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Jasper Jones [Paperback]

Craig Silvey
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

29 April 2010

Summer, 1965.

Late one night, thirteen-year-old Charlie Bucktin is startled by a knock on his window.

His visitor is Jasper Jones. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is intriguing. And he needs Charlie's help. In the dead of night, the boys steal through town, and Charlie learns of Jasper's horrible discovery.

Burdened by a terrible secret and the weight of a town's suspicion, Charlie feels his world closing in.

After this summer nothing will ever be the same again.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Windmill Books (29 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099537540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099537540
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Terrific...this is an enthralling novel that invites comparison with Mark Twain and isn't found wanting. Silvey is able to switch the mood from the tragic to the hilarious in an instant" (Mail on Sunday)

"A finely crafted novel that deals with friendship, racism and social ostracism... Saluting To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Silvey movingly explores the stifling secrets that lurk behind the most ordinary of facades" (Marie Claire)

"Catcher in the Rye meets To Kill a Mockingbird in a novel that confronts racism, injustice, friendship and the tenderness of first love - as seen by bookish, guileless, 13-year-old Charlie Bucktin, led astray by the intriguing, dangerous eponymous outcast, Jasper Jones" (Easy Living)

"Jasper Jones is a well-paced, eminently readable bildungsroman... The exultation contained in the description of a cricket game featuring Charlie's irrepressible best friend is enough alone to earn this book sentimental-classic status." (The Monthly)

"Impossible to put down ... There's tension, injustice, young love, hypocrisy ... and, above all, the certainty that Silvey has planted himself in the landscape as one of our finest storytellers." (Australian Women's Weekly)

Book Description

An unforgettable coming-of-age novel from a dazzling new talent

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding coming of age novel 28 April 2010
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is a great book - one of those ones that you feel a sense of loss when you finish. It's moving and funny and tense in turns, but always utterly compelling.

Charlie Bucktin is a bright 13 year old boy living in a small town in Western Australia in the early 1960s. He has a fraught relationship with his mother, a crush on Eliza Wishart and his best friend Jeffrey Wu is a hilariously funny Vietnamese refugee. Late one night, Jasper Jones, the half-aboriginal town "bad boy" knocks on his window and asks for his help. Jasper is trying to avoid getting accused of a crime that he says he didn't commit. Charlie helps him, but now he's saddled with a dark secret, which is gnawing away at him.

It's hard to summarize this book because it's so many things. It includes a mystery, romance, peer pressure, racism, hypocrisy, abuse, marital problems and a searing sense of place. It's been described as an Australian version of "To Kill A Mockingbird" and indeed it often (somewhat heavy handedly) references that novel, as well as Mark Twain. The mystery is the central plot which gradually unfolds, but along the way Charlie learns that there are many other secrets hiding in this town and that life is more complicated than he formerly realized. An outstanding book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Huckleberry Finn, The Famous Five, Stand By Me; Jasper Jones reminded me of all those great childhood buddy books I read as a boy. However, this is not a book for children with strong language, a thick vein of racism and social bigotry running through it as well as murder, incest and paedophilia thrown in!

Jasper Jones is an outcast, mixed race tough-nut that all the boys want to be, all the girls want to be with and all the parents despise. Whenever anything goes wrong in the outwardly respectable little town of Corrigan, suspicious eyes always turn to Jasper. When he makes a grizzly discovery he surprisingly turns to Charlie, a skinny, bullied but incredibly intelligent local lad, for help. Charlie, thrilled that Jasper would chose him, jumps at the chance. From the moment Charlie becomes privy to Jaspers secret his life is irreversably changed and the respectable face of Corrigan begins to unravel.

Not since I read Khaled Housseini's "A Thousand Splendid Suns" have I been so attached to the central characters of a book. I was immediately sympathetic to Charlie, his home life having close comparison's to my own childhood. Set in the 1960's during the Vietnam conflict, Charlie's best friend is a Vietnemese boy, which doesn't come without consequences, Jeffrey Lu. Jeffrey is the most courageous and loveable character I've come across in a long while and the dialogue between them is absolutely razor sharp having me laughing out loud on the train to work and attracting amused glances from fellow passengers.

