A Town Like Alice

by Nevil Shute | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1741211565 Global Overview for this book
Registered by dutch-flybabe of Ede, Gelderland Netherlands on 4/13/2007
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
13 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by dutch-flybabe from Ede, Gelderland Netherlands on Friday, April 13, 2007
Received from a nice lady in Malden to be released/read :-) Thanks!
I looked up this book on cliff's wishlist site and there are 21 bookcrossers who have this book on their wishlist. I have sent pm's to all of them if they would like to participate in a ring/ray for this book. The book weighs 170 grams and dimensions are +/- 19 cm * 11 cm * 2 cm.

From the first page of the book:
'It is the story of how Jean Paget, a young English gril, became the leader and the mainstay of a party of British women and children, prisoners of the Japanese, in a nightmare trek through Malaya. Stricken by illness and utter exhaustion may of them died - those who survived owed their lives to Jan's fortitude and strenght of character. It tells too how she came to meet again the young Australian who had helped them - whose ghastly torture they had been forced to watch. How she starts a new life in the wilds of Northern Queensland becoming the driving force behind the transformation of a near derelict collection of houses into a thriving town of Alice Springs.'

From amazon.co.uk:

'Book Description
Jean Paget has survived World War II as a prisoner of the Japanese in Malaya. After the war she comes into an inheritance that enables her to return to Malaya to repay the villagers who helped her to survive. But her return visit changes her life again, when she discovers that an Australian soldier she thought had died has survived. She goes to Australia in search of him and of the town he described to her. Jean sets out to apply the same determination that helped her to survive the war, to turning the community into 'a town like Alice'. She finds both her soldier and romance.

About the Author
Nevil Shute Norway worked as an aeronautical engineer at Vickers before setting up his own airship company. He served in both world wars and was a commander in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in World War II, working on secret projects. He flew his own aircraft to Australia to research On the Beach, before settling there permanently. His books are based on his own wartime and aircraft industry experiences.'

Journal Entry 2 by dutch-flybabe from Ede, Gelderland Netherlands on Friday, April 13, 2007
Here's the raylist:
- perfect-circle, UK (int.)
- beekeeper40, UK (Europe only)
- soffitta1, UK/Czechia (int.)
- stubee & KT-J, UK (int.)
- bluecat07, D (int.)
- CaterinaAnna, UK (int.)
- jax987654321, UK (int.)/last before outside Europe), asked to be skipped
- LabSpecimen, USA (int., pref. USA)
- octoberskye, USA (int., pref. USA)
- fairydustwings, USA (int., pref. USA)
- HoserLauren, USA/at the end

Please abide by these rules:
- if you receive the book make a journalentry
- pm the next person in the list immediately for their address
- enjoy the book and send it on asap
- mention in your last journal entry when you have mailed the book and to whom you have mailed it
I'm not very strict about the maximum time you may have the book in your possesion, but if it seems like you'll have it more than 4 weeks please let me know you need more time. Communication is the KEY :-)
If you have ANY questions please pm me.

nawoo82 asked to be removed from the list, she has found her own copy.

Journal Entry 3 by dutch-flybabe from Ede, Gelderland Netherlands on Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I got curious about this book after seeing 21 requests for this book on Cliff's wishlistsite, so I started to read it on the train to a BC-meeting at OBCZ-Minnaar in Groningen last saturday. It's always a gamble taking only one book that you don't know you're going to like on a trainjourney of 2 1/2 hours (one way), but I was intrigued and have not felt bored for a minute with this book. Very pleasant to read :-)
It's ready for it's journey now. I'm going to pm the first person on the raylist today.

Released 13 yrs ago (4/18/2007 UTC) at A mailbox in town in Ede, Gelderland, Netherlands -- Controlled Releases



I'm mailing the book to perfect-circle today or tomorrow. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 5 by perfect-circle from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Arrived in the post today. I'm currently in the middle of another book but should get to this by the weekend. Thanks dutch-flybabe!

Journal Entry 6 by perfect-circle from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Saturday, May 05, 2007
This was one of the few BBC Big Read 200 books that I had no preconceptions about when starting it. I've never read any other Shute books and had no idea what Alice was about and I came away pleasantly surprised. It was a nice, easy read that flowed smoothly. I feel some other authors may have tried to spin it out, indeed there was plenty of story left almost unsaid, but I think that would have ruined it completely.

