Friday, 18 June 2010

The Small back room by Nigel Balchin

This slim volume is an unexpected treasure. It tells the story of a scientist working in a military research institute in  Britain during the second world wa,  except the novel is not about science at all it is about office politics and human relationships and extraordinary heroism from unlikely people and the British stiff upper lip. The the climax of the story in which the scientist protagonist risks his life to defuse a dangerous booby trap bomb forms an extraordinary contrast to the  manoeuvring of petty  bureaucrats who care more about their own position  than about making a genuine contribution to the war effort.


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