Read Beyond The Black Stump by Nevil Shute Online


Stanton Laird comes to the Australian outback to search for oil. There he meets and falls in love with Mollie. However cultural differences between Stanton and Mollie's world force the two lovers to make difficult decisions....

Title : Beyond The Black Stump
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780848820312
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 297 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Beyond The Black Stump Reviews

  • Bettie☯
    2019-01-24 17:20

    (view spoiler)[Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  • Curtis
    2019-01-19 22:35

    This is a great book with strong characters that are allowed the time and pace to develop properly. It takes place in both America and Australia and tracks the story of an Oregonian (Stanton) and an Australian (Mollie) as they come together and try their hand at love. It is not a sappy love story though - rather it deals with the trials, misunderstandings and controversy that are inherent in close relationships between people who physically come from worlds apart.

  • Flyss Williams
    2019-01-21 17:18

    3.5 Oilman Stan Laird comes to the Australian outback from small town Oregon to assess the areas potential for oil. He meets and falls in love with a ranchers illegitimate daughter and asks her to marry him, can they overcome their cultural differences enough to make a happy life together?

  • Clare Smith
    2019-02-02 21:25

    I read all of Shute's books when I was a teenager, however this one was missing from the set. Now I found it online ($45 phew) in order to complete the set that my parents are going to pass on to me now some 35 years along.It was a real surprise to read this final novel and thoroughly enjoy it. I was concerned that this many years on I may no longer have found the style or content relevant. But the memory of the authors other works was not disappointed. The story itself is at face value one of the most simple but as someone once said when are our stories and songs not about love and life.Shute's deceptively simple storytelling gives a beautiful and clear picture of the world he is portraying. The characters are believable and likeable I also think they could quite easily be representative of any number of people in today's world. The landscape of course is timeless and the lessons/sentiments age old.All in all an unsophisticated and enjoyable read.

  • Lori
    2019-01-28 22:11

    Nevil Shute does a wonderful job of exploring Australia from a British point of view and examines the post WWII lifestyles of both America and Australia with a unique perspective that always interests me. This story focuses on a young man raised in a small town in Oregon and his time spent on the Australian frontier. The comparison/contrast between what America now (or at least mid 20th century) considers "wild country" and the vast "lunatic" frontier of Australia is interesting. He does a beautiful job of examining not only the physical aspects of Australia, but the cultural differences between people that, initially, look so very similar. His examination of these differences is done carefully and respectfully and ends up making you think, "Yeah, I can see why they would think that way." A very enjoyable read though I enjoyed A Town Like Alice and The Far Country more.

  • Daniel
    2019-02-10 20:36

    I love stories about the taming of Australia. Beyond the Black Stump satisfies this craving, describing life in frontier sheep grazing portions of the country as seen from the eyes of an American geologist traveling there to explore for oil. The culture differences between his life and that of the people he meets is interesting and at times incredibly funny, although also sobering and sad as well. Shute does a good job telling the story and the book easily kept my interest throughout.If you liked this book, you will also enjoy A Town Like Alice, another story about frontier life in Australia also by Shute.

  • Penina Sagadiev
    2019-02-17 17:36

    I don't usually summarise a book in a review. That's already been done by people better than me. What I will say is there is just something about this author that keeps me searching for more books by him. He isn't flashy. There isn't a lot of action. These aren't that type of book. These books were written long a go and take place in often remote places, yet they are relatable. He creates these characters that are real and you get invested in them. A Town Like Alice and On The Beach were two others that are worth checking out, too. I don't know why he isn't listed more on to read lists. I think people are missing out.

  • Natalie
    2019-02-18 20:13

    The way the author explored the notion of how different cultures judge outsiders made for a terrific read and some pretty humorous situations. The ways the author was able to illustrate the difference between progress and development was intriguing too. The story of the taming of the kangaroo mouse must have started out true somewhere! The picture of that creature and it's master is too detailed to be made up! Somwhere, at some time there must have been a man who really did mince up bugs and cheese and teach a kangaroo mouse to ride around on his shoulder!

