Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Trash” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,832 Ratings  ·  1,156 Reviews
In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future, three “dumpsite boys” make a living picking through the mountains of garbage on the outskirts of a large city.

One unlucky-lucky day, Raphael finds something very special and very mysterious. So mysterious that he decides to keep it, even when the city police offer a handsome reward for its return. That decis
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Ember (first published 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Trash, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Kristina He stole because that money never belonged to his master. The money was meant for the poor and his master stole it. That and he hated his master…moreHe stole because that money never belonged to his master. The money was meant for the poor and his master stole it. That and he hated his master because of the corruption.(less)
Jessica Corruption in politics and leadership. Gap between rich and poor. How difficult it is, in many countries, to climb out of poverty and achieve wealth.…moreCorruption in politics and leadership. Gap between rich and poor. How difficult it is, in many countries, to climb out of poverty and achieve wealth. Western right to education compared with inaccessibility of education to poor in many countries.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
K.D. Absolutely
Nov 16, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Tina
Shelves: local, ya
Trash by Andrew "Andy" Mulligan, a British theatre director, drama teacher and now novelist is set most likely in the Philippines. Why? He used the places that are familiar to us Filipinos: Smoky Mountain (for us it is spelled with an "e" as in Smokey), Green Hills (Greenhills is a shopping center in San Juan where the former president/vice-president/senator, Joseph Estrada lives), McKinley Hill and the currency is in pesos and the country celebrates All Soul's Day on November 2nd when people fl ...more

داستان وختی از زبون بچّهها بیان بشه، خیلی سادهس. اینداستان، هم ایده و هم شیوهی داستانپردازیش و عناصر داستانیش، ساده بود. نحوهی گرهافکنی و گرهگشایی و تعلیق امّا، فوقالعاده. ریتم و گام نرمی داره. برا من روزی که شروعش کردم، تا نصفش پیش رفتم و چون خوابم گرف، ادامه ندادم. وگرنه همونطور ادامه میدادم. داستان حرفاش خیلی عمیقه؛ ینی با همهی سادگیاش، وختی کتابو میبندی، باید چندین روز بهش فک کنی و با افسوس، سرتو تکون بدی. از فساد اقتصادی و سیاسی میگه و فقر و محرومیّت جامعه. و خصوصاً، از ظلمی که همیشهی خدا ب
Clare Cannon
May 25, 2011 Clare Cannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 13 years - adults

What an amazing book! Three dumpsite boys live by sifting rubbish and looking for things to sell. One day they discover a deadly secret which they must decipher and try to fathom, and which they must risk their lives to keep hidden from the police.

Mulligan's writing is crystal clear: each voice is unique, telling the story as it happens from a different of point of view, which gives credibility and depth and sets an incredible pace.

It is a confronting tale of the corruption of power and the imp
Jul 26, 2011 Lynai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-a-copy
Wonderful. This book is just wonderful. Despite the connotation of the word, Trash is far from being, well, trash. It’s more of a gem actually, if I may say. So what made me want to read this book? Curiosity. Who wouldn’t be curious about a novel that is about his own country? With these, I’ll tell you in three parts the reasons why I like this book : the setting, the characters, the plot.

The setting

Although there is no mention about it in the book, Trash is most probably set in the Philippines.
Aug 04, 2011 Book rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I heard about this book and it seemed like an interesting concept. Then my friend read it and he told me that I had to read it because he read a book I picked out last time. I must say: reading this book was torture for me. I finished it over 2 days and that was w/ me skimming over the 2nd 1/2.

