Guardian Newspaper 1000 Novels discussion

A Town Like Alice
This topic is about A Town Like Alice
27 views
Monthly Book Reads > Town Like Alice, A - April 2018

Comments Showing 1-27 of 27 (27 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Darren (dazburns) | 669 comments Mod
Welcome to the discussion thread for the group's April 2018 selection in the War & Travel category:
Nevil Shute's A Town Like Alice
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

Who's reading this one?

I finished it as recently as last December, so it's still fresh in my mind so will join in as we go along...


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments I'm in for this one too, but, again, not till the end of the month.


Renee | 22 comments I picked it up on Kindle and am hoping to be able to get around to it, but there are just so many books!


Kaycie | 455 comments Mod
I actually have this book, so I'm going to try really hard to finish my current reads and get on this before the end of the month! I'll post late if I miss it though. Can't wait to finally discuss a book with you guys again!


Melanie (melaniemom) Loaded from library on my kindle. Looking forward to reading.


Leslie | 825 comments I have the audiobook of this & enjoyed it immensely -- I plan to relisten later in the month.


Melanie (melaniemom) I started the book and like it already! The writing is wonderful.


message 8: by Fay (new) - added it

Fay Roberts | 363 comments I've just finished and I loved this one :-) Can't wait to hear what you all think


Moira | 2 comments Am I the only one still reading impractical and old fashioned print copies? ;-)
I had to order the book to a library in "my" town where it finally arrived. Can't wait to pick it up on Monday.


message 10: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Will pick this up next week from the library!


Leslie | 825 comments Moira wrote: "Am I the only one still reading impractical and old fashioned print copies? ;-)
I had to order the book to a library in "my" town where it finally arrived. Can't wait to pick it up on Monday."


I still read print books but not solely -- audiobooks and ebooks are so convenient!


message 12: by Renee (last edited Apr 07, 2018 06:13PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee | 22 comments Moira wrote: "Am I the only one still reading impractical and old fashioned print copies? ;-)
I had to order the book to a library in "my" town where it finally arrived. Can't wait to pick it up on Monday."


Print books are my favourite. Can't beat the feel and smell of a new book! I do try to get shorter books on kindle if I can though, because it saves space and I don't have a home library (wish I did!). I'm finding audiobooks are fun to listen too sometimes too.


message 13: by Fay (new) - added it

Fay Roberts | 363 comments I still use print :-) I like to use digital and audio as well. It just depends on my mood and the place. I like to support our local library whenever possible and I’m very lucky that they support all mediums and have a free reservation service which sources then from all over our county - that’s good going for the UK ;-)
Do any of you use your local libraries?


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments I read probably 95% in print. A few books I'll get on my tablet but it's rare. Occasionally I'll listen to audio books on my way to work, but my CD player crapped out on me a few months ago, and I haven't done anything to replace it.

I'm glad everyone is liking this one--I'm eager to get home and get my copy, but I'm still a week or so away from getting there.


Leslie | 825 comments @Fay - I use my local library a lot; both for print & digital media. And that reminds me I have a book to return :)

In fact, I joke sometimes that I have a library addiction -- it makes it hard sometimes to find the time to read the books I actually own!


Kaycie | 455 comments Mod
I also just finished this in print edition - borrowed from a friend's home library. :-)

Though I also agree with Leslie in ebook and audiobooks for convenience. I generally have at least one going in each format at a time...when I'm on the bus and didn't bring a print book or when I'm traveling and can't take 3 print books, the ebook is best....audiobooks for when I clean or cook...print books for the rest of the time!



I also just finished this quick and delicious read, and really enjoyed it. I got sucked into the story really fast and stayed up 2 hours past my bedtime one night reading it! It got 4 stars instead of 5 because I didn't find the last 100 pages or so nearly as engrossing as the first 100, though I wasn't ready for it to end when it did!

My friend who actually owns this book also just told me its a movie, so I plan on finding that to watch soon!

What did everyone else think of it?


Kaycie | 455 comments Mod
P.S. One of many reasons I love this group - from the description I would have hesitated to pick this book up on my own and only decided to read in the end because my friend had the copy on her shelf...so happy to have been introduced to it! Thanks to whoever nominated it! :-)


Melanie (melaniemom) I finished the book. So well written and what a story! I learned so much about places I knew very little about. I wasn’t keen on the alligator shoes lined with baby wallaby, but will forgive in light of the time frame. A great read and thanks to whoever suggested it!


Leslie | 825 comments I finished my reread a few days ago & if anything, liked it better the second time!

Not only did it inform me of events and customs I was unaware of but I love how Jean works to convert Willstown to "a town like Alice". Despite her uncle's misgivings, she had quite a business sense!

Robin Bailey did a magnificent narration in the audiobook edition I own & in particular managed to use intonations in Noel Strachan's voice that made his role seem so realistic and, in the end, so sad.


Renee | 22 comments I'm running behind (as per usual for me) in my group reads again, and am just about half way through this one. Jean has just travelled to Australia after helping the village they lived in during the war. I loved the first part of the book. I thought Jean telling her story of what her and the group of women and children experienced during the war was fascinating.


Renee | 22 comments I finally finished it last night. I liked it but I thought the first part was much more interesting than the second part. It seemed to drag a little in the second half of the book,for me at least.


Leslie | 825 comments Renee wrote: "I finally finished it last night. I liked it but I thought the first part was much more interesting than the second part. It seemed to drag a little in the second half of the book,for me at least."

The first time I read it, the first part was more interesting to me but this time, rereading, I found that I actually liked the second part better. All of Jean's strategies for turning Willstown into 'a town like Alice' went over my head the first time I think, or not that exactly, but I wasn't very interested in them. This time, they fascinated me.


Renee | 22 comments Leslie wrote: "Renee wrote: "I finally finished it last night. I liked it but I thought the first part was much more interesting than the second part. It seemed to drag a little in the second half of the book,for..."

Yeah, I liked all her ideas of rebuilding the town, and turning it into a town she would want to live in. It just seemed to slow down for me little. I did like it though.


Darren (dazburns) | 669 comments Mod
Renee - sounds like we agree on this one - I found the start to be excellent, but later was just a bit "mechanical"


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments There was a Masterpiece Theater adaptation of this book back in the 80s sometime--is anyone aware of a way to watch this?


Leslie | 825 comments Bryan wrote: "There was a Masterpiece Theater adaptation of this book back in the 80s sometime--is anyone aware of a way to watch this?"

Not me, though based upon your comment I did search YouTube and discovered that it was also adapted in 1956 into a movie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_UGb...


Carolien (carolien_s) I reread it last weekend for the first time in about 30 years and remembered why I loved it the first time around.

I still love it, but understood the context a lot better this time around. In addition, my husband and I had actually driven from Darwin to Alice Springs about 5 years ago so I could imagine the scenery (Daly's Water has not changed much since the book was written!).

It's a beautiful love story, but I did find the blatant racism disturbing. I understand that it was acceptable and a fact of life at the time of writing, but it puts the experience in very stark terms and makes it difficult to rate the book overall within a modern society.


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

A Town Like Alice (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Nevil Shute (other topics)