  • Deborah Pickstone
    2019-01-30 22:25

    3.5 starsA tale of cultures clashing and love dividing rather than conquering all. Told in Shute's characteristic and engaging prose with excellent characterisation. Despite the fact that I didn't actually like either of the main characters I found it no hardship to read to the end. I think he was one of the strongest novelists of his generation.

  • Vikas Datta
    2019-02-10 23:06

    Well-crafted and bringing out cultural contrasts...

  • Andrew
    2019-01-24 18:09

    This is one of Nevil Shute's most entertaining novels and has some of his best characters, but I have major beef with the book.The problem I have is at the beginning it tells a tragic incident that happened with the main character and his friends. Knowing about this tragic occurrence, you can pretty much guess the fate of all the characters as soon as they're introduced.Towards the end, the shocking incident described at the beginning's brought back up as if it's some plot twist, but it is not a plot twist because you already know about it. Had it not added that at the beginning and saved it for later on, or even better told about the incident without giving away all the details and facts, this would've been a lot more enjoyable and I wouldn't have hesitated to give it five stars.

  • Sue
    2019-01-30 17:27

    Stanton Laird is an American geologist in the 1950’s who works for Topeka Exploration Inc. His next assignment takes him to northwestern Australia to follow up on a site survey which was done to potentially dig an oil well. The site is located near the borders of the Laragh and Lucinda stations. Stanton falls in love with Mollie, the daughter on the Laragh station. Will the site find oil and will he get the girl? While I enjoyed it, I found myself feeling that it was a bit formulaic. It reminded me a bit of Far Country in terms of person from another country travels to Australia and while on a station falls in love with someone there only to battle the cultural diversity.

  • Ray Noyes
    2019-02-05 17:35

    One of Shute's finest I'd say. As usual his character painting is simple but clear, their interactions complex but resolved. The clash of the characters' values and their life's aims is the backbone of the book and offers sincere food for thought. A touching and memorable story.

  • Nicole Diamond
    2019-01-22 21:10

    If it has one star I liked it a lot If it has two stars I liked it a lot and would recommend itIf it has three stars I really really liked it a lot If it has four stars I insist you read it If it has five stars it was life changing

  • Meeeriams Fleep
    2019-02-10 20:30

    This was a bittersweet story. Eye-opening, about humanity and the way we are in the circumstances we are put in.

  • David Kenrick
    2019-01-29 21:25

    Beyond the Black Stump is a slow-paced but surprisingly good romance which deals with the problems caused by variable cultural assumptions. It is not, however, simply some hackneyed novel of forbidden love but an altogether more ordinary affair with a distinctly colonial twist.The central protagonists are Mollie Regan and Stanton Laird. Regan is a young, illegitimate girl from 'beyond the black stump' - Australian parlance for the middle of nowhere - she lives on an enormous and remote sheep ranching station in Western Australia. Laird is a strait-laced American geological engineer who arrives to survey for oil. They come from two very different backgrounds, something which becomes increasingly apparent during the course of the novel. They fall in love, and Regan eventually returns with Laird to America as a precursor to marriage. Without wanting to spoil it too much things do not go as planned.Much of the novel is set on the remote Laragh Station, the sheep-farming ranch that is the Regan family's home. Here Shute exults in a motley band of characters centred around two ex-IRA fighters, an Edinburgh barmaid, a disgraced Eton teacher, a struggling young British expat, and a cast of drunken sheep ranchers. These outcasts in the outback are unconventional but at the same time very loveable. They are tough, but honest, fair, and generous. Hard-drinking, hard-working pioneers out in the sticks trying to make the best of it. Characters like Pat and the almost-mute Tom Regan, the Judge, David Cope, and the indomitable Mrs. Regan are all well-drawn. Even Mollie Regan, who at first I found to be rather grating in her enthusiasm for all things American, grew and developed as a character during the course of the narrative.Shute, who moved to Australia from England after the Second World War, really manages to bring the Australian outback to life and give a sense of its vast, remote and desolate nature. America, by contrast, is often sketched in much less detail. It exists largely as an image or imagining - either Stanton Laird's imagining of home, Mollie Regan's imagining of civilisation and modernity, or Nevil Shute's imagining of 1950s America. Indeed, Shute is rather biting in his implicit critique of modern American society's hypocrisy. He shows the shallowness of the American Pioneer narrative as it existed in the 1950s, contrasting it with what he saw as a true pioneering situation which still existed at that time in Australia. Indeed Shute's novel can be seen as an argument for the pioneering spirit against the materiality of western society in general (barring David Cope, Shute's Irish-Australian characters certainly wouldn't be considered respectable members of society in his native England either). While this view of pioneers is heavily romanticised and historically questionable, it helps propel the book beyond a simple forbidden romance story - a trite and formulaic device.

