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Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
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Mister Pip (2006)

by Lloyd Jones

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,9911691,908 (3.82)453
Recently added byprivate library, Bookish59, nzbookgal, FranRon, commonwealthschool, Cassea, Robert3167, alk290
  1. 60
    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (cbl_tn, HelenGress)
    cbl_tn: Mister Pip explores the reading and interpretation of Great Expectations in a late 20th century South Sea island culture in the midst of a civil war.
  2. 20
    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2810michael)
  3. 20
    Small Island by Andrea Levy (kathrynnd)
  4. 21
    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (Booksloth)
  5. 10
    Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2810michael)
  6. 43
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Booksloth)
  7. 10
    Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave (Booksloth, 2810michael)
  8. 00
    Jack Maggs by Peter Carey (chanale)
    chanale: both novels that revisit Great Expectations
  9. 00
    Wanting by Richard Flanagan (2810michael)
    2810michael: Mostly because of the role of Charles Dickens in both books...
  10. 00
    Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson (kathrynnd)
  11. 00
    Mr. Timothy: A Novel by Louis Bayard (bnbookgirl)
    bnbookgirl: tiny tim all grown up
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» See also 453 mentions

English (158)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  Swedish (2)  French (2)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  All (169)
Showing 1-5 of 158 (next | show all)
OMG, did they kill Mr Watts (by chopping him up with a machete) and feed him to the pigs????? This book was riveting so I had to see the movie and this was just as good confirming that the rebels committed atrocities to anyone them during the 1989 Port Moresby civil war. This book stems from the unrest that occurred when rebels, angry at what they viewed as unjust wages and conditions from the copper mine, decided to take the law into their own hands. As war escalated, the mine was overtaken by rebels who became lawless creating havoc. Fearful, the white people fled including the local school teacher except an eccentric white man Mr Watts who was married to married to Grace, one of the island's previous top students whom he met in Australia. Each day he would read to the children an excerpt from Great Expectations and in doing so gave to them a love of literature. Mr Watts also invites the villagers to the school house to teach the students aspects of life and it is these parts of the story that provide the reader with a feeling of reality. Matilda, a young girl, becomes infatuated with the the story of Great Expectations, believing that Mr Pip is in fact a real person. One day she writes his name in the sand on the beach. This is spotted by The Redskins, an army sent to destroy the local rebels. This simple act leads to terrible consequences when the Redskins suspect Pip to be a rebel leader and demand he be brought before them. When Mr Watts tries to explain that he is not a real person but in fact a character, he is carted away and all hell breaks loose with Matilda being held tight by her mother in fear that Matilda may also be executed or raped. What happens is left to the imagination however inferences are embedded throughout the story. The story then transfers to a future time when Matilda reflects on the past. ( )
  rata | Sep 10, 2017 |
Set on a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, everyone has fled except the eccentric Mr. Watts. He gathers the children each day to read Charles Dickens' classic Great Expectations & the adventures of a young orphan named Pip. It's about the abiding strength that imagination, once ignited, can provide.
  chapterthree | Jun 6, 2017 |
Enthralling. Had me rivetted. Poignant, and nostalgic, there was just enough sadness in it to make me remember it by and by. ( )
  Soulmuser | May 30, 2017 |
Just breaks your heart and then keeps on smashing it with a hammer. The movie was just as horrific. Has to be read though, and brilliantly written. ( )
  essjay1 | Jan 11, 2017 |
the one book that supplied me with another world at a time when it was desperately needed'
By sally tarbox on 25 April 2012
Format: Paperback
Set in civil war on the island of Bougainville (near Papua New Guinea), this book is narrated by 14 year old Matilda. At first she is only affected by the mass exodus of her teachers...until local eccentric Mr Watts steps in as a volunteer. The only white man left, he focusses his students' minds on Dickens' 'Great Expectations' and invites their parents to share what they know of life. As the fighting starts to touch the village, Mr Watts' storytelling, based around Great Expectations, temporarily- and improbably- holds off the soldiers. But Matilda has to face dark times...
I really enjoyed the ending of the book and thought Jones brought it together in a satisfactory way. But the main body of the book failed to grab me particularly. Maybe it would be better advertised as a novel for young adults. I didn't find Matilda at all convincing and even when certain events happened to her I didn't experience the jolt I would have expected. ( )
  starbox | Jul 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 158 (next | show all)
Jones covered it as a journalist, and this delicate fable never shies away from the realities of daily life shadowed by violence..... In this dazzling story-within-a-story, Jones has created a microcosm of post-colonial literature, hybridising the narratives of black and white races to create a new and resonant fable. On an island split by war, it is a story that unites....There is a fittingly dreamy, lyrical quality to Jones's writing, along with an acute ear for the earthy harmonies of village speech... Mister Pip is the first of Jones's six novels to have travelled from his native New Zealand to the UK. It is to be hoped that it won't be the last.
 
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lloyd Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hyllienmark, OlovTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riera, ErnestTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'Characters migrate.' Umberto Eco
Dedication
To my family
First words
Everyone called him Pop Eye.
Quotations
"...you cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames." (page 155)"
"A Prayer was like a tickle. Sooner or later God would have to look down to see what was tickling his bum."
I do not know what you are supposed to do with memories likes these. It feels wrong to want to forget. Perhaps this is why we write these things down, so we can move on."
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Book description
'You cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames.'

Bougainville. 1991. A small village on a lush tropical island in the South Pacific. Eighty-six days have passed since Matilda's last day of school as, quietly, war is encroaching from the other end of the island.

When the villagers' safe, predictable lives come to a halt, Bougainville's children are surprised to find the island's only white man, a recluse, re-opening the school. Pop Eye, aka Mr Watts, explains he will introduce the children to Mr Dickens. Matilda and the others think a foreigner is coming to the island and prepare a list of much needed items. They are shocked to discover their acquaintance with Mr Dickens will be through Mr Watts' inspiring reading of Great Expectations.

But on an island at war, the power of fiction has dangerous consequences. Imagination and beliefs are challenged by guns. Mister Pip is an unforgettable tale of survival by story; a dazzling piece of writing that lives long in the mind after the last page is finished.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385341075, Paperback)

In a novel that is at once intense, beautiful, and fablelike, Lloyd Jones weaves a transcendent story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of narrative to transform our lives.

On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, where the teachers have fled with most everyone else, only one white man chooses to stay behind: the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn, who sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and begins to read to the children each day from Charles Dickens’s classic Great Expectations.

So begins this rare, original story about the abiding strength that imagination, once ignited, can provide. As artillery echoes in the mountains, thirteen-year-old Matilda and her peers are riveted by the adventures of a young orphan named Pip in a city called London, a city whose contours soon become more real than their own blighted landscape. As Mr. Watts says, “A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe.” Soon come the rest of the villagers, initially threatened, finally inspired to share tales of their own that bring alive the rich mythology of their past. But in a ravaged place where even children are forced to live by their wits and daily survival is the only objective, imagination can be a dangerous thing.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:58 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, on which survival is a daily struggle, eccentric Mr. Watts, the only white man left after the other teachers flee, spends his day reading to the local children from Charles Dickens' classic Great Expectations.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921145579, 1921520248

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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