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3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  7,613 Ratings  ·  1,264 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
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by David Fickling Books (first published 2010)
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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)

Community Reviews

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K.D. Absolutely
Oct 21, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was ok
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
Clare Cannon
Jan 26, 2011 Clare Cannon rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 29, 2015 Gypsy rated it really liked it

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
Oct 21, 2010 Lynai rated it really liked it
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
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
Oct 28, 2015 Nima Kohandani rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 15, 2010 Monique rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult, 2012

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
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
Feb 13, 2015 Hayley rated it it was amazing
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!)
Aly (Fantasy4eva)

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

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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
Linda Lipko
Nov 16, 2012 Linda Lipko rated it really liked it
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
Aug 01, 2016 Ejmi rated it really liked it
"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.''
Anita Kessling
Jul 29, 2016 Anita Kessling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of hardship, courage, guile and danger. Kept me reading.
Karina Vargas
Trash. Ladrones de esperanza : 3,5 estrellas.

Behala es un basural, pero para muchas otras personas es también su hogar. En estas condiciones de una extrema pobreza y con una higiene deplorable, viven Rafael y Gardo, dos niños que deben sobrevivir el día a día a partir de los desperdicios que vierten allí los lugares aledaños, tal como lo hacen todos sus habitantes. Remover la basura en busca de algo útil que puedan vender o reciclar es el objetivo diario, que no sucede tan a menudo, y ya se ha
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
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
Cait (Paper Fury)
This is a horribly realistic story, written with depth and emotion -- and filled with surprises.

Even though it's only based off Manila, the Philippines, the book rings of a true-to-life story. You get caught up in the crushing poverty of dump kids, in their way of life, in their personal stories. Drama, fear, trouble, mystery, police, unforgettable characters, beatings, rubbish -- it's all there. It's a story of a different perspective. It's a story of fighting for what you think is right.

Allison Reed
May 02, 2012 Allison Reed rated it it was ok
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 16, 2017 Wolfgang rated it it was amazing
captivating narration of an exciting adventure in the slums of Manila. I finished it in a very short time and will warmly recommend this to my 15-year old nephew.
Erika  Forth
Dec 05, 2010 Erika Forth rated it liked it
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
Green Bean
Mar 10, 2011 Green Bean rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 17, 2016 Praxedes rated it really liked it
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
Jun 04, 2014 Massimo rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 17, 2010 Isamlq rated it liked it
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.
Oct 07, 2013 Eavan rated it really liked it
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
Dec 15, 2016 Tessa rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2016 Max rated it it was ok
***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.
Nicole Rodrigues
Mar 29, 2015 Nicole Rodrigues rated it liked it
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.
Kristina Kowalczyk
Feb 04, 2015 Kristina Kowalczyk rated it liked it
it was good
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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...

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“With the right key you can bust the door wide open. Because nobody's going to open it for you.” 31 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.” 17 likes
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