  • Larry Piper
    2019-01-29 16:14

    Rather a disappointment. Nevil Shute has become one of my favorite authors, but it appears that he lost his way in his last couple of books. It would seem that in his later years, he became so infatuated by his adopted home country of Australia that he couldn't see any of its faults. To support this infatuation, he seems to have had a need to villainize England (A Far Country) and the U.S. ( Beyond the Black Stump) so as to make himself feel better about his having emigrated to the Antipodes. This is not a half-bad story, actually, just not up to the standards I hold for Shute after having read ten or so of his other works. This one is set in a "station" (sheep ranch) in Western Australia. The Regan brothers, who had been active in the Irish Rebellion back after WWI, had managed to escape to Australia and set up a "station". There was rather a large and "colorful" family gathered at the station. One of the brothers, Uncle Tom had once gone off to Perth and come back married to a former Scottish barmaid. Eventually, the other brother, Pat "married" the Scottish barmaid, and Uncle Tom was ok with that because Pat had given him a relic of the Irish Revolution, some special gun that had once belonged to one of their revolutionary leaders. The brothers, it seems, also had a fondness for some of the aboriginals around, in particular "The Countess". So the station was populated by half-caste children as well as the eleven or so children of the Scottish barmaid. Added into this strange mix is "the Judge", a well-educated drunk who acts as the school master for all the station's children of all sizes and colors. The men all liked to sit around of an evening swilling rum neat. But the former barmaid knew how to keep them in check. Something like that. It all makes for a rather "interesting" family life. So, an American geologist, Stanton Laird, shows up to hunt around to see if there might be oil under the land. Naturally, he falls for Pat and the barmaid's daughter, Mollie. Complicating this is a young English immigrant, David Cope, who is trying to raise sheep on the neighboring station, a station with little apparent access to water. He also has designs on Mollie. It makes for interesting reading, learning about sheep raising, oil prospecting and drilling, the complications of international romance, and so forth. The marring factor is that we learn that all of the U.S. is a kind of vapid Ozzie-and-Harriet land and that Americans are way more racist than Australians. Um, I don't think so. Shute did his homework regarding oil prospecting and sheep raising, but the things he says and appears to believe about the U.S. show a serious lack of research on his part. A rather sad way to mar an otherwise GoodRead.

  • Kevin Findley
    2019-02-08 22:34

    This is one of my favorite Nevil Shute books. The author easily moves the story from the US to Australia and back again. Not an easy thing to do as so many writers find. The generational and social differences between the couple in love, their families and countries were deftly handled. Shute pulled back the curtain a bit on all of it without running down either country. The ending was a bit startling, but made perfect sense after just a moment of reflection.As a side note, this Ballantine edition has 256 pages.Grab a copy wherever you can. This book is well worth the time and effort.

