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A Town Like Alice Audiobook

A Town Like Alice

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Publisher's Summary

Jean Paget is just twenty years old and working in Malaya when the Japanese invasion begins. When she is captured she joins a group of other European women and children whom the Japanese force to march for miles through the jungle. While on the march, the group run into some Australian prisoners, one of whom, Joe Harman, helps them steal some food, and is horrifically punished by the Japanese as a result. After the war, Jean tracks Joe down in Australia and together they begin to dream of surmounting the past and transforming his one-horse outback town into a thriving community like Alice Springs...

©1989 The Trustees of the Estate of the Late Nevil Shute Norway

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (2685 )
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Performance
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  •  
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 12-27-11
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 12-27-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Great first half. Second--so so"

    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?

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Stephenson 03-31-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "About as good as it gets...."

    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.

    47 of 54 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 05-02-14
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 05-02-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Fascinating Story of Survival, Strength & Purpose"

    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!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mama C 11-06-12
    Mama C 11-06-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Delightful!"

    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!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Longview, TX, United States 05-10-12
    Linda Longview, TX, United States 05-10-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great reading of a classic"

    This is a powerful story. One of my all-time favorite reads. Don't miss this one.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelli Birmingham, AL, United States 05-04-12
    Kelli Birmingham, AL, United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Historical Adventure During and After World War II"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    i. Ski Duluth, Minnesota 10-04-11
    i. Ski Duluth, Minnesota 10-04-11 Member Since 2015
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    Story
    "A lovely story"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Atascadero, CA, United States 03-05-11
    Rachel Atascadero, CA, United States 03-05-11 Member Since 2016
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    "A GREAT Book"

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

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 02-22-11
    02-22-11 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Does the book justice"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 07-05-15
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 07-05-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "England to Australia via Malaysia"

    I enjoyed this book very much. It has three very intriguing main characters, the solicitor Noel Strachan being my favourite. The narrator, Robin Bailey, was an excellent choice. The writing is great and was able to engage me in a way only a really excellent story can.

    I knew nothing about the book before I started reading it, and that made for some interesting surprises. That made the experience extra enjoyable for me. Stop reading here if you want that experience.

    “A Town Like Alice” tells the tales of an old English solicitor, a young English typist, and a young Australian ringer (cowboy), and of how their lives intersect. The action takes place before, during, and after WWII in England, Malaysia, and Australia. Each character is interesting and has his/her own compelling story woven into the larger story. The story is a romance, but interestingly there is a strong business and economic development theme that runs through it as well.

    The author’s descriptions of places and weather were so compelling they almost make me feel like I was there. I enjoyed that. It was also interesting to read about events in Malaysia during the Japanese occupation. I recently read “Tears in the Darkness” which concerned events in the Philippines during Japanese occupation and the two seemed to sync up quite nicely.

    I’m not generally a reader of romances, but this one tells a great story well. So I recommend the book on that basis and because I found the narration very well done.

    PS: It was refreshing that the lawyer character in the story was not a barrister (courtroom lawyer), but a solicitor (advisor/document drafter). So, don't expect any dramatic courtroom scenes. This time a solicitor's pen-welding skills are the basis of some plot elements in the story, albethey fittingly modest plot elements.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Ina Marshall
    8/17/17
    Overall
    "A VERY GOOD LISTEN well recommended"

    I have read this book over 20 times and enjoyed this so much it was not abridged which was so good nothing left out so this is hearing number one and I am sure it will not be the last well recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • k reeves
    7/2/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "A great story beautifully read"

    Quite an old fashioned story that is at all times entertaining. The narration by the late robin bailey is magnificent

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mark Sandland
    6/27/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "Bonaza!"

    Superbly narrated, Nevil Shute's bet known story was a delight from start to finish. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elaine
    5/18/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story and beautifully narrated"

    A thoroughly enjoyable story. Published in 1950 and set during and soon after the war, it is now a window into a very different world, but the story is well told and as compelling as ever. The narration really made this, it had real emotional impact.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wosul
    UK
    2/12/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "interesting story background. Staid telling"

    What I appreciate in a fiction is experiencing other realities. In this you go back in time, experiencing Malaya under the Japanese, post war Britain and the Australian outback. The feeling is a bit stodgy and formulaic, but that's simply of its time, self consciously so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nigel Boot-Handford
    1/17/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Shute classic"

    I first came across Nevil Shute as a young school boy in the 70's and gradually read all of his books initially fascinated by the references to the areas of West London, especially Perivale where I grew up. Even to the point of taking the books out from the library before buying them as paperbacks later on. I've returned to then every few years as great books to reread and enjoy again.

    This is one of the best (and to my mind they are all good, not perhaps regarded as classic literature but engaging well constructed and well told tales) and in an spoken word version actually

    Yes this book reflects the manners, standards and racial stereotypes of its time but that in a way is no bad thing, what was once the norm is not of today but this is a period piece and is set in a timeframe now long gone.

    As a performance Robin Bailey is nigh on perfect as the narrator Mr Strawn, the story still has resonance even though the war is now moving out of the range living memory for those who were old enough to have been directly impacted.

    My father and his brothers who served in the war told tales of the war in the Far East, the forgotten army, and shared memories of that pre war colonial era that died in 1941.

    All in all well worth hearing the book played out as a different experience to rereading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • James D
    11/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First class"

    This is great story telling at its best. Compared to many more modern books the pace seems slow and the style somewhat dated. But don't be deceived, it is in fact told with economy. Each episode, deliberately told, serves to reinforce the story and most particularly the characterisation. You get to know the three main characters inside out. And rather to my surprise the main protagonist turns out to be an uplifting role model to whom we can all aspire.

    As an aside, it is also a story that should be read every banker : it shows the true benefit wealth can bring in a capitalist economy when properly applied!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/13/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A brilliant audio book!"

    I loved the story and the performance, both were engaging from beginning to end, marvelous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas
    Stonehouse, Glos, United Kingdom
    8/20/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "BRILLIANT"
    What did you like most about A Town Like Alice?

    The characters, the locations of the story, and a good story line.


    What about Robin Bailey’s performance did you like?

    Everything


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this book !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roland
    UK
    7/31/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Miss Paget is travelling in the Far East"

    This narrator Robin Bailey is brilliant.

    A gripping story about some spirited people who were caught up in the war against Japan and its aftermath. It brought tears to my eyes and made me want to find out about their real-world counterparts.

    A top audiobook!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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