Thanks dutch-flybabe. Posted to beekeeper40 this morning

Journal Entry 7 by beekeeper40 from Hoveton, Norfolk United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Received safely today - thank you. I have a few rings in front but will get to it soon.

Released 13 yrs ago (6/8/2007 UTC) at to a fellow bookcrosser in book ring/ray, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases



I really enjoyed this book having read it once before when I was much younger. I have also seen the film version of it too. Thanks for the opportunity to read it.

Mailed to soffitta1.

Journal Entry 9 by wingsoffitta1wing from Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Monday, June 11, 2007
Arrived this evening, looking forward to reading it. Thanks :)

A really good read, the story and characters keep you interested right up until the end. It is a great portrayal of its time, the war experience of some women and soldiers in Asia, post war life in the UK and the outback.

Posted on 19 June.

Journal Entry 10 by stubee from Bury, Lancashire United Kingdom on Monday, June 25, 2007
This was waiting for me on my return from holiday, should get onto this shortly, I’ve received a few bookrings while I was away but this shouldn’t be a problem.

Thanks soffitta1 for passing this on and to dutch-flybabe for adding me to the ring.

Journal Entry 11 by stubee from Bury, Lancashire United Kingdom on Monday, July 16, 2007
I really enjoyed this book and was hooked instantly with the characters, Jean, Noel and Joe all appealed to me emotionally. I didn’t know what to expect from this novel as I hadn’t read anything about it prior to receiving it, all I know is it’s on the 1001 must read books before you die list and hence why it was on my wishlist.

I’m not sure if it’s because of the familiarity with the places that I got hooked so easily, I have family that live in Ayrshire so there was an instant knowledge of that area and I’ve just come back from a holiday in South East Asia so that part of the world was fresh in my mind. The writing style was very pleasing it had a good flow to it which made it hard to put down, my first Shute novel but after this probably won’t be my last.

Thanks dutch-flybabe for including me in this ray, I’ve given this to KT-J to read!

Journal Entry 12 by KT-J from Bury, Lancashire United Kingdom on Monday, July 16, 2007
Received from Stubee, I'll be starting this shortly.

Journal Entry 13 by KT-J from Bury, Lancashire United Kingdom on Thursday, July 26, 2007
I really enjoyed this book. It was really easy to read and captivating with all the different characters and the events. Having been to Malaysia and Australia it was interesting to read about it as it was then with the descriptions of the places, and the experiences the people went through, especially during the war were really interesting, more so as the women being made to march was based on a true story.

I'd definitely read move of Shute's work if it's anything like this so thanks dutch-flybabe for letting me read this!

I'm PMd bluecat07 so will send this on when I get an address.
Edit 3/8/07: This was posted yesterday.

Journal Entry 14 by bluecat07 from Karben, Hessen Germany on Monday, August 06, 2007
The book arrived today. Thanks for sending it, KT-J!

This was quite an interesting read. Thanks for this ray, dutch-flybabe!

As of Tuesday, 11th September 2007, is the book on its way to the next participant...

Journal Entry 15 by Caterinaanna from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, September 16, 2007
Arrived during an exceptionally busy week at work, so apologies for the delay in journalling. Have now started reading it ...

Journal Entry 16 by Caterinaanna from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 19, 2007
It seems that I am like most others here in having had this on my list because it was on a list! I had it mixed up in my head with On the Beach (which I've not read either, but was in one of our book boxes at school), so I was a bit confused at the start. However I grew to like old-fashioned Noel and the story was an easy & intriguing read. Jean was just a little too perfect and capable, and for me that was the flaw that prevented the book getting a higher rating.

Thank you all those involved so far for getting this to me.

jax987654321 has asked to be skipped, so have PM'd LabSpecimen for an address.

Journal Entry 17 by Caterinaanna at Ray in a RABCK, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, September 23, 2007

Released 13 yrs ago (9/22/2007 UTC) at Ray in a RABCK, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases



In the postbox as I walked to the train station to travel to the Birmingham meet. Would have gone the day before if only Royal Mail Online's CN22s printed out properly. Grrrrrrr.

