Pied Piper

  • by Nevil Shute
  • Narrated by David Rintoul
  • 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

John Howard is determined to brighten up his old age by taking a fishing trip to France, but during his stay the Nazis invade. Howard must 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. As the conflict grows closer, the roads become impassable and Howard also comes across five more children who need his help. He ends up leading this motley group of youngsters through the French countryside, constantly beset by danger yet heroically protecting his charges.
Pied Piper has twice been adapted for feature film, with Peter O'Toole playing Howard in the 1990 version and Monty Woolley in the 1942 version.

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What the Critics Say

"Mr Shute not only writes vividly and excitingly of occupied France, but with a delightful understanding of children" (Sunday Times)
"A small masterpiece...a book about frail but indomitable old age, simple kindness, childhood, and courage in dark confusing danger. It is not sentimental but prosaic and suspenseful on every page." (Libby Purves)
"A brilliantly descriptive writer, a master of suspense." (David Holloway)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A new favourite

It's not often a book makes its way into my list of favourites, but this one has done so and I think it is in large part due to the perfect narration. In trying to decide whether I wanted to read or listen to this book, I sampled the first few pages on Amazon and found the style of dialogue a bit awkward in my head, probably due to 1940's conversational style not coming naturally to me (even though I am a huge fan of films from that era). So, after listening to the Audible sample, I decided on the audiobook and am so very glad I did - the sample didn't do David Rintoul justice, it made me think he would be good, but his performance was far beyond that, brilliant, really. It's a little clichéd to say, but he brought the story, which is brilliant in its own right, to life.

This is the second Nevile Shute book I've listened to and it won't be my last. Although this and the first one, On The Beach, we're entirely different, both were written with such a vividness - I am very impressed.
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- Miko

One of the best from Nevil Shute

As in all of Nevil Shute's books, the main characters are morally strong and unshakeable in trying to do the right thing in the most challenging and chaotic of circumstances. The story unfolds in a plausible way, and you are drawn along with Mr Howard's dogged determination to do his best to take the little band of assorted children to England where they have some hope of a future. His quiet exhaustion and grief meets surprise and solace in the attempt.
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- Carrie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 13-12-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios