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'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' Guardian 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...With an introduction by Eric Lomax, author of The Railway Man
Updated May 14, 2007 13:25:00 Photo: View across Alice Springs from Anzac Hill. (Alice Springs Town Council) ...
A Town Like Alice was successful, both in Australia and internationally, leading to the Rank Organisation returning to Australia to make Robbery Under Arms (1957) with Peter Finch staring as the bushranger Captain Starlight.
However, Nevil Shute ...
A Town Like Alice is one of my favorite books by Nevil Shute so I was pleased that Masterpiece Theater did such a believable job when they filmed it. It's very well cast with Helen Morse and Bryan Brown in the major roles and Gordon Jackson perfect as the sympathetic narrator.
Published in 1950 when Shute had recently settled into Australia, A Town Like Alice tells the story of Jean Paget in post World War II London, who unexpectedly comes into an inheritance from her deceased uncle.