Journal Entry 18 by LabSpecimen from Alexandria, Kentucky USA on Sunday, October 07, 2007
I received the book a week ago (standard apologies for being too busy and too sick). I'm going to start reading it this week.

Journal Entry 19 by octoberskye from Brighton, Massachusetts USA on Friday, February 22, 2008
Arrived yesterday! I'll try to finish it this week. Thanks for including me!

Journal Entry 20 by octoberskye from Brighton, Massachusetts USA on Friday, February 29, 2008
Just repaired the book's binding. I work in a library and used official 3M Book Tape. Now it should easily make it through its ray!

Journal Entry 21 by octoberskye from Brighton, Massachusetts USA on Monday, March 03, 2008
No answer from fairydustwings and I'm almost at the end of the book so I'll pm the next member.

Journal Entry 22 by octoberskye from Brighton, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I liked it but I didn't love it. I couldn't get into any of the locations and I certainly couldn't get into the time period. I was glad I read it because I had always heard of the title and author. It was amazing how many people saw me reading it and commented on either the author, the book, or the film. Friday the book will be on its journey to HoserLauren in Canada.

Journal Entry 23 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Received today with much thanks! This book is #37 on the BBC Top 100, which was the reason I put it on my wishlist.

I'm in the last 3 weeks of my masters degree (before I am FINALLY done school forever!!). It's a very busy time for me but I promise to start this book as soon as possible!

Thanks again for passing it along to me :)

Journal Entry 24 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 06, 2008
When Noel Strachan becomes the executor of a client's will, he has a big of digging to do to determine who in the family has survived the war and who will be the beneficiary of his client's estate. He eventually finds his client's niece, Jean Paget. Miss Paget was a prisoner of war while she was in Malaya during the WWII, but she was not a typical prisoner. Her and a group of women were set wandering from town to town until the Japanese could figure out what to do with them. During this wandering Jean met Joe, an Australian, who was required to fix the transport for the Japanese. However when Joe was caught stealing, he was crucified and assumed dead.

When Jane learns of her inheritance, she tells Noel (and consequently the reader) her story. She sets out to travel back to this small town where she had settled down to repay them for their kindness. However she learns about other people she met during her time in the country, which changes her journey plans.

It becomes evident very quickly that this book was written in the 40s/50s. It has a relaxed nature to it and all of the characters are very polite and proper. Even with the slow pace, it captures you from the very start. While I can't say I loved any of the characters, I certainly cared enough to learn about what was going to happen to them. I did enjoy Jean though, she is a very business-oriented character, which I imagine would be hard to find a women of such outward business orientation in those days.

There was one part of the book though that I felt didn't fit. It seemed that the part of Mr. Curtis from the neighbouring station getting lost was just put in the book to extend it by an extra couple of pages. Looking back, I can't really see what purpose it served.

Other than that, a quaint book! I enjoyed it and I've been told that On the Beach is another Nevil Shute book that would make a good read.

Journal Entry 25 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 06, 2008
This book is with me now!!

Journal Entry 26 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 13, 2008

Noel, a lawyer searches for a young girl who is going to get an inheritance. When he finds her she tells her story and what a story it is. She was brought up in Mayalsia, came back to Britain then returned to Malaysia to work as a steno just about the time of the outbreak of WWII. There were parties every night and it was a fantastic time.

Then the Japanese invaded and Jean was caught up-country unprepared. The Japanese had no idea what to do with these women and no commander wanted to take charge of them so they walked and walked. They walked thousands of miles. The conditions, of course were deplorable. Many died. The women were forced to watch the torture of a person who had helped them. Finally when their only guard dies they remain for the rest of the war in a small town helping with the planting of the rice.

Jean wishes to help the town who helped the women with some of her inheritance. What she learns in this small town then changes her life forever.

This is a very readable book with delightful characters. Nevil Shute has a way of pulling one into the story. Although written in 1950 the story still is interesting and keeps the reader's attention.

Journal Entry 27 by stagecrafty from Lynnwood, Washington USA on Saturday, July 12, 2008
I just caught this in my mailbox! Thank you so much for this book. I really appreciate the gift.

Journal Entry 28 by stagecrafty at Albertson's in Mountlake Terrace, Washington USA on Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (4/17/2012 UTC) at Albertson's in Mountlake Terrace, Washington USA


Released in the paper rack at Albertson's Grocery

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