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A TOWN LIKE ALICE
     

A TOWN LIKE ALICE

4.4 59
by Nevil Shute
 

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A TOWN LIKE ALICE tells of a young woman who miraculously survived a Japanese "death march" in World War II, and of an Australian soldier, also a prisoner of war, who offered to help her--even at the cost of his life

Overview

A TOWN LIKE ALICE tells of a young woman who miraculously survived a Japanese "death march" in World War II, and of an Australian soldier, also a prisoner of war, who offered to help her--even at the cost of his life

Product Details

BN ID:
2940014537308
Publisher:
P.Griffith
Publication date:
04/24/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
50,023
File size:
825 KB

Meet the Author

Nevil Shute (1899-1960) was an English novelist and aeronautical engineer who served in the British military in both world wars and spent his later years in Australia. The author of 24 published novels and novellas, his best-known books include Pied Piper, A Town Like Alice, and especially On the Beach, set in a fictional post-atomic-war Australia.

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A Town Like Alice 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read constantly, and have never found a book that captured me the way this book did. I can't believe more people haven't read this book...and I spend many conversations convincing people to read it! The first 50 or so pages were hard to get into, but once I did, I could NOT put it down. Fabulous.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well if you need to be encouraged to read something great yet clean and nice this is it!! Jean Paget is the heroine in this book. read and study how she works the way into the confidence of her capturers. Wow.. No wonder she had the confidence to work miracles for the town and for the people there. The romance between Joe and Jean works because they respect each other for what they went through separately and together so they can handle what is coming next. Good read for your book club.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book took me to places I've never been. I experienced feelings I've never felt. During the war, there actually was a forced march, though in Sumatra, not Malaya. I was so into this book that I had to go online to find out even more than the book told me. WOW! What a great read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I tried this book because I figured it would be a very good read. It was not a good read. It was a great read. The author is a literary genious!!! As I read the last paragraph and concluded the book, I nearly cried. It was a very emotional book. If this book does not affect you, something is wrong. Jean and Joe were so very deserving of the good things that happened in the end. They had waited for so long and finally were reunited. It is a truly lifechanging story and makes you think about how precious life and all that is in it really is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nevil Shute's novel "A Town Like Alice" concerns the life of a woman, Jean Paget, who survives World War II as a prisoner of the Japanese. The death march that Jean endures changes her life forever as she matures into a woman of leadership and a caretaker of all. Due to this change of lifestyle, Jean becomes selfless as she invests her inheritance and time into returning a favor to the few Malayans that helped her. She also invests the rest of her money and time into building a lonely town into one of a friendly size. Truly, the influence of one person can change lives of many; in "A Town Like Alice" Jean uses her money to make others lives more convenient and meaningful. This truth is portrayed through the setting of the novel.

Through setting, we are able to see peoples' way of life evolve. For example, the Malayan women who help Jean during the hard times of the war travel a dangerous journey to retrieve fresh water from the springs each morning. As a favor, Jean feels adding wells to their every day life, will be a helpful contribution. As a result, she has "Suleiman travel up and down the coast of Malaya building and repairing wells"(110). These wells were integrated into the Malayan setting to emphasize how grateful the Malayan women were and how greatly it eased their lives. As an effect, their chores were accomplished efficiently and without extra hassle. In addition, when Jean moved to Wilstown, she discovers that "there's no shop where you can buy fruits and vegetables and there's no dress shop"(137). Jean changes this aspect of the town by first adding a workshop for women to work in. This increases the population of women living in the small town, and therefore, the population of men also increases. In order to feed this growth development, Jean adds an ice cream parlor, a cinema, a pool, a grocery store, and a dress shop. "This was quite a big place, with counters and dummies clothed in summer frocks"(274). Because of the new recreation and shops for men and women, more couples met and married in Wilstown, creating more residents. The fact of the matter is, all this change was established through Jean's influence on the setting. This aspect helped Shute create convenient, happy lives in a town that was starving for life.

