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Mister Pip Paperback – 10 Jan 2008
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'It's clear from the first page that this is prize-winning stuff... Being a truthful writer, Jones sees nothing neither his heroes nor his villains in black and white. His is a bold inquiry into the way that we construct and repair our communities, and ourselves, with stories old and new' (The Times)
'In this dazzling story-within-a-story, Jones has created a microcosm of post-colonial literature, hybridising the narratives of back and white races to create a new and resonant fable ... There is a fittingly dreamy lyrical quality to Jones's writing, along with an acute ear for the earthly 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 so hoped that it won't be the last' (Observer)
'Mister Pip is a poignant and impressive work which can take its place alongside the classical novels of adolescence' (Times Literary Supplement)
'A major word-of-mouth bestseller' (Sue Baker, Publishing News)
Intriguing and memorable (Glasgow Herald)
'Cleverly encapsulating what it is to be an orphan, an immigrant or a person dispossessed of a regular beat of life, this extraordinary story...' (Good Housekeeping)
'Exotic locations add a dreamy quality to ... Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones ... Jones' lyrical novel centres around a group of children in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, during the civil war in the Nineties' (Vogue)
'Morally subtle, Mister Pip has none of arid cleverness that often mars novels about books, making it a worthy winner of this year's Commonwealth Writers' Prize' (Daily Mail)
'Darker and more morally complex than it appears ... Lloyd Jones gives the tired post-colonial themes of self-reinvention and the reinterpretation of classic texts a fresh, ingenious twist but his real achievement is bringing life and depth to his characters' (Sunday Telegraph)
'A must-read tale of survival by storytelling' (Image Magazine (Ireland))
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This should have been a five star book, but for me, was let down by the clunky last couple of chapters, which set out to explain some of the mysteries of the book's central character. But whilst that is a disappointment it is not a reason not to read this book.
I loved the part that was set on the island. I loved Mr Watts & the way he made the children remember parts of Great Expextations so they could rewrite the book after it was lost. I wished he was my teacher.
I was confused once Matilda left the island. Her father was in Australis this whole time? But yet he didn't think to try & help her & her mother? He seemed not to be bothered that their house had been burnt down & all their posessions taken. I didn't understand why he stood back & did nothing, yet she went to live with him. It didn't add up. I was disappointed with the ending & found it a bit rushed & not really all there
It reminded me a little of Lord of the Flies, in that it's a tale and on another level a study of what we humans are. The main protagonists are Mr Watts and the narator's mother. I won't say what I think they stand for but at the end they respect each other and perhaps they are together joined, not as protagonists but as valid, if apparently contradictory sides of our true nature united in the face of barbarism.
Please don't think from this comment that it is a sterile intellectual book. It is totally engrossing as a story and is, in effect,a page turner.
It is moving, bewitching and intriguing. Lovely on many levels.
I commend it to you..