Read The Far Country by Nevil Shute Online

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Jennifer fled the drab monotony of post-war London for Australia, and feels like she has come home. When she meets Carl, she has every reason to stay. But the two come from different worlds, and need work to build a life together in a pioneer country....

Title : The Far Country
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781842322512
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 362 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Far Country Reviews

  • Algernon
    2019-02-06 18:10

    I have yet to read a book by Nevil Shute novel that will not let his generosity and kindness, his understated, amiable nature shine through and illuminate the saddest and depressing themes. The Far Countryis no exception. It is a delicate and touching love story between two young, lonely souls, but the background and inspiration for the novel is anchored in what is probably the most difficult decision the writer had to take in his life: to abandon his own homeland and immigrate to the far side of the world. The inclusion of autobiographical elements in Nevil Shute novels only serves to increase the sense of authenticity and sincerity that make me come back to Nevil Shute novels on a regular basis. On my second or third re-read, this present novel has lost none of its initial appeal. If anything, it has gained poignancy, as I find myself contemplating living for years outside my own country on an expat contract.The year is 1950, the second World War is officially over, but the hardships, the food shortages, the heavy taxes and the political upheavals still grip England and most of Europe in their iron fists. The most vulnerable are the very young and the very old. 24 years old office clerk Jennifer Morton is called to the bedside of her elderly grandmother Ethel Trehearn, a former society girl who is now dying of malnutrition because she was too proud and discrete to call for social assistance when her Indian widow pension got canceled. The old lady reminisces at length on the prosperity and social graces of her Victorian country heiress lifestyle, unable to adapt to the changing environment around her. There's no place for old ladies in the brave new world. Mr. Shute lets go with all guns against the evils of the new socialist government and the woes of the improvised National Health Service. His perspective leans mostly towards conservative, elitist values, not surprisingly given his own background as an upper middle-class engineer, but with his signature equanimity, he does present counter arguments and opinions from the leftist movement and enough context to paint a balanced picture. In each year of the peace food had got shorter, more and more expensive, and taxation has risen higher and higher. He was now living on a lower scale than in the war-time years; the decline had gone on steadily, if anything increasing in momentum, and there seemed no end to it. Where would it all end, and what lay ahead of the young people of today in England? Jennifer's father urges her to go visit a distant relation in Australia with the money that came too late to save her ailing grandmother. Jane Dorman has immigrated herself from England against the opposition of her family toawards her marrying dashing and unconventional Australian lieutenant in 1918. After long years of hard work and money troubles, Jack and Jane Dorman are finally able to pay off the loan for their wool station (big sheep farm in Australian lingo) and turn a profit due to the increase in wool prices. Even after high government taxes they are still left with enough money for small luxuries like new cars, holidays in Melbourne, house appliances and guests from the homeland. Regarding Australia, Nevil Shute's portrait may seem slightly exagerrated in its rosy tint of a land of marvelous landscapes, easy prosperity and limitless chances for the intreprid man, but as a literary tool deployed to contrast the bleak English situation, it serves its role remarcably well. Sweeping vistas of eucalyptus forests (called gum tress in the novel), clear rivers filled with trout, uninhabited miles after miles of pastureland, brilliant birds and novel beasts like koala bears and wallabies, stress free and hospitable locals - these are the ingredients that greet Jennifer on her arrival to the continent.Although we start the journey learning about sheep farming , soon enough the focus moves to the lumbering camps in the neighboring mountains, where New Australians, as the displaced persons who lost their homes and even countries in the war are called, work their two year indenture as payment for being allowed into the country from the crowded camps in Europe. One of them is Carl Zlinter, a Czech doctor who is put to cut timber as his diploma is not recognized in the new country. His perspective adds another layer to the immigrant song, one of the many decent people that was uprooted from his home soil, thrown into the iron maws of the army and left abandoned after peace in a refugee camp. Australia means for him stability and security, away from a crowded Europe where borders are redrawn every decade or so. Since I was a young man there has been this threat of war; or war itself, and death, and marching, and defeat, and camps of homeless people, and the threat of war again, and of more marching, of more death, of more parting from one's home - unending; here is a country where a man can built a home without the feeling that all will be useless and destroyed next year. Jennifer and Carl meet under strenuous circumstances, as she assists the doctor in an unauthorized couple of operations after a work accident in the forest. The set-up allows Nevil Shute to showcase the other side of his character: the technical specialist who can express himself concisely and clearly on professional themes, in this case work safety and medical emergency interventions.The last major story arc puts Jennifer and Carl in improvised sleuth roles, as they try to elucidate the mystery of a tombstone in Howqua -a ghost town from the Australian gold rush era (about the end of the 19th century) that was completely destroyed in a forest fire. The stone bears the same name as Carl, and it may be one of his ancestors. The investigation brings the two lovers closer together, yet their romance is hampered by troubles with Jennifer's family back in England and by Carl's lack of medical license and lack of funds to pursue a decent profession.I particularly liked their restrained and hesitant steps towards each other, the care they take of each other's feelings and the practical concerns of starting a family in a completely new environment.She's got her head screwed on right!is the highest praise one of the characters uses to describe Jennifer, and I wholly agree with his estimation.The novel should appeal to romantic oriented souls, but also to readers interested in the historical context of post-war reconstruction.

