Mister Pip

Mister Pip

3.67 (16,075 ratings by Goodreads)
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'You cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames.'

Bougainville. 1991. A small village on a lush tropical island in the South Pacific. Eighty-six days have passed since Matilda's last day of school as, quietly, war is encroaching from the other end of the island.

When the villagers' safe, predictable lives come to a halt, Bougainville's children are surprised to find the island's only white man, a recluse, re-opening the school. Pop Eye, aka Mr Watts, explains he will introduce the children to Mr Dickens. Matilda and the others think a foreigner is coming to the island and prepare a list of much needed items. They are shocked to discover their acquaintance with Mr Dickens will be through Mr Watts' inspiring reading of Great Expectations.

But on an island at war, the power of fiction has dangerous consequences. Imagination and beliefs are challenged by guns. Mister Pip is an unforgettable tale of survival by story; a dazzling piece of writing that lives long in the mind after the last page is finished.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 143 x 222 x 24mm | 406g
  • John Murray Publishers Ltd
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0719564565
  • 9780719564567
  • 293,515

Review quote

'Incredible, one of the best reading experiences I've had' * Janie Dee, Daily Express * 'It's a wonderfully refreshing book which gives you much to think about long after finishing' * Psychologies * 'Both island and war are quietly conveyed through the engaging, intelligent, often understated narrative voice' * Geraldine Bedell, Observer * 'Lovingly fleshed out with memorable characters, some almost worthy of Dickens himself' * Wall Street Journal * 'Sad, beautiful, poignant, moving and honest, this is a remarkable book' * Good Book Guide * 'Mister Pip is a traditional novel, but it also topical ... Regardless of who wins on October 16th. Mister Pip, through the simplicity and candour of Matilda's singular narrative voice, may prove the most difficult to forget' * Eileen Battersby, Irish Times * 'An affecting tale' * Killian Fox, Observer * 'Haunting and morally complex, the novel deserves its place on the list and would make a worthy winner' * Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times * 'Jones proves sly, engaging, worth-reading and even re-reading' * London Review of Books * 'A mega-good read' * Dovegreyreader Blog * 'A dazzling piece of writing that lives long in the mind after the last page is finished' * Whitefriars Magazine * 'Magical and enchanting' * Woman Magazine * 'Lloyd Jones brings to life the transformative power of fiction ... The experience of reading in this book is tangible ...This is a beautiful book. It is tender, multi-layered and redemptive' * Sunday Times * 'Rarely ... can any novel have combined charm, horror and uplift in quite such superabundance' * D. J. Taylor, Independent * 'Judges described it as a "mesmerising story showing how books can change lives in utterly surprising ways" ' * Independent * A captivating read * Metro London * 'Mister Pip is a powerful and humane novel from one of New Zealand's top writers' * Financial Times Magazine * 'An intelligent novel that says as much about the power of reading as it does about bloodshed and loss' * New Statesman * '(A) rather strange, quite wonderful book ... Singular in its vision and muscular in its prose, you won't forget this in a hurry' * thelondonpaper * 'The value of moral fiction as a means of dealing with super-heated reality is the theme that gives this book exotic enchantment as a fable for our times' * Saga Magazine * 'A novel that, with amplitude and ease, affirms the acts of reading and writing as precious pursuits, as acts of survival, escape, renewal' * Scotsman * 'A must-read tale of survival by storytelling' * Image Magazine (Ireland) * 'Darker and more morally complex than it appears ... Lloyd Jones gives the tired post-colonial themes of self-reinvention and the reinterpretation of classic texts a fresh, ingenious twist but his real achievement is bringing life and depth to his characters' * Sunday Telegraph * 'Morally subtle, Mister Pip has none of arid cleverness that often mars novels about books, making it a worthy winner of this year's Commonwealth Writers' Prize' * Daily Mail * 'Exotic locations add a dreamy quality to ... Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones ... Jones' lyrical novel centres around a group of children in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, during the civil war in the Nineties' * Vogue * 'Cleverly encapsulating what it is to be an orphan, an immigrant or a person dispossessed of a regular beat of life, this extraordinary story...' * Good Housekeeping * 'Intriguing and memorable' * Glasgow Herald * 'A major word-of-mouth bestseller' * Sue Baker, Publishing News * 'Mister Pip is a poignant and impressive work which can take its place alongside the classical novels of adolescence' * Times Literary Supplement * 'In this dazzling story-within-a-story, Jones has created a microcosm of post-colonial literature, hybridising the narratives of back and white races to create a new and resonant fable ... There is a fittingly dreamy lyrical quality to Jones's writing, along with an acute ear for the earthly harmonies of village speech ... Mister Pip is the first of Jones's six novels to have travelled from his native New Zealand to the UK. It is so hoped that it won't be the last' * Observer * 'It's clear from the first page that this is prize-winning stuff... Being a truthful writer, Jones sees nothing neither his heroes nor his villains in black and white. His is a bold inquiry into the way that we construct and repair our communities, and ourselves, with stories old and new' * The Times *
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About Lloyd Jones

'Mister Pip' is the first of Lloyd Jones's books to be published in the UK. He lives in Wellington, New Zealand.
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Rating details

16,075 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 20% (3,229)
4 40% (6,411)
3 29% (4,701)
2 9% (1,371)
1 2% (363)
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