Guest More than 1 year ago
For this months bookclub title I chose A Town Like Alice and I'm thrilled to say everyone from the club really enjoyed it! I found the book full of surprises which held my interest to the very end. Bonza book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have reread this book many times. Facinating story, superb characters. Old fashioned yet timeless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sometimes I need to cleanse my palate when I've read a glut of current genre fiction. This book accomplishes that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book that was written right after WWII, but reading it now 50 years later it reads like an historical novel. Truly lovely story about some strong characters who endured the atrocities of war with grace and determination.
caactuswren More than 1 year ago
This is Nevil Shute at his very best. The story is told from the experiences of an English Solicitor about the lives of a young woman and an Australian soldier, both prisoners of the Japanese. They meet on the road and become friends. After the war she inherits a decent sum and sets off for Asia to do good works for those who helped the women prisoners then Australia to find the soldier when she learns that he survived the war and punishment for stealing food for the women. It is a good story of the better side of human nature and of those who make it so. Highly recommended reading for all above the age of 14!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mom's favorite book....and she's a reader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even though this book was published 60 years ago, it is an absorbing story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books I have ever read. It really should have been longer. I was sad that it ended. Its the greatest romance ever. Its sad, happy, exciting, and just all around great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nevil Shute was way ahead of his time. Many of his books feature women of particularly strong character. This book is certainly no exception. Could this be a romance that even a modern career woman can love. This man, and what do we know, says yes. YES!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't expect this book to be a 'couldn't put it down' type, but it was!!! It is a very well written love story - definitely not sappy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely beautiful and believable. You will not read a better book this year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
This book takes place in the years during and after World War II, so it probably spans the '40s and into the '50s. Jean Paget is a young woman who finds herself the recipient of a large trust fund. The story flashes back to a time during WWII, when Jean was essentially a prisoner of war amid a large group of women in Malaysia. They spend months being marched all across the region where no one wants responsibility for them. During their time on foot, Jean meets another prisoner of war by the name of Joe. Joe is cow wrangler from the outback of Australia, and a captured prisoner of war. The Japanese have discovered he is handy, and have put him to use as a mechanic. Joe and Jean become friends, with Joe mistakenly believing that Jean is a married woman separated from her husband by war, like most of the other women in her group. He takes to jokingly calling her "Mrs. Boong" (and I never really got why he did this). NOTE: The aboriginal workers on the ranches in Australia are referred to as "boongs", which is thought of as a derogatory term. Wikitionary says that this is also a Malayan term for "brother". Hence my confusion regarding Joe's humorous use of it as a nickname for Jean. Jean was a young girl in her early 20s during this period (the youngest of the women in the group), but very bright and a skilled office worker (which was why she was in Malaysia). She seems to know a little about a lot of things, she speaks some of the native tongue, and she becomes something of a spokesperson for the female POWs. Years after the war, after Jean has inherited her fortune, she remembers the conversations that she and Joe had about a town called Alice in Australia. She heads to Australia to see this land for herself, and to try to find Joe again. And that is where the second half of the story occurs, as Jean finds Australia holds an adventure for her that she never expected. The story is narrated by Noel Strachan, the attorney who wrote up the trust fund and is the executor of the estate. He and Jean form a relationship that lasts until his death. My final word: I liked this story. I liked the female empowerment storyline. I enjoyed the first half more than the second half (the first half taking place in Malaysia), but there was a certain charm to be found in the second half. I was disturbed at how easily Jean seemed to accept bigotry and cruelty, but perhaps that was a sign of the times and era. Overall this was a nice introduction to Nevil Shute. Using Noel as the narrator was an interesting choice. Some in my book club thought the story would have been better narrated by Jean herself. I do think the story would have been a totally different animal if that choice had been made, but I understand the need to have Noel narrate. Otherwise you would have lost all of his insight concerning his complex relationship with Jean. This was a nice, quick read.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have recommended to others. Didn't know about this author until a friend told me about his books. Loved the book so much, I actually found the DVD online (which follows the storyline pretty much).
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