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. After Stevie’s death, as Hargreaves tries to sort dream from reality, he makes discoveries that cause him to wonder if he has been granted a glimpse beyond the veil.
About Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute Norway was born in 1899 in Ealing, London. He studied Engineering Science at Balliol College, Oxford. Following his childhood passion, he entered the fledgling aircraft industry as an aeronautical engineer working to develop airships and, later, airplanes. In his spare time he began writing and he published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926, using the name Nevil Shute to protect his engineering career. In 1931 he married Frances Mary Heaton and they had two daughters. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve where he worked on developing secret weapons. After the war he continued to write and settled in Australia where he lived until his death in 1960. His most celebrated novels include Pied Piper (1942), A Town Like Alice (1950), and On the Beach (1957).
“Shute is an honest exciting adventure writer who blends narrative gift with a fine power of description. [In the Wet] exhibits his talents at their provocative best.” —The New York Times
“A novelist of intelligent and engaging quality, deservedly popular…. Nevil Shute was, in brief, the sort of novelist who genuinely touches the imagination and feeling.” —The Times (London)