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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  11,175 ratings  ·  1,695 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 February 16th 2010)
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Wooseok Yoon No, it would not be valid because, with no proof and no permission from his parents, they just took them. It although would have been valid if they ju…moreNo, it would not be valid because, with no proof and no permission from his parents, they just took them. It although would have been valid if they just knew it and had proof.(less)

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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,175 ratings  ·  1,695 reviews

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K.D. Absolutely
Oct 21, 2010 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
Moi  Baltazar
“The senator was smart. I was stupid. In this country you pay for being stupid, just as you pay for being poor.”

Slumdog Millionaire meets Robert Langdon in the Philippines! This book nearly killed me with suspense. It was my very first book by Andy Mulligan, but I'm certain it won't be my last.
Actual rating: 4.75 stars
Clare Cannon
Jan 26, 2011 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
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read/taught this book two years ago. It has a fast-paced plot about "dumpsite boys" who wade through mountains of garbage each day in order to make a living. Then they accidentally discover something that changes everything. Many of the details are harsh and based on actual people and places. One of my former students had an older sister who had Andy Mulligan, the author, as an English teacher when they lived in the Philippines. So, as a gift, Mulligan gave the older sister an early manuscript ...more
Oct 21, 2010 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 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
Meg 🌞
Apr 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
If you want to know anything about the content, plot or characters in this book, look no further than the title.
Oct 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signed, uk-author, ukmg
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
Oct 03, 2010 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
Brilliant, wonderful, great fun. Not a large book, just around 200+ pages, but like our diminutive central characters, BIG on just the right amount of enjoyment, suspense, adventure and a whole lot of heart. Reminded me of my school-days of blissful times with daring juvenile mystery-adventures. Our tiny heroes are dirty dumpsite boys, the lowest of the low of a fictional poor third-world country, but they proved again and again in every page that it was the rich, corrupt, 'big' people who were ...more
Aurora Aubert
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
u are what u read
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the banned books my library had as a suggested read for teens. I read it with my children.
Three boys find a wallet with information in it that leads them on a journey they'll never forget. Set in one of the poorest towns in India, you learn how children live in the dump and sift through garbage to earn their money.
It was truly eye opening. From the living conditions to the prison and graveyard. Well written and warms the heart even with the poverty and darkness.
Nov 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2012, young-adult

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 opin
Linda Lipko
Nov 16, 2012 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
Mar 17, 2016 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


Shall give it as a gift to my enemies
Olivia Cormier
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Three boys Gardo,Raphael, and Rat find something in the trash and now have to solve the mystery and where it will lead them. I enjoyed how this book had many Turing and unsuspecting twists. This book got me sucked in and didn't want to even put it down. I also enjoyed the Characters in this book and how outgoing they are. However I did dislike some things in this book such as how quickly the ending went by, I wish the author explained more toward the end of the book with more details. I also dis ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a work-inspired re-read for me, having originally read Mulligan’s novel when it was released 10 years ago. The second time round I loved the fast paced plot in which the novel’s trio of protagonists push back against corruption / poverty / oppression thanks to huge doses of courage, local knowledge and the safety net of friendship. I can see how this YA novel can be taught at different conceptual levels and it would be a great springboard into important discussions a
Martin Huang C1
I thought that Trash is a book where the level of fascination builds up as the book goes on. At first, when the characters are being constructed, it seems a little bit dull. But as you move on, the story becomes really cool with deep secrets keep getting revealed. The way the story is told is also very interesting; the book's almost like a collection of journals, with multiple characters' perspectives and aspects of the story. So overall this book was really cool, and I enjoyed it very much. ...more
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me a bit of the movie Slumdog Millionaire. This is about a group of poor dumpsite boys in the Philippines who find a mysterious bag in the trash. Others want it, and will stop at nothing to get it. On the run, the boys must solve the mystery of the enclosed key and the letter before they are caught by their pursuers and face terrifying consequences. Lots of twists, turns and action
with a great ending.
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
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
😰😰😰😰😰I’m so sad because I read this and didn’t get to finish it.

Anyway three boys live on a horrible stinky damp dump site where they can never escape. But one day Raphael and his best friend Gardo find a mystery that they are desperate to solve but the police track them down and soon with their new friend Rat they must escape the dump site.
Sep 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
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
May 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Guy by: Forced to read.
Shelves: umm-no
Before reading this book, I vacuumed the house, gave my dog a bath, memorised jabberwocky, did a 5000 piece puzzle, coloured in my homework book and spent time with my family being social *shivers*. Anything to not read this book.



This book, was simply a task to finish. It didn't draw me in. Writing average. I hoped for the 3 boys to die in the end, anything to stop the misery story. Like the title says, it simply belongs in the 'Trash'.

Even if you have 2 hours to waste, I'm more tha
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This story about three dumpsite boys in a third world country is absolutely stunning.
How their lives have changed with the blink of an eye.
The book never bored me.
It was an adventurous, terrifying and a heartfelt story.
It focuses on the value of friendship, family and the true meaning of happiness.
Money can buy some happiness, but if not shared with those you love, you might as well have none.
This book also illustrates how some people in certain circumstances may be at a disadvantage, but t
Aug 01, 2016 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.'' ...more
Feb 13, 2015 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!)
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
While this book started off good it went downhill. I overall did not like this book very though it was cool how it showed the perspective of people who live in junkyards. I honestly would not have finished it if I hadn't had to for book club. ...more
Anita Kessling
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of hardship, courage, guile and danger. Kept me reading.
Laci Champney
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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.

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“With the right key you can bust the door wide open. Because nobody's going to open it for you.” 35 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.” 19 likes
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