Mister Pip

Mister Pip

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The Booker finalist and beloved novel that has taken the world by storm is now a major motion picture starring Hugh Laurie.

Thirteen-year-old Matilda lives on a copper-rich tropical island that has been shattered by war, from which the teachers have fled along with everyone else. Only one white man chooses to stay behind, the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn. He sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and steps in to teach the children when there is no one else, and his only lessons consist of reading from his battered copy of Great Expectations, a book by his friend Mr. Dickens. First the children, and the entire village, are riveted by the adventures of a young orphan named Pip, their imaginations aflame with dreams of Dickens's London and the larger world. But in a ravaged place where even children are forced to live by their wits and daily survival is the only objective, imagination-- it turns out-- is a dangerous thing.

ISBN: 9780676979282
Branch Call Number: PBK FIC Jone


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May 21, 2017

Touching story of a teacher and the community he taught. It shows us the complexity of people and how they can can be so much more than they reveal on the surface.

IdeaLab_Mandy May 17, 2017

A moving story about hope and dedication in the midst of the violent upheaval of civil war. Some of the other commenters seem to think the story is set in a fictional place, but in fact Bougainville is a real place, an island, part of Papua New Guinea. And "redskins" was a term used to refer to workers who came in from the mainland, and the war really happened. So while the story is fiction, the setting is historically accurate. It's a place and event I've never read about before, which is one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much.

Sep 18, 2016

A very difficult book to categorize -- doesn't fit well on any of my shelves. Even more difficult to review.
Goodreads readers' reviews of it are all over the map. It's really several very different books within one cover and they don't get along with each other. There are serious flaws, starting with a middle aged white guy attempting to write in the voice of a 13 year old black girl living in a fairly primitive south Pacific island setting, caught in the middle of a vicious civil war. The mask never fits. Then there's the overly gratuitous brutality of the faction called the "redskins"! Really??
All of which is too bad because the character of Mr. Watts is intriguing and his ability to translate a 19th century English classic into a life-changing experience for the local kids makes for a remarkable story. Perhaps best of all is some of the inspired prose that Watts and his wife had posted on the walls of their child's room. Finally, each reader will have to make up their own mind about the degree to which Jones goes for a free ride on "Great Expectations"; it worked for me but it is problematic.
Those comparing it to Life of Pi are off base. Despite all of that, 2 1/2 stars.

Jun 23, 2016

Wow! I didn't expect this when I started reading. What a well told story.
There are opposites throughout: idyllic island surrounding/Victorian London; peaceful island/rebels & militia; Great Expectations/no expectations. The juxtapositions are harsh and affective.
Mr. Watts, the only white man on the island, takes it upon himself to teach the children during times of war after the school has been closed. He uses Great Expectations as a textbook, teaching the children of a world beyond their own, asking them to open their imaginations. The parallels & similarities between the two worlds are wonderfully interwoven as the story reveals itself.

Jul 30, 2015

excellent! touches so many universal themes, will read again!

PoMoLibrary Jun 30, 2015

From our 2015 #80DayRead Adult Summer Reading Club traveler Nicole: What an extraordinary story. Charles Dicken's Great Expectations and a tragic family struggle from a child's eyes.

WVMLStaffPicks Oct 21, 2014

Mister Pip comes to life amongst the equally vivid inhabitants of a nameless South Pacific island suspended in time. This is a beautiful and harrowing narrative about a girl caught in the undertow of post-colonial influences where she finds solace in the recounting of experiences of a fictional boy living in 19th century London.

Sep 19, 2013

Not an easy read, but an inspiring tribute to the triumph of the human spirit. There was an amazing lack of bitterness. People were presented as survivors, not victims, of the cruelty of war.

Nov 09, 2012

This is a book recommended by a U.T. professor on the 2010 Freshman Reading Round-up list. Although it has a rather sad ending, it is an inspiring tale of courage. I'd definitely recommend it.

BrigidScott Jan 17, 2012

Quirky, and that kept me reading on; but ultimately, verdict is: weird.

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Dec 28, 2008

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.

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