A Town Like Alice Audiobook | Nevil Shute | Audible.com
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A Town Like Alice | [Nevil Shute]

A Town Like Alice

Wanting to repay a wartime debt to the Malays, Jean Paget returns. There she hears a story which leads her to Australia.
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Publisher's Summary

Wanting to repay a wartime debt to the Malays, Jean Paget returns. There she hears a story which leads her to Australia.

©1989 The Trustees of the Estate of the Late Nevil Shute Norway; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (798 )
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4.5 (330 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Barbara MARIETTA, GA, United States 03-26-11
    Barbara MARIETTA, GA, United States 03-26-11 Member Since 2004

    WildWiseWoman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    157
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    "Better still in Audio form"

    This is a gentle and genteel adventure story, beautifully told, and even more wonderfully read. Robin Bailey hits the exact right note for every one of the many voices in this tale, and where I might have grown tired of reading this excellent book in print form (I love literature but have been spoiled by good audiobooks), it rolls along at a perfect pace for listening.

    The book itself is somewhat dated, and the casual racism of 1950s Australia is acknowledged and dismissed without further comment, but read in the context of its times it is a spirited pioneer story, a love story and tempered venture into feminism. One of the few audiobooks I will save for another listen in the future.

    28 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peyton Imperial, PA, United States 03-16-10
    Peyton Imperial, PA, United States 03-16-10 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
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    "An all time favorite I have read many times..."

    If you have never read Nevil Shute, you are missing an opportunity to revitialize your personal outlook on life. This is a extraordinary story of a women who has the mental capacity and spiritual drive to do something special with her life. Become immersed in the spectacular images and prose of an English born aeronautical engineer who served during both world wars, eventually becoming an author and settling with his family in Australia. As one of his seven books, you will experience a simple story that serves as an introduction to his later, more powerful, works. Free from political commentary or nuance, you will find this a story that impels us to look beyond the mundane, and perhaps prompt us to visualize our own lives as an opportunity to better the world as our abilities and situations permit. In Mr. Shute's other six books you will discover his uncommon world view which is sure to enrich your own.

    55 of 56 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Scotia, NY, United States 03-27-11
    Mary Scotia, NY, United States 03-27-11 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
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    "Wonderful story, beautifully told"

    The story was amazing and engrossing from start to finish (well, not quite from the start; the very beginning sounded boring, with what seemed at the time to be an unneccessarily detailed narrative about an old man hiring a solicitor to write his will, and I almost switched to another book on my iPod. But I stuck it out and was quickly pulled into the story). The characters are wonderful and the plot is fascinating. It never gets slow; I found myself sitting in my car to continue listening when I'd get to work, reluctant to leave the story. I love the narration. The reader was perfect for this book. This is one of the most memorable stories I've listened to in my many years as an Audible subscriber.

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie 06-02-09
    Laurie 06-02-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great story!"

    I discovered Nevil Shute in my late teens and was thrilled to see this old favorite finally available with Audible. As with many Nevil Shute books, it starts off slowly but then becomes completely engrossing. Fascinating picture of life in Malaya and Australia in the '40s and early '50s, engaging characters. Excellent narration, perfect for the story. Am hoping that other Shute favorites will be added soon - Pied Piper, No Highway, Trustee from the Toolroom, Pastoral, In the Wet.

    43 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nita L. Dryden, NY, USA 07-20-09
    Nita L. Dryden, NY, USA 07-20-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could not quit listening"

    This was my first audiobook (book-on-tape in those days); I asked Audible to provide it and was pleased to see it recently appear. Thanks, Audible!

    On re-listening, it was even better than the first time. It is TERRIFIC. The story is spell-binding, somewhat historical and absolutely riveting. The narrator is simply superb. I can't imagine anyone from pre-teen age onward who would not be spellbound by the combination of narration plus superb writing plus story.

    MOST highly recommended.

