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Summary

Nevil Shute wrote this prophetic novel just before the start of the Second World War. In it he describes the devastation that results from an aerial bomb attack on Southampton that destroys the city's infrastructure and leaves the inhabitants at the mercy of cholera and further assaults. The story follows the trials and tribulations of the Corbett family as they struggle to get to safety.

©2012 Nevil Shute (P)2012 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

“One of the best storytellers of our age” (J.B. Priestley)
"That shattering, unaffected, literary style of his is wholly deceptive... is, in fact, masterly” (H.E. Bates)

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Could not get on with this at all

What disappointed you about What Happened to the Corbetts??

The narrator mostly. His method of reading was all wrong and to be honest in no way enhanced the story. I could not even carry on listening he was so irritating.

What could Nevil Shute have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Need to read it in written form before I can comment. Used to love Nevil Shute's books, and this was the first for ages that I wanted to "read".

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Pretty expressionless and the intonation was all wrong.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Historical fiction and prediction.

Neville Shute is s fabulous storyteller. He tells great stories about ordinary decent people and this is another one.

The Corbetts are a decent ordinary middle class family living in Southampton at the outbreak of world war 2. Suddenly their world is turned upside down as the menace of the Blittz engulfs them. This is their story.

The book was written in 1938 before the war started and predicted the bombing campaigns. In some ways it is uncannily accurate. In other areas it is wide of the mark. It's not the greatest of Neville Shute's writing, but maybe it's some of the most interesting? That said, I was thoroughly gripped by the story, really enjoyed the narration and desperately cared what was going to happen to the Corbetts and how the story would finally end.