  • Lori
    2019-01-26 00:04

    I LOVE this author! He is an excellent story teller that manages to tell a wonderfully engaging tale without any vile language and sex. This story revolves around a young British girl in the early days after World War II when times are hard and changing in Britain. This is full of excellent discussions, from a completely British perspective, on the social and political changes after the country was left devastated by 2 world wars. This is a wonderful story that I have found myself returning to and quoting over and over again. The protagonist's father was a doctor and the perspective of this generation watching what happened to both doctors and patients as the country moved to socialized medicine is very enlightening. Our current politicians as well as populace could learn much from history as well as the discussions here.

  • Kathryn
    2019-01-27 18:12

    I’ve been planning on reading this for a couple of years, but somehow something else always takes its place! And when I finally picked it up from the library, I foolishly almost judged it by its cover - well, that and its font style and size, which looked a little old-fashioned, boring and uninspiring. But it really is a good story. It started slowly, but it picked up through the second chapter and after that it was very easy to read.The author’s descriptions of the Australian countryside are beautiful and paint a picture. The plot was interesting and plausible, the characters likeable.This is my second Nevil Shute and I look forward to reading more of his work.

  • Ally Armistead
    2019-01-24 22:54

    In "Far Country," Shute creates a love story of warmth, realism, and charming inevitability. What I love about a Nevil Shute novel is the absolutely unsentimental way in which it relates a seemingly sentimental tale. In Nevil Shute's world, you can have a man and a woman and a buzzing, unraveling story of their developing affections (what would normally be a recipe for a sentimental disaster), but never once does it ooze "cheese factor" or an over-the-top pomposity. Instead, you find yourself routing for two resourceful, strong, and likable people across difficult circumstances. This is definitely the case in "Far Country," as Jennifer Morton (an English girl who travels to Australia from a post WW II, depressed and food-rationing England at her late grandmother's insistence) and Carl Zlinter (a post German Army officer and doctor who serves in an Australian lumber camp) meet and fall in love with the wealth, breadth, and beauty of Australia, a country that offers far more hope than either of their native lands. What is most interesting are the depictions of post WW II/Korean War England, where we see a Socialist country, the squandering of food and supplies and scraps along with extreme rationing and no retirement savings, and the bleakest of winters to boot. The feel of this England reminds me of the England portrayed in the famous graphic novel, "V"--an England who is so afraid of destruction that they've squelched their own will to live, their own freedom, and the happiness of its citizens.In Australia, however, we see a land quite the opposite, a country abundant and overflowing, a cornucopia of opportunity. The price of wool is up for graziers, the wealth far beyond that of its bleak parent England.The two nations are placed into contrast with one another, and the themes of loyalty to one's nation and family versus seeking new opportunity elsewhere is played with expertly.My only complaint of the novel, however, is the avoidance of (or perhaps a too subtle treatment of) Carl Zlinter's back story, specifically, his involvement in the German Army, his reason for coming to Australia, and whether or not (at age 36) he had interactions with the Nazi party. This is avoided completely, and is not quite clear, making the historical time line of the book a bit fuzzy and intangible. A bit frustrating, at times.Overall, though, a wonderful, charming read (charming, being the key word here) that I'd recommend to anyone who adores love stories, who is interested in Korean-War England and Australia, and who longs to know more about the Australian countryside.

