Love a good mystery, but don't care much for pure thrillers.
This is the only book by Shute that I have read besides the celebrated "On the Beach." The story was a mixed bag; the first part concerning Jean's capture and treatment at the hands of the Japanese in British Malaya is interesting and well-told. I found it easy to identify with the women prisoners and their children and admired their perseverance. The second part of the book concerns Jean's quest to find Joe, an Australian stringer whom she had come to know during their mutual imprisonment. Although there is some interesting history and geography, this part of the book drags along soporifically toward a predictable and idealized conclusion.
I don't understand why this novel remains so popular; the characters seem quite dated to me. I might even have given up finishing except for the marvelous narration by Robin Bailey, whose brings the characters to life through his imitation of their dialects, their gender, and style of speech.
I've listened to about 300 Audible titles in the past 8 years and this one is in my Top Ten. Superbly written and superbly read.
From what I can tell, most of Audible's best sellers are junk -- endless vampire drivel, bargeloads of witless thrillers and so forth -- but a few downloads like "Alice" can redeem the whole enterprise.
The first half (the POW story) is gripping and well told. The Australia part kind of drags, Also I have 2 criticisms; 1) the heroine is perfect. She has absolutely no faults. This is very unrealistic. 2) The attitude towards female sexuality is very primitive--all the desire comes from the man and the woman has no desires of her own. As for the criticism about the racism--that is how it really was. Would you want him to re-write history in order to be politically correct?
I remembered seeing the mini-series in 1981 and finding the story unforgettable, but I had no idea it was based on a book. My book club read the book and I could hardly put it down. The story is so well told and the horrors of war are touched but not dwelt upon. Jean, the protagonist, is a strong, admirable woman who accomplishes so much during the war and after. Shute has written a sweet love story with so much more involved. The narrator did an excellent job with the British and Australian accents. Loved this book!
Listen on dog walks, commutes and around the house. Welcome virtually any genre but southern fiction holds a special place in my heart.
This was a wonderful story full of historical adventure set during and after World War II that stretched over England, Malaya (now Malaysia) and Australia. I loved the tone of the book, the pace, and the strong female protagonist as well as her love interest. I especially liked how the story was crafted from the point of view of an English solicitor administering an estate who interjects his opinions along the way and grows just as fond of his client as the reader does. The history lessons regarding the Japanese occupation of Malaya and its impact on the British living there and life in the Australian outback only enhanced my enjoyment of this novel.
This is one of my top 5 novels ever, love everything about the story and the audio version doesn't let it down. The walking around Singapore in the war section is done so well it is enough story in itself..but the development of "the town like Alice" after is superb, as is the narration by Noel. All fits together for something above the ordinary.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
This book was written in 1950, five years before I was born, and it's absolutely amazing. The narration is so good. The story begins in 1935 when Douglas McFadden contacts his solicitor (lawyer) to redraft his will. His solicitor, Noel Strachan, whose law office is in London goes to visit Mr. McFadden in Ayr, Scotland to redraft the will according to his wishes. Time passes, WWII begins, and Douglas McFadden dies. Noel Strachan is charged with finding his heir. The story that unfolds over the years following, in the countries of Great Britain, Malaya, and Australia is heartbreaking, courageous, and triumphant. I can't believe I had never heard of this book before. I am so glad I found it!
This is a book in two parts -- the first is about the struggles of women POW's on the Malaysian peninsula during WWII. That tale, in and of itself was worth the listen. The second part is about the heroine's desire to find the Australian soldier who helped the women stay alive during their ordeal. It is wonderfully descriptive of western Australia during the post-war period. An "extra" is the voice of the narrator, an older London solicitor who obviously cares deeply for the heroine.
For those who have been to or are familiar with Australia, this glimpse of the past is quite pleasing. It is a book that will hold the listener's attention.
I had this book in my library for so long, I forgot what it was about. So I looked up some reviews and a lady posted one saying, it was as good as her favorite book, Mrs. Mike. This was a sign for sure! Mrs. Mike changed my life when I was 14 years old...A Town Like Alice changed my life at 25.
This book turned my world upside down, tore my heart apart, made me feel anxious and uncomfortable. Then it turned my eyes to see something so much more beautiful than I could imagine....true love, courage, hope and selflessness. It's a story of a woman that even though she was faced with extreme adversity, or was surrounded by it, she didn't shy away from doing what she could to make a difference in the lives of those around her.
What a powerful book, matched perfectly with talented narrators.