Showing posts from May, 2016

Book Review: A Town Like Alice

Nevil Shute's "A Town Like Alice" is one of those rare books that hooked me from its first words and upset me simply because at the end, it was over. Among its many qualities (like excellent writing and a sense of humor) it has three distinctive attributes that made it difficult to put down: it's an excitingly heroic story, it's a three-act play, and that a large part of it has to do with Australia. Firstly, I'm a sucker for heroic stories, and this is certainly one. It's a story of leadership forged in the fire of desperation, anguish, and against impossible odds. This might seem like many other "hero" stories, but it isn't. In "A Town Like Alice" the author wraps the characters in an ever-tightening blanket of misery and only then gently peels back the folds. There is no moment when Jean, the hero, bursts forth in sudden acknowledgement of her purpose. It's a slow, organic process. It started when, in an attempt to deal wi