Books: Hero Minus Heroics

TRUSTEE FROM THE TOOLROOM (311 pp.)_A/ew/ Shute—Morrow ($3.95).

The late Nevil Shute took characters of clay and left them shod with steel. Keith Stewart, hero of Shute's posthumous novel, Trustee from the Toolroom, is unassuming to the point of extinction. Keith is past his prime, hard up, pastily pale and running a little to fat. In an ugly mortgaged home in the London suburb of West Baling, he shares teatime monosyllables with his dumpily comfortable wife Katie. Yet Keith is not a nonentity.

He is the backbone of the Miniature Mechanic, a magazine for which he writes articles on the tiny models of...

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