In the Wet

In the Wet

eBook - 2010
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It is the wet season in the Australian outback. Drunk and delirious, an old ex-pilot known as "Pisspot Stevie" lies dying in a remote cabin in the Queensland bush. When a priest named Roger Hargreaves comes upon him, Stevie is smoking opium to relieve the pain of his last moments. The priest listens as Stevie, in an opium-fueled haze, begins to describe a very different life he once lived--not in the past, but decades in the future, as a mixed-race aviator who finds love and glory in service to the Queen.
Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 2010
ISBN: 9780307474063
0307474062
Branch Call Number: Online eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource (237 p.)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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wyenotgo
Aug 28, 2015

Every so often, Shute liked to spin one of his favorite "tricks", suddenly shifting from one situation into an entirely different time and place, with his main characters transported in some supernatural or strangely spiritual manner. He did that very skillfully in "An Old Captivity" and "Lonely Road" and again here. As long as the reader is willing to suspend disbelief and just go along for the ride, it can be very effective. In this case, he over-reaches by speculating on a future of his own imagining and the tale is made less appealing because of Shute's decision to color it with his own off-beat political views; the fact that the future evolved in a vastly different manner than he envisioned renders it even less credible when read today. So, this is a book for those who, like myself have a great liking for Shute and his old-fashioned style. Despite those flaws, it's still a compelling story, largely because his main character David is such a likeable fellow. Rock-ribbed socialists and anti-royalists will detest this book. Devotees of Ayn Rand would probably love it regardless of its weaknesses.

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