View Poll Results: "A Town Like Alice" by Nevile Shute: Final Verdict

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  • * A bookworm's nightmare!

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Thread: A Town Like Alice by Nevile Shute

  1. #1
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    A Town Like Alice by Nevile Shute

    A Town Like Alice by Nevile Shute

    I was very excited and eager to read this book both because I was intrigued by the title and also I had liked Shute's On The Beach very much when I read it about 15 years ago.

    The book opens as Jean Paget, an ordinary girl in her early 20s, inherits a considerable amount of money from an uncle she has only met once. Soon, however, we find out that Jean is no ordinary girl: she survived the World War II as a prisoner of the Japanese Army in Malaya. She is, along with 30 other English ladies and their children, captured at the beginning of the war but, since there are no camps willing to take them, is forced to walk from one town to the other in the hope of finding a place which is ready to accommodate them. During these days of extreme hardship, she befriends an Australian soldier who loses his life while trying to help her. After receiving her inheritance, Jean decides to go back to Malaya to be able to thank the local people and while there, she receives some news that takes her to Australia, changing her life for ever.

    I really enjoyed reading the first half of the book, concentrating on Jean's days as a war captive. Nevile Shute writes that there actually was a group of women who made walk from one town to the next in Malaya during the war. However, I found the latter parts of the novel, which takes place in Australia, somewhat lacking in imagination and rather predictable. Over all, the characters seem one-dimentional and lacking conviction.

    It was a disappointment for me. I though Nevile Shute was onto something with the initial story-line but he seems to have deserted it for sake of being dramatic and sensational.

    5/10 KitKats!
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”

  2. #2
    Wandering Child Annamariah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Helsinki, Finland
    I like this book, it's one of those I read every summer when I go to our summer cottage. My father recommended it to me several years ago and I liked very much. I don't know exactly why, but I just do Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it is a part of my summer holiday tradition: just sunbathing and reading and enjoying the summer.
    Little Lotte thought of everything and nothing. Her hair was golden as the sun's rays and her soul as clear and blue as her eyes.
    Gaston Leroux - The Phantom of the Opera

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