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About the book
  • Published: 1 December 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099530268
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $14.99

A Town Like Alice




‘Probably more people have shed tears over the last page of A Town Like Alice than about any other novel in the English language… remarkable’ John Ezard, Guardian

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ERIC LOMAX

Jean Paget is just twenty years old and working in Malaya when the Japanese invasion begins. When she is captured she joins a group of other European women and children whom the Japanese force to march for miles through the jungle – an experience that leads to the deaths of many. Due to her courageous spirit and ability to speak Malay, Jean takes on the role of leader of the sorry gaggle of prisoners and many end up owing their lives to her indomitable spirit. While on the march, the group run into some Australian prisoners, one of whom, Joe Harman, helps them steal some food, and is horrifically punished by the Japanese as a result. After the war, Jean tracks Joe down in Australia and together they begin to dream of surmounting the past and transforming his one-horse outback town into a thriving community like Alice Springs…

  • Pub date: 1 December 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099530268
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $14.99

About the Author

Nevil Shute Norway

Nevil Shute Norway was born on 17 January 1899 in Ealing, London. After attending the Dragon School and Shrewsbury School, he studied Engineering Science at Balliol College, Oxford. He worked as an aeronautical engineer and published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926. In 1931 he married Frances Mary Heaton and they went on to have two daughters. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve where he worked on developing secret weapons. After the war he continued to write and settled in Australia where he lived until his death on 12 January 1960. His most celebrated novels include Pied Piper (1942), No Highway (1948), A Town Like Alice (1950) and On the Beach (1957).

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Praise for A Town Like Alice

“A Town like Alice is the most romantic book I've ever read...Jean's determination to survive is inspirational, and the love she finds later is beautiful”

Catherine Tate, Mail on Sunday

“A ripping tale of budding romance and grace under pressure”

The Times

“A heart-rending tale of torture, human fortitude and forbearance, inhumanity and hardship”

Sunday Times

“That supreme storyteller, Nevil Shute...I could hardly bear to put the book down. I read it voraciously for days”

May Lovell, The Times

“Remarkable books...I share a fierce personal regard for Nevil Shute”

Richard Bach

“A novel which, while aiming at popularity, respected its readership and was possessed of a decent level of craft”

Philip Hensher, Spectator

“This direct, simply told story is about honest, dogged virtues, at least as redolent of its era as street parties or 'We'll Meet Again'”

The Times


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