  • Bill
    2019-02-08 15:54

    In its way, it's a relatively simple story, but I love Shute's style. He tells a story gently, lovingly and at the same time, matter of factly (Is that a proper word? :0)). At its core it's a love story, but it represents its time as well. Set after WWII, England is struggling to feed its people, life is hard; whereas in counterpoint, in Australia, the frontier so to speak, life is pretty good, wool prices are high, money is good, there is work available. Helen goes to England at the request of her auntie, who thinks Australia might represent England more from her time in the early 1900s. Helen visits with an Aunt and her family, meets Carl, a Czech doctor, who works in the forest as a lumberman (as a Displaced Person from the war) he must work where the Australians let him for 2 years as a sort of payment for being allowed to live in Australia. He can then work towards getting his Doctor's certificate. The two meet under very interesting circumstances, a friendship/ relationship develops. This is the simple story, but there is so much more. Shute doesn't get involved in the politics of the time, other than in the background as it affects peoples' lives, but he does present an excellent picture of the time, contrasting life in England and Australia very nicely and very simply. It's a lovely story, not one I would have picked earlier in my life I don't think, but the more I read Nevil Shute's stories (two of my all-time favourites are his, On the Beach and Pied Piper) the more I enjoy his writing and the more of his books I want to read. Highly recommended.

  • Rob
    2019-02-17 23:51

    One of Nevil Shute's better books. If you've read any of his better books before, you'll want to read this one. To any of my friends who haven't read Nevil Shute before, I recommend him. His books inspire me to feel better about the human race, without ever getting sappy. I've read most of his books, and so far every one has been a good read. Several have been made into movies, some of which were good, and some weren't. I should mention that some of his earlier books weren't the greatest, and On the Beach is a bit of an exception, being a dark warning of what might happen if we're not careful.This book highlights just how bad things were in Britain after the war, which is something I hadn't realized. Shute himself left England for Australia around this time, so he must have known what he was talking about, although surely his observations were colored by his politics. Anyway, the book is an interesting look back at the England and Australia of sixty years ago.

  • AnnaMay
    2019-02-10 19:15

    I enjoy his writing style a lot. It's very practical, and without my realizing it, he has given me a beautiful and (I imagine) accurate picture of the people and places of that little corner of Australia. I'd like to visit there one day, for sure. I'm sure it's very different now than what it was (just like the USA is different now than in 1950), but all the same, I'd like to visit there.His characters are very plain and that makes them very endearing. The heroine isn't some 'beauty', but has beautiful little traits about her, and the hero isn't some model from an underwear add :), but is someone with faults that become part of the whole person and make him very real and approachable. I like how this book dispelled the rosy picture the Australian girl had of England, then prove that the rosy picture the England girl developed of Australia was true. Shute is very biased towards Australia :).A nice story and an enjoyable read, for sure. No great climax, no depressing plot, just a good story. It makes me want to curl up, relax, and enjoy another.

  • JayeL
    2019-02-13 23:58

    I know I read all of Nevil Shute's books, but I don't remember this one at all. I was very glad to read it again and remembered one part when I came upon it this time: the part where Jennifer starts managing her father's doctor practice within the National Health Service. I think I was confusing this book with In the Wet. The ending seemed like Shute may have been planning a sequel, but I am not sure and don't remember ever seeing one.This is a book about normal people going about their normal lives and I like those kind of books. This one isn't as compelling at A Town like Alice but this is still worth a read.

  • Penelope Linton
    2019-02-13 22:45

    I really loved this book ! It is such a sweet love story ! I loved the descriptions of Australia so much it made want to go there! It was romantic love story with a little mystery thrown in. Also, some history of post war England thrown n. Shute painted England as dark ,dreary, and dirty. Australia was painted as place very beautiful rife with beautiful country sides, colorful birds with no natural preys. The people are very contented and peaceful. Briefly, it is story of an English girl who goes to Australia and meets a Czech doctor who is lumberman. He cannot practice as a doctor unless he trains in. Australia for 3 years but does not have enough money for his training. He was a doctor in Czechklosovakia during the war. I felt such compassion for the characters... Both lonely souls in a foreign country. It is no way a bodice ripper but a very lovely old fashioned love story !

  • Robert
    2019-02-14 20:59

    An interesting story contrasting the promise of post-WWII Australia and the poverty of Great Britain during the same period. It's by no means a page turner but it's well-written and the people are worth caring about.

  • Leslie Crawley
    2019-02-12 20:10

    Superbly written, gentle story of Australia in the '50s, contrasting with the ravages that Europe was still suffering after the end of WWII. Shute paints a landscape with words, but does not become overly sentimental.