However, the title character himself remains something of an enigma as we only scratch the surface of his family's tragic tale and he doesn't occupy that much page space.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Australian Classic 25 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an amazing book. In many ways it bears a resemblance to To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye but in so many other ways it is unique and not easy to find comparisons. Not having read much Australian literature I don't have much to go on but I can tell you this novel is extremely well-written and carries you along effortlessly. As in all good writing it catches you right from the start and brings you quickly into a relationship with the characters. There is a seriousness about the work and a pointed commentary on 1960s Australian culture but in so many ways it is timeless and could easily be set in our time. Obviously, the main character may not be entirely believable if compared to 13 year olds today so some give and take is required but it is still a very good book. It would fit effortlessly into any curriculum today. Young adults, especially young men, should find the story relevant to their lives, even today. There is enough moral quandary for decent and entertainaing discussion. And even if you don't like cricket or sport the description of Jeffrey Lu's saving the home side from a terrible defeat is wonderfully written. As a comtemporary piece of fiction that spans the age groups of possible readers this one is excellent. Adults and young adults from 13 or 14 will be thoroughly engrossed in this book. You will be wise to read it before the film comes out - as the film rights have already been secured and you will want to know the story before you see it on the screen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird and intriguing 9 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I read the blurb on the back of the book and wasn't sure I wanted to read another "coming of age" novel. When I started reading, though, I was fairly quickly hooked in, wanting to find out more about the mysterious Jasper Jones and his involvement in the death of Laura Wishart.
At the beginning I didn't think I would be able to feel much in common with a teenage boy in 60s Australia but, as the book developed, I got further into his head and started to understand his thoughts and dilemmas.
I enjoyed the banter between Charlie and Jeffrey which showed the depth of their friendship and was used to portray the various levels of racism within the society at the time.
The society surrounding Charlie could have been developed more and would have given the story more context at an earlier stage. As it is, the setting was gradually revealed when it was appropriate in Charlie's head and made more sense of his thoughts.
Throughout the book I was constantly surprised about how much I was enjoying it. There was a fairly small amount of action but it was put together with some wonderful prose which seems to fit with Charlie so well - although it was not the normal language which would have been used by a teenage boy.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to try something a bit out of the ordinary.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Life Ozzie Tale
A very entertaining and moving tale of an indigenous Australia growing up.
Published 1 month ago by GRAHAM
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
shocking challenging and very good
Published 1 month ago by Jas dale
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging coming of age tale
Silver takes you on a journey to small town Australia of the past with all of its small mindedness and prejudice. Thought provoking and sad.
Published 3 months ago by Ms. L. A. Coutts
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and interesting story
This was a very enjoyable tale. Charlie, the young narrator is likeable and sympathetic and it is easy to relate to the challenges he faces. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kath Page
5.0 out of 5 stars ...
just loved the book, did not know anything about the author before, was recommended from a friend of mine. Read more
Published 8 months ago by mamamia
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read.
Keeps the readers interest with every page... A great insight into the predujices and the mind set of mid'60s Austalian society.
Published 9 months ago by Gerry O'Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable book.
The book Jasper Jones for my opinion is a book for all ages and it can be enjoyed during any time. It is a book that I couldn't stop reading and I recommend it to any one that... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Alex
2.0 out of 5 stars Homework Book
Jasper Jones was a book that I chose from a list of books for my homework over the holidays. To be honest, it was ok, but the fact that I had to read it during the holidays was the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Fay Jennifer Castling
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thriller with Interesting Twists
Well written, good plot construction and thriller with much more in the sub plots. It made me laugh out loud several times. Read more
Published 12 months ago by guitar dave
2.0 out of 5 stars The book content very good
The binding of the book ridiculousness in as much that the pages were so close together that it was almost impossible to read.
Published 14 months ago by schmul
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