Read Lonely Road by Nevil Shute Online


Malcolm Stevenson, a wealthy ex-naval officer haunted by his memories of the war, finds his lonely life turned upside down one night when he runs into trouble on a road near the coast. What at first appears to be an accident leads him to discover an international conspiracy against his country—and to fall in love with a dance hostess who seems to have something to do withMalcolm Stevenson, a wealthy ex-naval officer haunted by his memories of the war, finds his lonely life turned upside down one night when he runs into trouble on a road near the coast. What at first appears to be an accident leads him to discover an international conspiracy against his country—and to fall in love with a dance hostess who seems to have something to do with it. Malcolm’s determination to expose the plot will put his life—and that of the only person who has brought him any happiness—in grave danger....

Title : Lonely Road
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781889439242
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 200 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lonely Road Reviews

  • Stephen
    2019-01-30 16:50

    easy going pre-war political crime thriller which originally came out in 1932 and you can see some of the ideas ian fleming had as he knew Shute.

  • Alex Brightsmith
    2019-02-19 19:51

    Love, regret, vengeance and the possibility of redemption in unlikely places.I owe this book a review because I rather misjudged it the first time I read it. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it from the first, but I loved it as a straightforward adventure yarn, tied up with a touch more romance than would usually be to my taste. Nevil Shute is possibly better known for bitter post-war novels, and to my shame I didn’t at first realise that this book, first published in 1931, falls very much in that category. But more of that later.Firstly, this book does work beautifully as a good yarn. It’s internally consistent, beautifully paced, and sparsely told. In fact, throughout it is beautifully told, which is for me pretty much a given with Shute. Where he writes about what he knows well – aircraft, usually, but in this case the sea and small boats, and the fast, damaged young men of the years between the wars – he is unsurpassed. He also writes the most beautifully moving tragedy I’ve ever read . . . small scale tragedy, little passages that toy with your heart and will take me to the edge of tears, even when I know them well, single lines that will take everything you have half learnt in the last three chapters and crystallise it into a single moment of heart-breaking sadness. I could say the same for almost any Shute novel. Where Lonely Road stands out is in its opening chapter, half dreamscape, half the genuine if mangled memories of a man suffering both concussion and a well-deserved hangover. It captures better than most attempts I’ve seen the fragmentary nature of dreams, the way in which everything, however surreal, makes perfect sense to the dreamer, and the odd common details that can shoot through and tie together the most disjointed dream, and take on unreasonable prominence in doing so.It even works for me as a romance, despite my exacting standards in this area. Any barrier is so often either implausible in the first place or implausibly overcome (or, worse, conveniently forgotten), so that I tend to find myself fighting the impulse to shout ‘oh for heaven’s sake just talk to the girl’ or earnestly wishing to grasp the lead characters by the scruff of their necks and bang their heads together. I’m not really the best person to review romance. What I will say is that at the heart of this story is a relationship that is absolutely plausible and suffers a realistic impediment.This may be the place for a brief defence of the charge often levelled at Shute, that he writes weak, silly women. Well, he does, and when I get round to reviewing one of the novels they appear in, I’ll explain why I don’t find that a problem in more detail. Briefly, because there is usually a reason for their weakness or silliness. And in Lonely Road we have Sixpence, a palais de danse taxi-dancer, who is not weak or silly, though she is ignorant and naive.I’m unlikely to review Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, because if you know it you probably already suspect that it was one of those books that made me want to give the protagonists a slap, and I don’t see there’s much to be gained by my writing a bad review of a book that was simply not to my taste. It would tell you more about me than the book. I mention it now because there are strong parallels in the central relationship, but the difference is what makes Lonely Road, for me, a more satisfying read. Molly, though she is dismissively referred to as Sixpence almost throughout, though she makes some silly mistakes, is a more intelligent, subtler, warmer, and overall less generally hopeless heroine than the second Mrs de Winter.And finally, Lonely Road as a serious post-war novel. I’ve touched on it in those fast, damaged young men. Forewarned, you will pick the element easily out of the opening dreamscape. Our narrator has done things in battle that he would never have considered in normal life. Can he forgive himself? Can he forget? Can he be sure it was only the circumstances of war that shaped his actions?