  • Fence
    2019-01-31 17:47

    In Australia Jane and Jack Dorman own a prosperous sheep farm, or station. For the past few years most of the money they earned has gone to pay off loans and debts, but now, for the first time the wool money is all theirs, and its been a good year for selling wool. But Jane is worried about her aunt back in England. Aunt Ethel was the only family member who supported her in her decision to marry an Australian and leave England, they still exchange letters, and in Ethel’s latest she mentioned little things that begin to worry Jane.Jane is right to worry. The story moves to England and Jennifer, Ethel’s granddaughter, receives a telephone call from her mother asking her to check in on Ethel. When Jennifer does she discovers that Ethel is suffering from starvation and malnutrition. She has been hiding her lack of money from her family and hasn’t asked anyone for help, instead she was selling the furniture and pawning whatever valuables she had.Back in Australia the Dorman’s decide to send Ethel a cheque, but the money comes too late, Ethel knows she is dying and insists that Jennifer take the money and use it herself to leave England and travel to Australia.Okay, I’ve already spent longer than I wanted recapping the plot, and I haven’t even gotten to Carl Zlinter yet. But you get how a rough idea of how the story starts out.And those early chapters set in England are utter misery. Wonderfully written, but just plain miserable. Everyone is still living off ration cards, there is no meat, the damn socialists are in power and no one is happy. And the National Health system, which has just been introduced, is destroying the medical profession. People showing up at the doctors asking questions and getting forms filled out! As though they deserved a responsive doctor.I’m sure there was plenty of hardship in Britain in the years after WWII, but I think that blaming it on the “socialists” and the nationalisation of the health service is part of Shute’s anti-government spiel. Throughout the novel he seems very much of the opinion that if you work hard you will get rewards, and therefore you’ll deserve them. If you don’t get ahead in life then you haven’t been working hard.His example of this is Australia, where is you get your head down and do the hard graft you’ll be rich. But even there the government is sticking its nose in, making foreign people do 3 years of college in order have their medical qualifications recognised when anyone can see that they’re good hard working people!But Australia is there to contrast with the grey, wet, cold, crowded, miserable England that Jennifer leaves. Australia is full of open spaces and opportunity. Its warm and sunny, and there is so much land there for the taking.Yeah, lets not mention the original inhabitants shall we? Because they don’t get a mention at all in this apart from one comment about “blacks” not being in the frame in a postcard. Well, they don’t get to be in frame in this book either.So, for me, there are a lot of problems with this novel. It’s almost innocent, in a way, how it seems to believe that hard work is enough. But it is a damaging attitude to have, because it ignore the fact that if you start out life with even a little bit of money then you are way ahead of those in poverty, and for many people no amount of hard work will get them out of poverty.I’m writing a lot about this because it is a huge part of The Far Country, or at least it seemed to take up a huge amount in my reading of it.There is also the romance, and the wonderful writing. It’s a very easy read, Shute has a very flowing style that just lets the reader keep on reading, even if they don’t agree with everything he says. I suppose I shouldn’t be too hard on Shute, it was the times he lived and wrote in, but for a modern reader I think there are a lot of issues with the book. It didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book, or at least, I still enjoyed parts of it, but I don’t think it is one I’d be recommending to a lot of people.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-02-16 17:03

    The story is laid partly in London and partly in Australia. It is set in 1950.blurbs - Jennifer Morton, a young girl from Leicester but living in London, witnesses the death of her grandmother, the widow of a retired Indian civil servant. Her pension has ceased and she has literally starved to death, despite her apparent prosperity. Before she dies, she leaves to Jennifer a small sum of money sent by a niece in Australia, and asks that Jennifer uses the money to visit Australia and Jane and Jack Dorman, who own a prosperous sheep station in Merrijig Victoria. She does so.Jennifer finds herself falling in love with the new, relatively unspoiled country, though she continues to worry about her parents. She also meets Carl Zlinter, a 'New Australian'; a Czech refugee who is working at the nearby lumber camp of a timber company as a condition of his free passage to Australia. A medical doctor qualified to practise in Czechoslovakia, he is not qualified to practise in Australia and only looks after First Aid at the lumber camp. But when an accident badly injures two of the workers and no doctor, nurse or medical facilities are available, he is faced with watching the workers die or operating on them; he chooses to operate, and Jennifer assists him. The two operations are successful, but one man later gets drunk and dies. Zlinter is initially in potentially serious trouble over the unlicensed operations and death, but he is cleared of responsibility.Jennifer helps Zlinter to trace the history of a man of the same name who lived and died in the district many years before, during a gold rush, and they find the site of his house.Back in England, Jennifer's mother dies and she is forced to return, but she is now restless and unsatisfied. Zlinter turns up in Leicester; he has found gold dust that the earlier Zlinder earned as a bullock driver and hid beneath a stone. He has used the money from illegally selling the gold to travel to England to ask Jennifer to marry him, and to requalify as a medical practitioner.Read by Robin Bailey