  • Alexander Polsky
    2019-02-12 16:29

    Not one of Shute's better known works, but of particular interest to me, as he compares two places I know well-- outback Australia and Eastern Oregon.Its very much an anachronism as a book, not least because as he describes a drive out along the Columbia River, he's able to describe it without the last dams.But beyond travelogue, the book is a window into the mind of a Brit in the mid-1950s, contemplating American power. This book is worth reading for ideas that are now gone; Shute was an engineer, and is looking at American industrial dominance, cars, planes, oil.So the point of the book is to contrast the soul-less, almost Teutonic Americans with the warmer and more soulful Australians (Shute himself was a Brit, emigrated to Australia, and very much flying the Southern Cross flag here). The picture of the US is now quaint, and Shute's attempt to characterize Australia's treatment of Aboriginals as generous compared with America's racial issues is embarrassingly awkward.Another interesting bit of social history is his censoriousness towards Americans social/sexual values. Somewhat reminiscent of the Brit/Aussie refrain about GIs ("overpaid, oversexed and over here"), Shute finds fault with American relationships. Its a curious criticism, but its a big part of the book.So you can't read "Beyond the Black Stump" and sympathize with what Shute intended, but you can read it to see what a smart man who'd seen a lot of the world thought about in 1955. Seen from 2015, the errors of judgement and emphasis are obvious-- the value of the book lies not in the accuracy of his judgments, but as a record of the kinds of opinions people held at the time, for which this is a very good record.One can also see the characterizations in "Black Stump" as the Roundhead/Cavalier divide, a longstanding cultural theme in Britain. Shute suggests the historic Anglican skepticism of Puritanism, that its sanctimonious, unloving, cruel and un-Christian. Shute's Americans are far too serious about the casual, and far too casual about the serious, with dire consequences for all. Its well written, though his women are more "a man's idea of heroic women" than full characters. All in all, a quick and interesting read, not a perfect book but a very nice slice in time, good travelogue, good social history.

  • Delilah
    2019-02-10 20:06

    Beyond The Black Stump is by my sister’s favourite author, Nevil Shute. If you like Steinbeck, you’ll probably like Shute. This author, who started life out as an engineer, writes books about foreigners and their interactions with Australians and Australia around the 1950s. As a English immigrant to Australia at the time, he has a talent for capturing the sensibilities and curiosities of Australia of the time, and expresses a true fondness for his new country, often in comparison to an England he saw as deteriorating.The Australia Shute writes about no longer exists in many parts, due to immigration, adoption of multiculturalism and globalisation, however the characters in Beyond the Black Stump are quite close to my ancestry. They are an assortment of people whose family arrived in Australia generations ago, who worked to overcome the hardships of the land, and pioneer a young nation. In better words, the second and third verses of “I Am Australian”.The arrival of American oil prospectors stirs up the small community, and is quite an imposition on the slow and simple way of life they are accustomed. The storyline centres around the American, but examines internal changes of those around him. There is a slight predictability to the end, is but it is enjoyable to see the characters get there. The last line is particularly beautiful.

  • JayeL
    2019-01-27 00:06

    Pre-2000 reading: This is an interesting view of two people in love who have to bridge the gap between cultures. Despite feeling that 'Western' cultures aren't that different, differences abound.2015 reading: as I read this book again, after many years of not reading it, and reading it right after The Far Country, I found that there was an element of propaganda in it. That impression turned out to be an element of the story that didn't reveal itself until the end. I would have, again, liked more about Molly later, but the book ends at a poignant point.I missed the emotions and strong story of A Town Like Alice. I liked the characters and the spirit of helpfulness that pervades Shute's books. This is the first book that I wanted to lay side by side with Shute's biography,Parallel Motion: A Biography of Nevil Shute Norway and find out what he was thinking or experiencing at the time he was writing this book.

  • Gerald
    2019-01-21 17:07

    Stanton Laird is a young man who got in some trouble as a youth but overcame it quite well. He went on to become a successful geologist for an oil company. This necessitated his leaving his much-loved, small hometown in eastern Oregon. Following a 3-year assignment of oil exploration in Saudi Arabia, he goes next to a similarly desolate assignment trying to locate oil in the very sparsely populated area in the northern part of of West Australia on a million-acre sheep station. Here he falls deeply in love with a beautiful girl from a very strange family. He asks Mollie Regan to marry him. Her family likes Stanton, but her mother stipulates that they not get get married or even formally engaged until Mollie has journeyed for a stay of 3 months to his hometown of Hazel, Oregon to get to know his parents and to learn about America firsthand.I enjoyed this book quit a lot, as I have all the Nevil Shute novels I have read or re-read in many cases. He is a novelist from the 1920's until his death in 1960. Several of his books have been made into movies. His style of writing may be a little out of date for the taste of some readers, but I think he is terrific. I recommend this book on that basis.

