Mister Pip

by Lloyd Jones | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1742288308 Global Overview for this book
Registered by spy-there of Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on 5/9/2021
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by spy-there from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Sunday, May 09, 2021
The story is set in a small fisher village on the island of Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) which has one of the world's largest copper deposits and had once the world's biggest copper mine. However the mining by an Australian owned mining operation caused significant detriment to the immediate and downstream ecology: from the destruction of forest to heavy metal contamination and health problems of the inhabitants. All this resulted 1988 in an uprising by the islanders to protect their land with help of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA). A violent civil war developed against the military forces of Papua New Guinea, the mine was closed, all whites left the island with the last ship and left it to its fate. The whole world closed their eyes, the uproars lasted 10 years and around 15'000 people died. Either killed by the army or due lack of medical facilities and medicaments.
Against this backdrop Jones sets his tale of the last white man who couldn't leave his native wife and is now trapped with all the villagers. He sets up an improvised school and starts reading from Dicken's "Great Expectations" to the children.
The story is told by Matilda, a 13 years old girl, who is especially impressed by Pip and the strange Victorian world where there is snow, colder than imaginable. Matilda's overzealous Christian mother expresses an extreme distrust of the teacher and the ungodly book ... which eventually will lead to disaster.

It should be a heartbreaking story, it is in some way, but didn't quite work with me. Jones is a white man from New Zealand - but writes as a black girl who has spoken Pidgin her whole life. Matilda appeared to me at times too white, too worldly (and wordy) to be credibly native. She is distanced, hides her feelings (if she has any). Well, I just wasn't really awed by this construction.
But Jones' merit is to have pointed at a war which happend, unnoticed by the world, not so long ago. The copper mine is still closed yet.
After this book I also was curious to read Great Expectations :)

Journal Entry 2 by spy-there at COOL BOOKS in Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Released 1 mo ago (5/11/2021 UTC) at COOL BOOKS in Zürich, Zürich Switzerland


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