  • Sarah
    2019-02-09 17:05

    Nevil Shute is one of my favourite authors, but this book is not one of his best. An alternate title could be, "England is a miserable place; Move to Australia," co-sponsored by the Australia Immigration Bureau and Winston Churchill/Tory reelection campaign.The story of the characters was really nice, and the book is interesting when read as a reflection of how the British middle class viewed post-war socialism, but I found the politics extremely biased and quite distracting. Oh the good old days when we had a house full of servants and enormous wealth! Now all these poor people expect medicine and help. So grasping and greedy. As an aside, and I realize it is a reflection of the times, but I did chuckle that the author included discussion on the political situation--by only by the men Jenny worked with in their only appearance--which she decided to listen in on, not participate in.

  • Michael
    2019-01-25 17:15

    England about 1951, suffering from fog, pollution, rationing and other after-effects following World War 2. In total contrast Australia, where with wool exports hitting record highs making sheep farmers very wealthy, plus there is sunshine, individualism, freedom and a positive outlook. In this story Nevil Shute weaves together the two contrasting scenarios through family connections on both sides of the world. I found it interesting to reflect upon what the life in England was at that time as he describes it and certainly it came a far second compared with that in Australia.The story is okay, but it was rather predictable and seemed to be one that could have been serialised in a magazine rather than a novel of greatness.

  • Robin Winter
    2019-02-06 15:47

    I was willing to move along slowly with this story and its disparate characters, all well-realized and believable, but I had the impression that the author himself was not focused on pulling his plot together. It is interesting to realize that ranking this, I had a hard time giving it a low score because of the friendly understandable world he let me share, yet so many elements were dropped, events critical to the characters happened off-stage, and the ending did not feel like one.

  • Lawrence Doggett, Jr.
    2019-01-27 19:01

    Although this is only the third Nevil Shute book I've read he is quickly rising to the top of my favorite author list. The is a certain brevity and purity in his writing that I have seldom seen elsewhere. He will quickly have you vested in his characters and unable to put down the book. Even though the time period he is writing about is sixty years ago the themes and problems transend both time and setting.

  • Marisol
    2019-01-19 19:57

    Es un libro bien escrito, muy entretenido, cada personaje es memorable.

  • Victoria
    2019-02-09 00:00

    The Far Country is the third Nevil Shute's book I've read and from the very beginnning of it I clearly understood why I love them so much and why from time to time I have this feeling of wanting to read some of his works. I love the characters of his books, I love that they're always so good, honest, and simple people. Reading his books I always have nice and warm feeling that this is definitely my thing, my type of book, and I enjoy it a lot. Honestly, I expected a different plot, and when I realised that it's not quite what I thought it would be, at first I felt a bit disappointed, but then I realised that it's nice as I completely didn't know what would happen next. I should say that there is no so much of action in this book, and everyhting happens quite slowly almost till the very end of the book when everything changes completely couple of times and it happens in two last chapters. The story is about discovering a new country, about people who left their motherlands because they felt or knew for sure that there were no place for them in their own countries: Carl as well as Stanislaus had to leave because it was impossible for them live in their countries due to great changes, Jenny went to Australia as she didn't feel that England is her place and she wasn't sure she wanted live there. In any case, all of them came to Australia for a better life. They fell in love with this new far country, they saw that it's a good place and they can be happy there.Actually this book shows us how much Nevil Shute himself loved Australia, and also it tells what he felt when he moved there, tells the reasons why he did it, because it's definitely based on his own experience.

  • Lorri Wright
    2019-02-17 20:07

    This was an enjoyable book. Very different ...as it was published in 1952. I love almost any book about Australia! This was fun to read about the romance between the characters. They were so "proper" in their relationship. Barely a kiss before their engagement and absolutely no touching except holding hands. They were exploring and researching an old gold mining town and ALWAYS referred to the women working the saloons as the "naughty" women. It was really rather refreshing and you know, the romance didn't lose anything in their chaste behavior! I also found it very interesting to read about the very difficult and Socialistic times in England during this time. I did not realize England had taken such a Socialistic role after the two World Wars. There are some interesting conversations among the English in the book.