  • Sue
    2019-01-24 22:31

    Commander Malcolm Stevenson returns to consciousness and finds himself in a hospital being told by a nurse that he'd been in an automobile accident and had a concussion. Over the next few days, as his brain begins to clear, he tries to reconstruct and remember as much as he can about what happened. What he finds out is that he had been a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time as a gun-smuggling operation was going down. He tells what he knows to the police and finds himself pulled in to the investigation. The beginning of this was extremely confusing and disjointed. Suddenly about 40 pages in, I seemed to realize that there was a steady plot line and I was hooked at that point. And yes, the confusion of the first chapter is ultimately explained.

  • Bernard
    2019-01-29 17:37

    In May, 2013, I found this book in a box of books my mother had stored. It was a gift to my father from an unknown friend in 1955. I had to read it to experience what my father had read. I am glad I did. Interesting, thoughtful, and sad...particularly the war recollections and the early 19th century realities of social class. Well worth ones time...

  • Wynne
    2019-01-29 20:41

    Nevil Shute is one good storyteller. This is an old copy on my bookshelf, but I don't remember reading it before. Published in 1932, there is a lot of history to come, but of course neither the author or characters know that. It does fit in well with "after WWI" fiction.Like many of Shute's novels, there is a class difference between the hero and heroine and some time spent on technical explanations. In this novel it is ships, seas, weather. Shute is always quite detailed in his descriptions.But the Preface sets us up to know that there will be sadness here. Shute notes in this reprint that this was an experiment which he still likes.Pied Piper, A Town Like Alice are novels on the top of my lists. But I think I will go back and look at some I read years ago. I remember Round the Bend, Landfall and Most Secret as being really good.

  • Derek Collett
    2019-02-10 20:36

    Here is Shute quite a long way below his best form. I think this is largely because he can't make up his mind whether he is writing a thriller or a romance and so he blurs the two approaches and hopes it will work. It doesn't.The book starts out with a sort of dream sequence that Shute states in a preface was an experiment he wanted to make and that he thought was successful. I can only say in answer to that that I had to read it again after I had finished the book in order to make sense of it! However, that may just be me... The rest of the story unfolds logically and conventionally but the quality of Shute's prose is not really good enough to raise this humdrum tale onto a higher plane. The romance (between a middle-aged retired naval officer and a much younger dancing girl) swamps the long middle section of the book and Shute's 'love across social divides and generations' theme may have been reasonably original when the book was first published but seems dated and old hat nowadays. The girl, whom the hero nicknames 'Sixpence', because he picked her up at a sixpenny dance, is really just a nicer version of the time-honoured 'tart with a heart' of fiction passim.The book picks up towards the end when the thriller thread finally comes to life. There is a dramatic shooting and an exciting boat chase, which is not something one reads every day (Shute here, as in Most Secret, making good use of his youthful familiarity with sailing boats). However, the belated action sequence is a case of too little, too late. Some of the dialogue and attitudes don't quite ring true to these ears and the book is a bit too 'soppy' for my tastes. Shute, as ever, is very readable and there is much to admire in this novel but, if pushed for time, then please read Most Secret instead.

  • Jim Puskas
    2019-01-23 15:26

    Apart from "On the Beach" this is probably the darkest and least optimistic of Shute's novels. Stevenson, the central character is a bitter, lonely man who in middle age remains obsessed with his experiences as a naval officer during the war. Having failed in several relationships with women and finding himself with few friends, he drinks far too much, drives too fast and doesn't like the person he has become. Then, by a series of coincidences, he meets a very special young woman and he suddenly sees the opportunity to start a new life. But then, fate deals him a violent and crippling blow and feeling that he has lost everything that he cared about, he devotes his energies to a settling of accounts with those he deems to have been responsible for his tragedy.Definitely not intended as a "feel-good" story, yet it's well crafted. At times, I found myself wondering how much of Stevenson's persona was a reflection of Shute's own personality and his disillusionment with the post-war era, when the British economy was in ruins, political dirty tricks were rife and many were wondering what had been gained by the war.On a more positive note, one of Shute's favorite themes shines through: his admiration for the spunk, adaptability and integrity of relatively simple individuals who, despite having relatively little education and lacking advantages in a highly class-conscious society, prove themselves capable of great things against all odds and often advance far up the socio-economic scale. At least one such character (like Molly in this case) appears in every one of Shute's novels.