The characters weren't really developed enough for me. And the book is told through the different characters POV which I usually like. But the writing wasn't that great therefore it didn't draw me in
Nima Kohandani
Nov 06, 2015 Nima Kohandani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
اصولاً زیاد داستان های رئال نمیخونم اما این یکی رو خوندم و برام جذابیتی خارق العاده داشت

اردیبهشت 94 شروع کردمش، بعد دیگه نخوندمش تا هفته ی پیش. توی یک هفته یه چهل صفحه ای پیش رفتم اما دیشب نشستم و تمومش کردم. حدود 150 صقحه رو خوندم چون من رو به شدت جذب کرده بود

به نظر من رئالیستی موفقه که بتونه با همون عناصر رئال، داستانی این چنین جذاب خلق کنه

داستان از یک زباله دونی و بچه های توش به سیاستمداری خلق میشه که معاون رئیس جمهوره و البته نقش چندانی در داستان نداره

چند بچه ی آشغال یا به عبارتی زباله، کسان
Oct 03, 2010 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know I am over-excited by any book I read, and I know I always say I love a book and that everyone should read it. I know that. But right now, when I am going to say what I am going to say about this book, you need to forget anything I have ever said on any book I ever reviewed on this blog.
I may love werewolves, fantasy, dystopian universes, funky writing styles and kick-ass heroines but all of this is irrelevant and superfluous. If you read one book this year, just a single one, make sure yo
Kirsty (overflowing library)
This book was totally different from anything else I have read so far this year. It hit on a variety of topics which made me think and was generally a nice read.

The story was told from the point of view of three boys (along with ocassional commentary from other secondary characters) who live and work in trash, namely the city landfill site. They make their living from wading through the rubbish thrown out by the people in the city they live in. The first thing that really struck home for me whil

Far from diverting attention from the Philippines, the seemingly insignificant details that Andy Mulligan utilized in Trash even serve to reinforce the idea that the story was actually set in our very own Manila, particularly in that hectares-big dumpsite called Payatas. (Smoky Mountain, the old dumpsite in Tondo, has since been closed and abandoned. In the book, Payatas was renamed Behala.) Aside from familiar places in the metro and the very Filipino names, most telling, in my opinion, is
Linda Lipko
Nov 17, 2012 Linda Lipko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This book took my breath away for the sheer beauty of the writing and the depth in which the author told a tale of poverty and the stark disparity of those who have and those who are without even basic needs.

It is a story of political graft and corruption that occurs systemically on all levels of the hierarchy. It is a story of brave young boys who pay a high price for a dream of a better existence.

With no hope of a better life, a large population of poor pick and sort garbage. Living and workin
Aly (Fantasy4eva)

Reading experience is more of a 3.5. The book though, is a 3. (if that makes sense).

[image error]

i happen to have this cover. as i'm reading along, it seems more and more tragically beautiful to me. by far my favourite cover of the book. [Update] I now see that my cover features Garbo (I'm assuming since he's bald). But the cover the review features also really connects with me now. After reading this book, it will hold so much meaning. This is why I love covers that are actually relevant to the
Mar 17, 2016 Praxedes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a perfect Middle School book! It is about how three friends found a way out of poverty in the most unusual of circumstances --a modern day rags to riches. It is narrated in turns by all the main characters and some secondary ones, and this revolving-door style works well, reflecting the interdependence of the kids as they solve clues to right a wrong and improve their lot in life.

Towards the end of the book Mulligan inserted several newspaper clippings to move the story forward; they wer
Feb 13, 2015 Hayley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably one of my favorite books of all time! I recommend it to everyone and anyone. Found out today that they have made a movie based on Trash. Looks really good! (Though it is almost impossible for it to be better than the book!)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Green Bean
Mar 13, 2011 Green Bean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Raphael Fernández is a trash boy. He lives with his Auntie in a tiny shack, in a stinking, sprawling shanty-town, in an unnamed third-world country, scraping together a dismal living foraging for scrap metal, tire treads, whatever shabby stock the dump site, Behala, might yield on any given day. Raphael's daily life is grueling, his prospects bleak, until he and Gardo, his hard-boiled blood brother, unearth a veritable treasure--the wallet of a dead-man brimming with bills and the key to a lugga ...more
Erika  Forth
Raphael lives and works at a dump in a third world country. He spends his days mucking through trash and muck, hoping to find something he can sell. One day, he comes across a mysterious object that was thrown away. When the police come looking for the item, Raphael and his two friends decide to unravel the mystery of what the object means.

