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A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

A Town Like Alice (1950)

by Nevil Shute

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,9011122,942 (4.06)376
  1. 00
    The Promise of Rain by Donna Milner (jayne_charles)
    jayne_charles: More POW hell
  2. 00
    In the Wet by Nevil Shute (Booksloth)
  3. 00
    The Flamboya Tree: Memories of a Mother's Wartime Courage by Clara Kelly (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Though fiction, the war experiences of Jean Padgett are based in fact from the Island of Sumatra, and gives a good view of what was going on on other islands in the Pacific.

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» See also 376 mentions

English (107)  Danish (4)  German (1)  All languages (112)
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
I was excited to get back to this book, but did not have a hard time putting it down. The end where a missing Australian was found with a broken leg on a neighbor's land felt more of a stand alone episode in an otherwise 'one story' television season. Sometimes that works, but most times it does not. This one did. However, there were many times I stopped reading with a 'this is kind of boring' thought. I liked the characters, though had a hard time with the Australian dialog. I read his once before, and here were my thoughts when entering all those old books read into librarything: "Not that good. I would not recommend books with two stars." I take that back. I do not strongly recommend, but it is not that bad. I remember reading the reader digest version now, quite a few years ago.
2/3/2019; 2,875 members; 4.06 average rating ( )
  mainrun | Feb 3, 2019 |
I am not much for romance stories but this is an exception.

The story is told through the voice of Noel, the manager of Jean Paige's trust who in a platonic way is in love with her. Then there is the story between Joe and Jean who meet as prisoners of war in Malaya in WWII, separate and when they find that they are both alive after the war seek each other out and start their lives together.

Such a refreshing, interesting read, it won't take long to read as you will be unable to put it down. This is my second Nevil Shute book and definitely won't be the last ( )
  Lynxear | Nov 8, 2018 |
A good read. A good, solid story with some drama and good characters. Not sure it'll stay with me for long, but I'm glad I read it. ( )
  meredk | Sep 8, 2018 |
This is such a well written book and compelling story. ( )
  melanieklo | Jul 25, 2018 |
A very strange book. There's the story referenced by the title, as a young English woman works to build a town "like Alice" (Springs), in Australia, starting from a Gold Rush ghost town. But two-thirds of the book are the backstory of that, how and why she's there and able to take the actions she does. It starts with a lawyer setting up a will for an old man; the war (WWII) happens, several of the potential legatees die, the old man dies and the lawyer seeks out the remaining legatee, a young woman. She tells him the story of her experiences in the war, marching as one of a group of women and children all over Malaysia because no Japanese officer wanted the responsibility of holding the group of prisoners. Now that she has this legacy (a comfortable living), she wants to go back and help the village that finally gave them succor and a place to live. When she gets back to Malaysia, she finds that a horrific experience she had - meeting an Australian man, also a prisoner, who tried to help her and her group and was whipped to death for it - didn't end the way she thought; the Australian didn't (quite) die, and was freed when the Allies took back the island. So of course she goes to find him, and find out if their connection was just because of the war or something more. There are a lot of complications, not least the fact that the only town near the cattle station where he's the manager (and doing a good job at it) is pretty close to dead. So (and we're finally up to the "real" story here) she works to upgrade it - to give the young women work to do and a salary, and things to spend it on, instead of running off to the city as soon as they're old enough (and once there's young women living there, there will be no problem attracting young men...). It's a very simple story with lots of curlicues and complications; most of the story is told from the point of view of the lawyer rather than either Jean or Joe, which puts it all at a little distance. It's very slow-paced - the closest thing to an action scene is a forty-mile horseback ride - and very volubly told; every character talks a lot (even, or especially, Joe, who we are told talks very slowly, in a Queensland drawl). I can think of all kinds of reasons why I shouldn't like it, but I did. I enjoyed reading it, and I suspect I will reread several times. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Apr 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nevil Shuteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bailey, RobinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunt, NeilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
— W. B. Yeats
First words
James MacFadden died in March 1905 when he was forty-seven years old; he was riding in the Driffield Point-to-Point.
On the publication of this book I expect to be accused of falsifying history, especially in regard to the march and death of the homeless women prisoners. (Author's Note)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
"A Town Like Alice" was originally published as "The Legacy".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345353749, Mass Market Paperback)

"A harrowing, exciting, and in the end very satisfying war romance."
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....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:23 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A novel told partly in flashbacks about a girl's search for the Australian she met in Malaya during World War II. "A harrowing, exciting, and in the end very satisfying war romance. 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.… (more)

» see all 13 descriptions

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Average: (4.06)
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