  • Terri
    2019-02-03 20:40

    I must admit that I have really liked everything I've read by Nevil Shute. His writing is excellent, with lovely prose. It's a delight to read, in my opinion. This particular novel, though, I would probably give 3.5 stars if I could. It's a really good story with an interesting plot, but there can be no question that it is a tragedy, and honestly it didn't leave me with a lot of happy thoughts. Still, such a great tale.This book tells the story of Malcolm Stevenson, an unlikely, lonely (and possibly undeserving) WW2 hero and well-to-do shipbuilder. Malcolm is involved in a driving accident and inadvertently stumbles into a gun running espionage plot to sabotage the British government. Following his recovery from the accident, he meets a lovely and lively social dance girl (Mollie Gordon) with whom he falls in love. Events turn ugly as everything comes together in the end, and Malcolm is sadly left alone again.Shute's characters were well fleshed out and the plot kept me going all the way through. There is a really difficult dream sequence at the first of the book that I thought would drive me crazy because it's about 10-15 pages long and doesn't make much sense at the beginning. But, it does all come together by the end, so it's worth it.This was a totally clean book.

  • Gerald
    2019-01-21 15:46

    This novel by Nevil Shute was a bit of a strange one for him. That is partially explained by the fact that it was one of his earliest - his third, I think. Malcolm Stevenson is at age 38 the very wealthy owner of a shipbuilding business in very early 1930's England. Other than being immersed in this business, he is a very lonely man who drinks way too much. While returning home from a trip after a round of such drinking, he has what appears to be a very bad accident from which he barely recovers. He has no clear recollection of how his car wreck happened. As the story proceeds, he discovers the "accident" was anything but accidental and involves a conspiracy with national implications of a very significant nature. He meets a beautiful hostess in a dancing hall which he visits and soon learns of her very indirect role, through the actions of her brother, in the conspiracy. He becomes involved further with the girl in his effort to assist a police investigation and soon falls in love with her. I'm glad I read this book, but it is probably the least favorite of all the many Nevil Shute novelty I've read. I can only give it a weak recommendation.

  • Scilla
    2019-02-06 15:37

    Commander Stevenson was a bachelor who seemed to have accidents and had been turned down by several suitable wives. He has a bad accident in his car on the way from a drunken evening, but dreams of seeing a boat near shore and a lorry on fire. After rehab, he goes to a visit to his cousin Joan Stenning. On the way home he stays in Leeds and goes to a Palais de Dance recommended by the waiter in the hotel. He meets and spends the evening with a young woman, Mollie Gordon. After he gets home, his friend, Colonel Fedden come to visit and tells him about a gun found by the roadnear the burned out lorry, and Stevenson realizes it has something to do with his accident and the lorry has something to do with Mollie's brother. Stevenson asks Mollie to spend her vacation with him in the country and they get mixed up in the affair with her brother. It's a good yarn, but not as good as Shute's later books.

  • Rob
    2019-01-30 23:50

    I'm a big fan of Nevil Shute's, and I've probably read eight or ten of his books, so I eagerly looked forward to reading this one. I have to say I was disappointed. To sum up, a rich anti-social Englishman suffering from post-traumatic stress due to his experiences in the Great War stumbles upon a criminal plot, and meets a wonderful girl. The plot is well-paced with a couple twists, and the characters are like characters in other Nevil Shute books. The problem is that this book doesn't leave the reader with a great lesson, or a warm feeling about humanity, or an incredible story that must be told, like other Nevil Shute books do. This book just ends with a messy and unsatisfying conclusion, like real stories out of the newspapers. The main character Commander Stevenson is an unlikeable chap mostly.Shute experimented with his writing style when he wrote this book. The whole book feels like an experiment really.

  • Larry Piper
    2019-01-22 19:39

    Wow, another gem from Nevil Shute! He reminds me a bit of Willa Cather. Real life is presented in a calm, matter of fact way. This book involves a man who owns a boat yard, was a naval officer in WWI, is single, and who drinks too much. During one of his drunken drives, he may have had a bad accident, or perhaps not. Not too long thereafter, after befriending a dance-hall girl in Leeds (sixpence a dance) and hearing her chatter about her brother, hearing his cousin's spouse talk about small shipping routes from Europe to England, and seeing the effects of a burned out truck carrying a load of guns, he begins to see some tie-ins between these three seemingly unrelated things and his nightmares. So begins an investigation involving Scotland Yard, the homeland security folks (whatever they were called in England in the late 1920s). So also begins a romance with the dance-hall girl.

