Pied Piper

Shute, Nevil

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Pied Piper
John Howard is determined to brighten up his old age by taking a fishing trip to France. However, during his stay the Nazis invade and he is forced to try to escape back to England with the two small children of some friends who are forced to stay behind in order to help the Allied war effort.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2010
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 9780307474018
Branch Call Number: FICTION SHUTE 2010
Characteristics: 303 p. ;,21 cm


From Library Staff

At the outbreak of World War II, Englishman John Howard goes on a fishing holiday in France. His efforts to return to the safety of England are hampered by a growing collection of children who are entrusted to his care.

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Nov 29, 2014
  • jazpur rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I missed this one back in the day and have only just read it; now with the added perspective of being elderly. Pied Piper is one of Nevil Shute's best. It was written in 1942.While I was a toddler in NZ , stories just like this one were happening across Europe as families tried to get their children to safety ahead of the German invasion. As the anniversaries of WWII are commemorated, fiction developed from research and family stories passed down through the generations is becoming a popular genre and very good some of it is for giving us an insight into how the horrors of war affected ordinary people. This one however is contemporary with the events and has an immediacy which is very moving. A little aside... Swearing is commonplace these days. It's interesting now to see Shute's use of the letter 'm' instead of 'b' and 'f'...another time, another generation. A b/w film was made in 1942 which was nominated for numerous awards.Re-named Crossing to Freedom, a TV version starring Peter O'Toole, came out in 1990. It is time for the re-make or some re-issuing is needed for today's audiences.

Nov 29, 2014

About 40 years ago i had a major Nevil Shute binge, reading just about everything he wrote.

Oddly, this was the one book I could not get on with and didn't even finish.

Maybe it's time to try it again.

I think my favourite Shute book is probably Trustee from the Toolroom.

Apr 15, 2010
  • Bells rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

After reading two of his novels, I am addicted to his books. In this book, an elderly Englishman visiting France must take a group of children safely across the border into England just as the Germans are invading. Brilliantly written.


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