and 9-11, though they might seem from abroad to have been minor events compared to years of warfare and bombardment in Europe, nevertheless they were galvanizing moments in American experience when it became clear that there were threats afoot that Americans really did not wish to reach American soil. And the American response was and has been correspondingly immense, and I personally have no regret about that. If I don't know enough about war, not being European, I do know this much: I don't want it here and am glad that the US has been able to prevent it happening, so far.

 

On the narrower question of Shute and his attitudes toward peace or war, that sounds more and more like a topic for serious research rather than the looser discussions on a forum. I certainly can't comment further.

Edited by Paul

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  Having said that, I come here to have fun and relax, not argue, so I shall return to a state of neutrality in future discussions.

 

Ahh, the nail on the head!  Exactly.  Although, I must admit to enjoying a good discussion. 

Unfortunately, when people have points of conflict, there can be misunderstandings that lead to more misunderstandings that lead to unpleasant and hurt feelings.  One trouble with online conversations is that we cannot see the other posters face to read their facial expressions and get their body language.  What comes across as combative could possibly be softened or even negated by our physical expressions, and reverse meanings to some extent.

Smilies and explanations can only go so far, and we end up digging ourselves into an ever deepening hole. 

 

So, back on to the topic of the book itself........someone above said they thought it was more a story about how people get along in such circumstances.  But it seems to me to be, in the final analysis, a love story.  Dwight's love for his wife, battling his burgeoning affection/love for Moira.  Moira's love for Dwight.  Peter and Mary's love and sacrifice for each other.

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And I am now done. All I know is that I am entirely fed up with attempting to have an interesting discussion about various things without emotionalism.

 

/sigh/  When someone feels their losses have been minimized, they will react.  Yes, emotionally.  It's natural progression.

 

Some topics are simply emotional. 

 

Lets leave it at that.

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/sigh/  When someone feels their losses have been minimized, they will react.  Yes, emotionally.  It's natural progression.

 

Some topics are simply emotional. 

 

Lets leave it at that.

 

 

except that whenever the conversation just starts to get intellectually interesting it manages to get veered off into the bushes because some one or the other reacts emotionally, this thread isn't the first time its happened either on this forum or on forums in general and I'm a weeny bit fed up with never being able to actually have a proper intellectually interesting and more in depth discussion about a book. 

Edited by CuriousGeorgette

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never being able to actually have a proper intellectually interesting and more in depth discussion.

It may be that some topics simply can't be forced. The classical three topics to avoid in conversation have long been sex, politics and religion. The discussion here might fall under "politics," with results that have been seen.

 

There have been long discussions of books on forums. They don't always derail.

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except that whenever the conversation just starts to get intellectually interesting it manages to get veered off into the bushes because some one or the other reacts emotionally, this thread isn't the first time its happened either on this forum or on forums in general and I'm a weeny bit fed up with never being able to actually have a proper intellectually interesting and more in depth discussion about a book. 

 

I've seen and been involved in excellent, and stimulating discussions online  about books that did not cause the emotional distress that has happened here.  I hope, very much, that the distress can be over, and we can go back to interesting as opposed to hurtful conversation.  Accusations do not belong in any thread for a calm discussion. 

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I've managed to resist peeking at this thread till i'd finished reading the book myself so i shall answer the questions before i look at everyone else's  answers
 

I'll open with a very basic question.  What did you think of the book, in general?

I have actually read this book before when i was still in my teens but remembered very little about it, apart from the fact that it was set in Australia in the aftermath of a nuclear war. I enjoyed reading the book very much & read it in about 3 days as for me it was quite a page turner

 

1- Who was your favourite character? Were there any characters whom you disliked?

I liked Peter Holmes & Dwight Towers, i thought they were thoroughly decent chaps & Moira was a good strong female character without her i think the story would've been a bit weak as Mary Holmes was a rather pathetic character & by the end of the book she was really starting to get on my nerves.

3- Did you like the writing? What did you think of the way the story was told?

I did like the way the story was written especially when it talked about how everyday life was affected , the lack of oil & petrol so no cars on the roads & things running out in the shops. Although i thought it was quite funny how everybody was so frightfully well behaved & polite under the circumstances.

4- Was this the first book you've read by this author, has it encouraged you to read more? 

This is the only book i've read by Shute but i would consider reading more of his books in the future maybe.....although as i first read it in my teens & haven't picked up anything else by him probably means it might be quite awhile before i get round to it

5- Were there any parts/ideas you struggled with?

 I found the parts about the motor racing & fishing quite boring. I also thought that it was unlikely that John Osborne would be so reckless with his life when he had an elderly mother whom he must have felt responsible for. Also the Holmeses baby had no personality at all she might as well have been a rock for all she featured in the story & at the end Peter refers to her as an it, no parent would think or speak of their child as an it.

6- Overall, was reading the book an enjoyable experience?

Yes it was a good read & i'm glad i read it, it certainly made me think about how i would want to spend my time if i knew i only had a few months left to live

 

 Do you think the events of the novel are believable? Do you think the behavior of the characters in the novel is believable? Why or why not?

Thinking about it i don't believe that people would be so accepting of their fate, i'm quite sure they'd be demanding that the government provide them with nuclear bunkers & supplies as you can be quite sure that the high ups would have their own bunkers well fitted out in case of a nuclear war. I don't think people would have been so well behaved, many more would have cracked under the pressure.

 

What is the significance of work in the characters' lives?

I suppose it kept their minds off dying & brought a feeling of normality & stability to them.

How has the definition of sanity changed in the aftermath of the nuclear war?

Everyone behaved as though life was going to go on as normal & still planned for the future. I suppose it was easier to do that than think that death was imminent & stopped them from just giving up.

 

 

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