Out of the Shelter, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The restrictions of a wartime childhood in in London and subsequent post-war shortages have done little to enrich Timothy's early youth. But everything changes when his glamorous older sister, Kath, invites him to spend the summer at Heidelberg.

Kath, who left home long ago to work for the American army, introduces her sixteen-year-old brother to a lifestyle that is deliriously fast, furious and extravagant.

Dazzled by the indulgent habits of the American forces, but at the same time sensitive to the broken spirits of the German community beneath this sparkling surface, Timothy will find that his summer holiday is in more ways than one an unforgettable rite of passage.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • ISBN: 9780099554158

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In 1951, 16 year-old Timothy, the very embodiment of repressed Catholic adolescence, visits his sister in occupied Germany. She is working for the American army, and is able to introduce him to a lifestyle of hedonism that is a far cry from the rationing still in place back home. Timothy bumbles along in this mystifying new world, looking up women’s skirts, consuming ice cream sodas on an industrial scale, and managing to get himself locked in the cupboard in a women-only hostel. Such events combined pleasingly with an intelligent narrative about the contrasting fortunes of the participants in WWII. It was strange to read a book by this author that didn’t contain university professors, and which didn’t centre around literature (though some literature criticism found its way in) and it proves he can produce enjoyable, thought provoking work on other subjects too.

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