  • Melita Kennedy
    2019-01-21 23:10

    I read this for the first time in 2017. I had read A Town Like Alice back in the 1980s when the miniseries showed on Masterpiece Theatre (argh, I wish they'd release it on DVD or BluRay). I read a few others by Shute in later years but nothing recently although I collected copies as I found them. I really enjoyed the Far Country. There's some racism (against the New Australians--immigrants from the displaced persons camps post-WWII) and I feel like I should say, of course, no Aborigines in sight. Jenny, a doctor's daughter in England, comes into a legacy from a relative, and uses it to travel to Australia for six months. Barely a month in, she's found a love interest and unfortunately has to return to England. Anyhow, I really want to know what happens to Jenny and Carl after the book! Urgh.

  • Pat
    2019-01-20 21:54

    First published in 1952; a young English woman unexpectedly travels to Australia and begins her visit at a station in the outback. The lack of medical personnel brings her in contact with a gentleman who was a doctor in Europe during the war, but Australia does not allow him to practice unless he goes back to school for 3 years. Consequently, he is working as an indentured lumberman for 2 years, and thinks he will no longer be a doctor. Lumber accidents require SOMEbody to help medically, so ....

  • Tom Burkhalter
    2019-02-17 16:02

    A good storyNevil Shuts is a forgotten author today, and that's sad. This is a well-written, well-plotted story with good characters. It's message of hope and love is not usual in this day and it's wonderfully refreshing.

  • Maureen
    2019-02-04 19:58

    Nevil Shute, what else can I say. I love his writing.

  • Larry Piper
    2019-01-28 16:14

    Nevil Shute never fails to deliver. At least he hasn't yet failed in the 11 books of his that I read. This wasn't quite so good, perhaps, as some of the previous ones because if felt a bit polemic in parts. But, none-the-less, it was surely a GoodRead.Much of the story revolves around a "station" in Victoria, southeastern Australia, not too far from Melbourne. A station was a sheep ranch. Jack and Jane Dorman had struggled for quite some time to get situated, but in the past few years (1950+/-), the price of wool was quite good and they finally managed to pay off all their mortgages and had some money left over to throw around. They sent some back to England to their Aunt Ethyl. England's recovery from World War II was slow, and there was rather a lot of rationing still. Aunt Ethyl had been the only one in Jane's family who accepted Jack as spouse worthy back in the day. Aunt Ethyl was not faring well with the restricted life in England and was essentially starving herself to death, not willing to bother her children with her care. Her grand daughter, Jennifer Morton, hears of her problems and shows up to pitch in a bit to help "Granny" back on her feet. Just before Granny dies, she signs over the check from Jack and Jane Dorman so that Jennifer could go off to Australia to have a better life. Maybe things in Australia are like in the good old days in England, Granny thought, when everyone had nice garden parties, no worries about having enough to eat, and plenty of servants to do their bidding. Ah, the good old days. Jennifer went to Australia, and very quickly felt at home. While out and about with Jack Dorman, they come upon a logging accident, in which one man has his foot trapped under a log (or bull dozer?) and another has his skull bashed in. They can't get the local doctor, so ask "Splinter", one of the loggers to help out. It seems that "Splinter", actually Carl Zlinter, had been a doctor in Europe before the war, and had come out to Australia as a displaced person. His medical credentials weren't recognized in Australia, so he was working as a logger. But, given his medical knowledge, he was the go-to guy to patch up folks injured in logging accidents. So, he amputates the foot of the guy trapped under the bulldozer (or log) and trephines the skull of the other guy to move the skull bones away from the brain tissue. The only person at the site with adequately clean hands is Jennifer. In addition, Jenny's bright as a penny ("her equal would be hard to find") and immediately becomes an asset to the surgical procedures. Naturally, Jenny and Carl slowly develop a relationship.But a bit later, Jennifer's mother dies and she has to go back to England to keep house for her father. Will she and Carl ever get back together, one in Australia without job prospects and one in England with a grieving and overworked father? Well, read the book and find out.The only blemish for me in this book was Shute's harping on how awful things were in England and how good they were in Australia. I know that England paid a high price during WWII and it took them a while to rebuild their economy, but I'm not convinced things were all that bad in 1951 or so when this book was supposed to have taken place. Then too, it seems that what Shute was really bemoaning was that rich people were less rich for a while after the war. They no longer could have a bunch of servants. For the regular Brits, I doubt 1950 was much worse than had been the case in 1920, when they were working in the ruling class sweat shops or being servants for the ruling class. But what do I know? I was only 6 when I lived in England in 1951, so perhaps I was too young to notice the deprivation. I certainly didn't feel any deprivation during my year there. Shute also has only scorn for the National Health Service. It seems that, like our current GOP, he didn't think poor people deserved to have health care and we'd all be better off if they just died. I dunno, I believe my brother broke a collar bone or ribs, or both in 1951, and the NHS patched him up just fine. Then, when I lived in England again in 1974, I was well served by the National Health Service when my daughter was born and when I stabbed myself with a piece of broken glass and bled all over my little closet of a lab. Anyway, despite the polemical blemishes, this book, like every other one Shute wrote, is well worth one's time.