Trash is a great mystery novel for younger readers, but what is most important about this book is how it really portrayed the horrors of poverty very well. It
Raphael and his friends have grown up in a slum town built amidst a rubbish dump, spending their days sorting through rubbish for anything that they can sell to get money for food. They have all dreamed of finding something valuable but when Raphael finds a bag containing money, a key and a letter life nothing will ever be the same again. With corrupt policemen looking for the bag they are now in great danger - it is very easy for street kids to disappear and there is no one who can stop it happ ...more
Oct 15, 2010 Dwayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.

Even before I read Trash, I knew it will be one of those book that has a strong, immediate connection to me. As a child, I often spent my summer holidays in Manila, where the plot was loosely based. While reading, I came to find out just how much the characters, language and particularly the setting reminded me of the Philippines. But it is not its mere familiarity that made me love this book, it's the way the plot is reminiscent of some of the ugly reality i
Allison Reed
Andy Mulligan’s Trash succeeds in telling an intelligent story of mystery for children though it does have its drawbacks.

Mulligan’s characters, 3 young boys named Raphael, Gardo, and Jun-Jun or Rat, do not seem to have a different voice as they trade the responsibility of writing the chapters of this story. I, personally, found myself having to constantly look back to see who was speaking at the time; often I found I did not even care enough to look back, as it often did not matter who was tel
Feb 23, 2011 Isamlq rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is Andy Mulligan pulls no punches in TRASH. People do live this way; people do really do these things. The squalor that he describes, the corruption that he explains, the harsh treatment meted out by authorities. All these things are fact for a good number of people here. And yet, the positives like the kindness of strangers, the charity of others, the connectedness of family, were not discounted.

So the message? While there is a lot of trash, there’s also a lot to be thankful for.
Nicole Rodrigues
This is a good book. The only reason why I couldn't connect with it was because I'm not used to read books like this, I'm more used to read fantasy books and this one is SO real. Not in a bad way at all, because it's really good to show us that money isn't everything in this world. Money doesn't buy love or even happiness.
Oct 24, 2013 Eavan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trash is an exciting third world story about three boys who live off what they find while digging through trash. One day they find a very important letter while digging in the trash. They find out all they can about the man who wrote the letter. They find out that the letter was being written to a man in prison. Now its up to them to set things right. Raphael gets taken in to be questioned about the letter and he gets badly bruised. They go through more police chases later on during their advent ...more
Anastasia Cynthia
“Siapa yang tahu apa yang bakal kautemukan selagi memilah-milah sampah! Mungkin saja ini hari keberuntunganmu.” –Trash ‘Anak-Anak Pemulung’, hlm. 3

Hari itu mungkin hari keberuntungan Raphael Fernández. Di antara tumpukan sampah, tempatnya bekerja, ia menemukan hal lain selain tinja dalam bungkusan kering. Gardo, sahabat terbaiknya, sudah mengamati dari jauh ketika ia memasukkan tas kulit itu secara diam-diam. Seulas cengiran tersungging di sudut bibir. Isi tas itu seribu seratus peso dan mereka
Jul 19, 2016 Max rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
***i had to read this for school*** I had some problems with this book. I felt like the climax was very anticlimactic. Nothing really happened and it never really built up to an intense part. I wish this had more ways to make me feel something like I never laughed out loud or cried. I also wish there was a love interest which was missing. Even though it was nice not to have one from all the other books I read but one of my fav things about books is romance. Overall, I did not enjoy this book.
Nov 07, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because it was on a list of possible books my 6th grader would read and I wanted to preview it for age-appropriateness.
For any other parents reading this, know that the descriptions of poverty and abuse were very real and troubling. It's hard for me as an adult to fathom the world of children living on landfills, sorting through trash for their livelihoods.
But, while this is the setting of the story, the plot is a very exciting heist/thriller that will captivate many readers.
Sep 29, 2015 Lois rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The setting of the book, is indeed the Philippines, the author confirmed it the acknowledgments section.