    41 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Santa Barbara, ca, United States 03-30-11
    Michael Santa Barbara, ca, United States 03-30-11 Member Since 2005
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    "A Town Like Alice"

    By Michael, Santa Barbara, CA

    Excellent book. Tends to slow down a bit in the 2nd half, but overall a compelling story about interesting people and times. The descriptions about life in the UK and Australia were fascinating. The narration was quite good, with the narrator going back and forth from the London accent of the UK to the Australia accent.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon West Monroe, LA, United States 06-13-13
    Sharon West Monroe, LA, United States 06-13-13 Member Since 2009

    Humanitarian Aid Worker living in Central Asia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Favorite beautifully read"

    I really enjoyed listening to one of my all-time favorite novels. It is such a wonderful listen. Cannot praise it enough!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MidwestGeek Ann Arbor, MI, United States 11-14-13
    MidwestGeek Ann Arbor, MI, United States 11-14-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
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    Story
    "Disappointing story saved by fantastic narration."

    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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Atascadero, CA, United States 03-05-11
    Rachel Atascadero, CA, United States 03-05-11 Member Since 2010

    I own a small shop selling custom/costume Jewelry. I love to listen to audio books while I create jewelry. I love all animals and get very upset when they aren't treated well, even in fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    101
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    "A GREAT Book"

    A wonderful book! A really great love story, that isn't a romance! Unforgettable likable characters.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Hildebrand West Coast 12-15-09
    Margaret Hildebrand West Coast 12-15-09 Member Since 2004

    I live full-time in a motorhome, traveling west of the Rockies.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An All Time Favorite Novel"

    This is one of the best novels I've ever read and Robin Bailey's audio narration is perfect. The quiet tone of the book's narrator, both as written by Shute and underplayed by Bailey, makes the Malaysian WWII horrors described listenable without stopping, except to rewind and relisten occasionally. The un-ending British/Australian stiff-upper-lip recollection of what happened is typical of another time and place. The characterizations, as in all Nevil Shute novels, makes the story riveting. The ultimate happy resolution, while completely foreseeable, is nuanced in unexpected ways and keeps the listener involved to the end.

    I wish there were more Nevil Shute books available on audio. I rented one about the Australian flying doctor service some 20 years ago from Books on Tape that was excellent. That one isn't even available in used print (Amazon). Surely there are more novels on audio from Australia or England that Audible/Amazon could obtain rights to and bring to their readers.

    27 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 64 results PREVIOUS127NEXT
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  • Colin
    CumbernauldUnited Kingdom
    3/31/09
    Overall
    "A Great Book Well Read"

    Despite this audiobook being produced decades ago Robin Bailey reads it so well that it is timeless. I can't wait to hear more of Nevil Shute titles.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Rob
    Bratton, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
    7/10/09
    Overall
    "Revisiting my past"

    Great. I am listening to books that I read years ago and which left an impression on me. The story is one of great hardship and positivity. It is a well read story. I was hoping to find "On the Beach" by the same author (Nevil Shute), but alas. Cheers

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Crime Fiction Groupie
    High Wycombe, United Kingdom
    6/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of my favourite books - wonderful story"

    A favourite for years, lovely to see this one in the Audible library - an instant addition to the Wish List. Yes its very 'old fashioned', and 'terribly British' - emotions held in check. The story stands the test of time, and I hope it gets many new listeners.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • tru.gough
    Swindon, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "amazing"

    My mother informed me this was a must read and I could not find it in any book shop i could not find it in the library and was thrilled and amazed that it was here. The story is brilliant the narrator does huge justice to the story, i agree a must listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    FAREHAM, United Kingdom
    4/23/12
    Overall
    "Fabulous"

    I've never read any Nevil Shute before and I thoroughly enjoyed this. A terrifically engaging story superbly brought to life by the narrator. The only slight niggle is that you do need to be prepared to accept the borderline racism as being 'of its time'.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rupert
    Banbury, United Kingdom
    4/16/11
    Overall
    "A Nevil Shute Classic"

    A classic in storytelling and if not read at a young age then this audio version is a must

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    Richmond, United Kingdom
    1/26/13
    Overall
    "A great listen"

    Yes, a little dated but but really brings alive the period, which is a slightly unfashionable one now. Also, I've always found the two parts of the story strangely disconnected. I think they could have made two books. However, it is a riveting story and very well read.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julian
    Woking, United Kingdom
    11/24/12
    Overall
    "Enjoyable story very well read"

    I read A Town Like Alice as a teenager and it was enjoyable to listen to the story again. In some ways Shute's tale is a little dated but in others he is remarkably up to date, for instance, his attitude to women being entrepreneurial. Robin Bailey reads the story remarkably well. The accents seemed just right and varied remarkably between the characters. Definitely recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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