  • Fiona
    2019-02-17 22:11

    "He is a bad man and not serious, only when he cuts off people's legs and they die. I do not know why you go out with him."This novel should have been titled "The Virtues Of Australia in the mid-1950s" or "Oh, Carl!" (the amount of times that line was repeated, I wouldn't like to count).Jokes aside, this was a nice way to spend a boring afternoon. It's a simple story, nothing spectacular and nothing particularly engrossing, about a young woman discovering a sense of belonging 12,000 miles from home, one summer's adventure and romance, and everything that happens - or doesn't happen - in its wake.The worst thing about finding paradise is leaving it.Nevil Shute isn't the most talented writer of his time, but there is a kind of realism and an omission of sentimentality which makes his novels enjoyable enough. This is the sort of book which transports you back to another time and place, the dreamy haze and tragic phase of the post-war era.I thought the characters were interesting to start with, particularly Jane Dorman and Carl Zlinter, but they weren't developed well, and the heroine was rather flat as a main character - poor Jenny, she was doomed from the start, without friends, dreams, hopes, longings, ideals, ambitions, treasured memories or any of those things that make youth such a distinctive phase of life. (Is it just me, or did male authors of the 1950s seem to genuinely have no clue about the mind, mannerisms or motivations of females??) .The plot is slow to get started and a little predictable once it does, lacks structure and suspense, but is forgivable because sometimes that's reality. A variety of events kept the story moving and it had some sweet moments that made it worthwhile, particularly the scenes in the Howqua valley. (view spoiler)[(The idea of a private sanctuary somewhere deep in the wild, a secret shared by one you love, was a lovely theme. The heart of the novel, I guess.) (hide spoiler)]This isn't the first time a Nevil Shute heroine has inherited lots of money from an old relative she hardly knew and used it for passage out to Australia, where she finds paradise (of course) and a sense of purpose in her life (there are other similarities, too, but I won't mention them for fear of spoiling the story). I was disappointed that Shute couldn't come up with something new.I liked it how the book made you think about different things: youthful idealism and false expectations, the grass being greener on the other side; emphasis on faithfulness in marriage, steadiness in romance and doing unexpected things together; hard work providing success, in time, and patience producing results; loyalty to family and loved ones; our connection to our nation's history; bureaucracy having no place in everyday events, especially in rather isolated areas; foreigners and their loss and regain of a homeland.I wasn't sure how much to trust the author's economical portrait of England or Australia, as he seemed biased to portray his own country, Australia, through rose-tinted glasses.The purpose of the book (apart from singing the praises of Australia) seemed to be to contrast two countries very different, far apart, and yet closely connected: England and Australia (or England vs. Australia!). And, come to think of it, "The Far Country" of the title could really be either.This is my second Nevil Shute book, the first being A Town Like Alice, which I enjoyed well enough, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on On the Beach. If you are new to Nevil Shute, I would recommend you read A Town Like Alice instead, as it's a better story.

  • Karan Sharma
    2019-01-30 19:04

    Another lovely, warm and cosy book by Nevil Shute. Pleasantly enjoyable with lovable characters as always, Shute's writing is understated, easy and flowing. Towards the end, the writing becomes more narrative instead of the characters actively engaging in conversations and this actually helps to build up the emotional appeal of the story. Shute's writing style is a far cry from the theatrics adopted by modern day writers, more like a vintage wine that only a privileged few are able to enjoy and appreciate. With "The Far Country", I have completed 10 of his books and have seldom been disappointed. So happy to have come across such a gifted writer.