  • Al
    2019-02-18 21:35

    A young, but experienced, American petroleum engineer is sent to a remote site in Western Australia to run seismic tests for a possible oil well. He is befriended by a rough-hewn sheep farming family and its eligible young daughter. So far, the book follows Mr. Shute's familiar plot track. Along the way, though, Mr. Shute is scattering hints that the final resolution may be different this time, and so it is.The novel is one of a group that calls on Mr. Shute's Australian experiences for setting and characterizations, both of which are up to his usual standard in this book. The remarkable and fascinating addition in BTBS is Mr. Shute's clear-eyed contrasting of the life styles and morals of middle America of the 1950s with the frontier life of Australia. The contrast doesn't reflect well on America. Interesting, and prescient in many ways.

  • F
    2019-01-29 21:08

    Thoroughly enjoyable. Very cleverly planned and thought out, so although it is a fairly light-weight romance/adventure story, the choice of a hero from small town America who is a geologist, working first in Arabia and then in Western Australia, juxtaposed with a heroine from the deepest outback of Western Australia gives opportunity for all sorts of comtrasts and interest. I found the characters convincing. I like his good use of technical detail, enough to let you feel he knows what he is talking about, and not so much that you get tired of wading through it all. He portrays a world in which, for all their faults, people are generally likeable and trustworthy, they are not always what they seem, and it pays to get to know people with an open mind, rather than judging by appearances. This book gave me lots to think about, without in any way preaching at me.

  • Thomas Womack
    2019-02-08 21:18

    This is a surprisingly good book; it's very much a period piece now, so also valuable in letting you see what someone writing in the mid-fifties and in his own mid-fifties thought of both America and Australia at the time ... clearly an enormous nostalgia for the frontier, though it's not completely obvious from the book that Shute had been living in Melbourne for five years since it was written. The approach to the many well-formed characters is complicated and, while judgmental, judgmental in what feels a modern way, whilst it's intriguing to read a book from significantly before the mainstream environmental movement, in which drilling for oil is presented as a well-run sophisticated technical achievement rather than a contribution to ruining the planet.

  • Nicole Gagnon
    2019-02-11 20:21

    Love this author, this is the fourth book I read of his. This book was good, you really get a sense of what life was like in northwest Australia not quite a century ago. In addition to discovering a bit more about the history of Australia, I really enjoyed seeing Mollie and Stan discover who they each were as their relationship changed. I won't be a spoiler but I really was not expecting that ending. All I will say is that I did really enjoy seeing Mollie figure out what sort of a life she wanted, where and with whom. Oddly, as much as I enjoyed this book, it was probably my least favorite Nevil Shute so far, but still great.

  • Scilla
    2019-01-23 23:09

    Stanton Laird works for an oil company as a geologist. Recently in Arabia, he has a month vacation at home in Oregon before he is sent to Western Australia to check out a very remote site for the possibility of oil. Stanton is very fond of his family and hometown Hazel, and he and his best friend (who shared everything including girl friends during high school) go deer hunting with bow and arrow. In the Australian outback, he meets Molly at the sheep ranch on the property where he is working. Molly is entranced by the American magazines, as well as Stanton himself. I'll stop here so as not to give away the story.

  • Jim Puskas
    2019-02-02 16:09

    As Nevil Shute's stories go, this one is about middling. Parts of it reminded me of the latter portion of "A Town like Alice" but it doesn't measure up to that one. It lacks the great characters of "Trustee from the Toolroom" and the suspense of "The Chequerboard" but if you enjoy Shute as I do, you'll probably find this one a good read. If you're not really a Shute fan, you may want to give it a pass.

  • Nicole
    2019-01-30 00:21

    A hard book for me to figure out. Intellectually, I knew the scenes connected meaningfully, but emotionally, it was a string of scenes that I could never really get interested in. Only one character seemed to experience any growth, and she was not the protagonist, leaving me to wonder what the point of basing a story around him was.

  • Nancy
    2019-01-29 23:19

    it is a story of two frontiers; western US & West Australia. American geologist,Stanton Laird, working for the Topeka Exploration Co.meets Mollie Regan & they fall in love. They discover the local customs & free way of life Mollie has led clashes with her prospective in-laws when she goes to visit them in Orego & caused a serious barrier.