Behala is based on Smoky Mountain, its a dumpsite in Manila.

The story of the book is fiction, but it may as well be reality. The state of the people living at the dumpsite, the work they do there.

The corruption, most of all. The bad guy here is the Vice President, where he is accused of corruption, stealing from the poor, etc. But he was never convicted. This hit the spot! Because, right no
Sep 09, 2015 DJ rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to DJ by: it was thrown at me from a passing school bus.
Shelves: fiction
author Andy Mulligan is a white English man who tried to write of the experieces of three very poor boys (race not specified) living in an "unnamed Third World country" (quoted from the back of the book). the currency is pesos, there is a mission school and a volunteer from England, they're somewhere near a sea, and there is talk of typhoon season. other Goodreads reviewers have noted the place names are identical or close to places in the Philippines.

there are many harmful paths a novelist from
Angharad Roberts
Trash is a thrilling novel written by Andy Mulligan. It is written about three children: Raphael, Gardo and Rat. These three dumpsite boys discover a once-in-a-lifetime find, but this find puts them in great danger. The novel is narrated by different characters as the story develops. This book delivers the powerful message that 'nothing can happen without money'. The story starts of in a dumpsite 'it's a place they call Behala, and it's rubbish town'. There are lots of people, of all ages, sifti ...more
May 10, 2015 PikAtsu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Le Brésil est un pays qui me fait rêver depuis pas mal de temps. Je rêve de le visiter, de découvrir ce pays magique aux couleurs flamboyantes et magiques.
C'est pourquoi, quand le film est sorti, je me suis précipité dans mon cinéma pour aller le voir. J'ai adoré. Enfin un film qui nous montre la dureté de la vie dans les favelas brésiliennes !
Naturellement, j'ai acheté le livre.
Et le livre m'a autant plu que le film. C'est rare que ça arrive mais ça arrive.
Gros coup de coeur pour l'histoire d
Mar 16, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Review by Emily DeVeyra

The author is Andy Mullian. The illustrator is Alan scragg. The genre is adventure. Trash was adventurous and tragic. I think it was adventurous because they went on so many adventures. It's also tragic because even the the ending was happy, the beginning and the middle were sad. The ending was a little sad too. Like the police beats up Raphael in the beginning.

In Trash, there are many narrators but the main narrators are Raphael and Gardo. The point of v
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Born to Fly
  • Black Radishes (Black Radishes, #1)
  • Boys Without Names
  • Bamboo People
  • As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth
  • How to Survive Middle School
  • Everybody Jam
  • The Year Money Grew on Trees
  • Golden Boy
  • Ninth Ward
  • Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs (Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, #2)
  • Shooting Kabul
  • Now Is the Time for Running
  • Tall Story
  • Bluefish
  • They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
  • Out of Shadows
  • After Ever After (Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie, #2)
Andy Mulligan was brought up in the south of London. He worked as a theatre director for ten years before travels in Asia prompted him to retrain as a teacher. He has taught English and drama in India, Brazil, the Philippines and the UK. He now divides his time between London and Manila.
More about Andy Mulligan...

Share This Book

“With the right key you can bust the door wide open. Because nobody's going to open it for you.” 27 likes
“I learned perhaps more than any university could ever teach me. I learned that the world revolves around money. There are values and virtues and morals; there are relationships and trust and love---and all of that is important. Money, however, is more important and it is dripping all the time, like precious water. Some drink deep; others thirst. Without money, you shrivel and die. The absence of money is drought in which nothing can grow. Nobody knows the value of water until they've lived in a dry, dry place---like Behala. So many people, waiting for the rain.” 13 likes
More quotes…