  • Ailish
    2019-01-22 16:00

    I recently re-read this book after many years. It is still a lovely read, set in the years following WWII, about an English girl's experience of life in rural Australia. The novel provides an interesting picture of the late 1940s and early 1950s, however one could be forgiven for imagining that the author was being paid to boost migration from England to Australia.England, destroyed by war, socialism and the new Health Service, shows little hope of recovery. Food shortages are a constantly recurring theme in the first half of the novel. The twenty year old middle-class heroine, Jennifer Morton, is accustomed to food rationing and has never eaten a steak, and in London old ladies die of starvation while maintaining a genteel facade. By contrast, vast amounts of food, especially meat, are consumed by the Australian characters. London is presented at its worst - wet, cold and miserable, while the sun shines down on Australia. In Australia there are jobs and opportunities for all, and the reader is assured that there is no poverty to speak of.I read this book soon after reading Ruth Park's Harp in the South, set in the 1940s in the slums of Sydney's Surrey Hills, and found it an interesting contrast with the entirely wholesome Australia depicted in Shute's rural setting. Shute also portrays the life of non-English migrants, who were required to work for two years wherever the government sent them, on arrival in the country. Much of what Shute depicts here is corroborated by Raymond Gaita's memories of his childhood in Romulus My Father. Despite being a skilled worker, Gaita's Romanian father was sent to cut timber in the lumber camps of rural Victoria. Shute's Carl Zlinter, Jennifer Morton's love interest, is a Czech doctor also cutting timber in the Victorian bush. Unable to return to return to his own country, Zlinter, like Gaita, embraces his new life in Australia, and loves it for the freedom and opportunities it provides.The book also contains a few glimpses of the dead past: the remains of abandoned gold-mining towns, abundant sleepy koalas, respectable citizens stopping at the pub to down several beers in quick succession before jumping back into their vehicles, second generation Australians calling England 'home', and the sense of distance created by the choice between a month-long boat trip and a six-day flight to get there.

  • Smitha
    2019-02-18 21:06

    It is funny how I have missed out reading some authors for such a long time. For some reason, I hadn’t come across Nevil Shute, until recently. I had loved his ‘A Town like Alice’, so when I found another of his books, I just had to grab it.Jennifer is living in Post-War London. Life is tough in the UK, with all the rationing and the difficulties of a war ravaged nation. Britain is struggling to even feed its people. Jennifer comes to into some money unexpectedly, from her grandmother, who urges her to use it to go and see Australia, where a niece of her grandmother’s lives. Unsure, initially, Jennifer decides to go for it.She lands in Australia and finds it quite different from the bleak Britain that she left behind. After the hardships and the difficulties of Britain, Australia is the land of the plenty. Jane and Jack Dorman, Jennifer’s grandmother’s niece and her husband are prosperous sheep farmers. All their hard work has paid off and now are enjoying the luxuries that they can afford. They welcome Jennifer with love and enthusiasm and Jennifer falls in love with the wild Australian Countryside. She meets Carl, an immigrant qualified doctor from Czechoslovakia, who though qualified cannot practise as his qualification is not accepted in Australia. He is happy enough working with the timber company he works at, helping colleagues and other locals with first aid when they need it. A friendship springs between the two.A sweet, endearing tale, set in a time which is beautifully captured by Shute’s words. I love the way the author describes things. His words bring to life, a difficult Britain and in stark contrast, Australia as the land of opportunities. The story recounts the dire situation Britain was, after the end of World War II. Life changed for the common man in so many ways that people started to move to other countries. Shute’s own feelings about the way the British government was handling the situation is evident in his writings. A book written in a different time, capturing the moods and emotions of that time beautifully. A simple story, but sometimes the simplest of stories can tug at your heartstrings.A really sweet tale, narrated in Shute’s matter of fact manner, is a wonderful read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would certainly recommend it. I would rate it a 4/5.

  • Christine
    2019-01-20 18:45

    Right before I read this book I was reading Nevil Shute's Pied Piper and thought I'd give this a go because I was curious about the characters. Reflecting back on the opening of this book, I thought of Shakespeare's Hamlet, where you see a some narrative about a character we don't hear much about for the rest of the book. (Therefore: if you started reading it and didn't like it, keep going until you get into the meat of the story.)Even though we don't live in the time period this story takes place in, I thought about what it would be like to emigrate in our current world.NHS was decidedly painted in a bad light, but I would have liked it if Nevil Shute would explain more WHY it was not a good thing. Right now we have Call the Midwife sort of trumpeting how nice NHS is and it rubs us that we Yanks don't have it, but then The Far Country makes it seem like the post-war UK was a horrible place to be although they have NHS and food rationing and a miserable economy.I rather liked the main character and didn't think her too weak but -1 star because there are some elements of the story that were just too convenient to make the story play out as it did. It's fiction, so I guess that is how it works.There is a movie of this novel that I have not seen but based on what I read about the film adaptation I think the book is far better, as it doesn't sound like the movie follows this book. (I suppose if you're writing any book reports or participating in book discussions about this novel, that's a warning to you to not use the movie as a substitute or you're going to look ridiculous.)