  • Dave Morris
    2019-02-09 21:52

    Shute mentions in the introduction that he used an experimental approach for the first chapter, and feels that may have cost him a lot of readers. I liked the experiment (a disjointed, nonlinear narrative that reflects the narrator's memories as they are coming together following an accident) and I got on well with Shute's crisp, assured style.The flaw in the book is the plot, which hinges on a massive coincidence that is only comprehensible if you think that the entire story is the narrator's dying dream, like Danny Boyle's movie Trance. (If that was the point of Trance.) I don't think Shute intended it that way, merely that outageous coincidence was par for the course in 1930s thrillers - see also The 39 Steps - but the modern reader may not be so forgiving.

  • Linda
    2019-02-09 15:45

    Malcolm Stevenson, a wealthy but lonely man, wakes up in a hospital after a bad automobile accident. As he recovers, he remembers bits and pieces of what happened, which don’t add up. A chance remark by a woman he meets in a dance hall gives him a clue which he investigates further and discovers a plot to smuggle firearms and rig an upcoming national election. It also leads to grave danger for him and the dance hall woman, with whom he has fallen in love. The first chapter of this book is an extremely confusing account of Stevenson’s thoughts just after the accident, much of which doesn’t really make sense until the end of the book. This is one of Shute’s early novels, published in 1932.

  • Al
    2019-01-27 16:44

    Another of Shute's early books, and a good one. A wealthy upper class WW I veteran, Malcolm Stevenson, suffering from what we now call PTSD, lives a lonely life until by chance he becomes involved with a dance hall girl, Mollie. By coincidence, he ends up spending more time than he expected with her while on the trail of a suspicious occurrence near his home. Their relationship moves along erratically, but beautifully developed by Shute, while Stevenson tries to balance his growing feelings for Mollie with the need to solve the mystery to which she has an important connection. Be warned: this story deviates from Shute's normal pattern in its resolution.

  • Martha
    2019-01-27 23:31

    What I loved about this book was that I was never very sure if I liked Commander Stevenson. He seems like the most detestable character at times, but then he almost redeems himself. The first chapter was, as Nevil Shute noted, very risky, but a great introduction to the character and the plot. The final 20% of the book features great, suspenseful writing. I look forward to giving this book a second read.

  • Mandy
    2019-02-08 20:31

    A rattling good yarn! Nevil Shute sure knows how to write them! Ignore all the stereotypes and hackneyed characterisations, the casual racism (amazing how often a "dirty little Jew" wanders through the pages)and don't look for great psychological depth - just sit back and enjoy. And this one has an unexpected warmth and sadness to it, which adds to the pleasure.

  • 5greenway
    2019-02-05 20:46

    I expected a solid 3-star thriller featuring guns! communists! sailing! a plucky tart with a heart! policework! a grim-faced hero! And while it had all those things, Nevil Shute's always a bit more peculiar and interesting than that. It has a kind of sustained sombre intensity, this one, and it really gets under your skin.

  • Greer Andjanetta
    2019-01-25 22:34

    A soft, gentle story abot a middle-aged bachelor who falls in love with a young dance hall girl.Nevil Shute's description of the characters and his development of the story make for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

  • Stephen
    2019-02-09 22:55

    What a curious book. I found it endearing in parts, really odd, offensive, but in the end the technical part, the chase was well worth reading. The caveat in the author's own preface summed up the problems.

  • Ann
    2019-01-22 22:49

    I'm so close to having read all of Shute's books--only two more. He's one of my favorite authors, so next I'll read the novels in the order in which they were written to enjoy Shute's development as a writer.

  • Vikas Datta
    2019-02-11 21:53

    Brilliant, inspired writing - the opening chapter appears confusing but in light of what happened to the narrator (and Mr Shute's explanation) becomes fully legible as this very atmospheric, but measured pace thriller moves ahead to a heart-tugging end...

  • Lesley
    2019-02-11 15:31

    V readable, and I was glad it turned out not to be a Communist Plot, but marking it down somewhat for the resolution (if you can call it resolution) of the actual emotional arc. There is a name for that trope.

  • Bea Alden
    2019-02-01 17:30

    Suspenseful story, with a great romance thrown in.

  • Lili
    2019-02-13 23:26

    This is a book I read years ago and I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve read all of Nevil Shute’s books. The best by far is “A Town Like Alice.”

  • Amanda
    2019-02-14 22:37

    excellent story as with all of Nevil shute's books. I'm rereading them all in the order they were written. this is the love story of a wealthy lonely man and a poor dance hostess who meet by chance.