John Turner, a young man with a checkered past, has been told he has just one year to live. He decides to use his remaining time in search of three very different men he met in the hospital during the war, each of them in trouble of some kind: a pilot whose wife had betrayed him, a young corporal charged with killing a civilian in a brawl, and a black G.I. wrongly accused of the attempted rape of a white English girl. As Turner discovers where these men have landed on the checkerboard of life, he learns about compassion, tolerance, and second chances, and overcomes his fear of death.
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’s most significant book.” —The New York Times
“In the gripping, breathless tradition of a master craftsman.” —TheHouston Post “[Shute was] not only a brilliantly fluent storyteller but also an ironic commentator on the world scene.” —Harpers & Queen “A happy knack endows this story with a character who is slightly greater than life-size. It proves once again how the ordinary, the average, the season-ticket holder sitting next to you, can still, in the hands of an expert, furnish the very stuff of literature.” —Daily Express
“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)