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Mister Pip [Paperback]

Lloyd Jones
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Keeper of a Story May 24 2008
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
If you're like me, reading a good novel involves getting intricately involved in the life and times of its main characters. The internationally acclaimed New Zealand novelist, Lloyd Jones, has produced just such a literary gem that grants the reader a chance to get up close with various types who are struggling to define themselves in the story. The setting is a war-torn island off Papua-New Guinea, where the locals are beseiged on all sides by foreign troops, rebels, and aimless do-gooders like the Watts who have wandered in from somewhere south. The story involves Matilda and her mother trying to cope while the father is working in eastern Australia. Along comes Mr. Watts, who suddenly appears in the local village as the new school teacher. The single, solitary lesson for that year consist of Watts retelling Dickens's "Great Expectations" as it focuses on the life of Pip. He tells it so well that he succeeds in making Matilda actually conceive Pip as a real person in her very parochial existence. The adventures of Pip as he tries to make sense of his chaotic life in Victorian England start to play out as a reference in Matilda's equally uncertain life. The past quickly becomes the present as the children start to see Pip's prospects as being theirs in the future. The old cultural traditions and superstitions of the island get cast aside as even the older generation start to take an interest in this unfolding story. Just as it is wrapping up, the violence of the modern age intrudes on this little fantasy world that is starting to form. The island is attacked by rebel forces and Matilda's sense of hope bound up in this new found identity called Pip is destroyed. Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story for Booklovers June 24 2009
This book begs to be read over and over. It's a coming of age story. It's a story about racism, mother daughter relations,and it takes place in a remote island near Australia during a time of war. Matilda, a young girl, invites you into her world as she tells the story. You will fall in love with her and life on the island as she is exposed to another world through Dickens timeless novel, Great Expectations. The effect is transforming. She struggles with her mother's values and dilemmas of loyalty. Looking at war through Matilda's eyes is fascinating and heartbreaking. How she will be changed! The writing is superb and the story is enchanting and devastating at the same time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Reason You Went to Books in the First Place Sept. 21 2009
Go away to an island, a place of myth based on real. A fable story that has a "Little Prince" ability, a Haruki Murakami ability to get your imagination flowing but is also political without being big P political. I.e. Interesting, but still fiction-story-stunning. That magic that was the transporting reason you went to books as a kid. That kind of book. But for grownups.

-Bookworm, Movie Nerd
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a masterpiece Oct. 26 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
What a writer. What a book. What a masterpiece. It didn't linger on any event, but pressed on like water round rocks. Descriptions that were sheer poetry and a story that held me captive from beginning to end. This book is a masterpiece. The two award circles on the cover simply are not enough. And if you like this one, read Out Stealing Horses, by Per Pettersen. Another great book. Both wonderfully written for the reader, the author and the critic in you.
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