Mister Pip

Jones, Lloyd

  10 Reviews

Mister Pip is set during Papua New Guinea's blockade of Bougainville in the 1990s. When the school is closed in a remote village, Mr Watts takes over its running. He resorts to reading Great Expectations aloud to his students, among them the young Matilda. The 19th-century world of Dickens is so different from Matilda's own, but it helps her understand her own existence better. When the copy of Great Expectations goes missing, Mr Watts encourages the children to remember fragments of the story and tell them to class. And so the original story is reconstructed from the children's memories. NZ interest. Man Booker Shortlist, 2007; Commonwealth Writers' Prize, 2007; Montana Book Award for Fiction, 2007. [Larger font]

Comments from Groups

The storytelling is brilliant and illustrates just how powerful it can be - how it can change people's lives. Waiau 002

An internationally flavoured novel of great power. Otorohanga 003

There was unanimous appreciation of the book. Much food for thought as to how helpless indigenous people are in the face of multinational exploration and mining. Akaroa 001

All agreed a worthwhile read. Some shocked by the brutality and that it occurred so close to home. Kapiti 001

A challenging read for some because of the raw content at times. Most enjoyed Lloyd Jones' writing style though, and the questions in the notes created much discussion. Some had read 'Great Expectations', others not, it didn't seem to matter. Balclutha 001

An excellent read. Very skilfully structured. Successfully promotes the power of story telling. Deceptively simple in style, and set in an exotic location. Dunedin 029

Some of our readers enjoyed this story, but some really didn't. Those who did commented on the clever way the story was 'paralleled' with Great Expectations, and the author's clever way with words. It was also an eye opener as to what actually happened in PNG during the early 90s. Those who didn't enjoy the story felt it was just another depressingly sad read, and wished it had been told by a real person who had experienced it all first hand. Blenheim 012

Not all enjoyed it. The brutality affected a few. Those who liked the book were fulsome in praise of it. Wanaka 012

A very successful read. Beautifully written, and we enjoyed discussing it. Easy yet poignant, moving read. The discussion questions were a little trivial, but the background notes very informative. Christchurch 268

The book was very thought-provoking and instigated a lively discussion. Everyone brought different interpretations to the meeting. Some members, however, didn't read past the first few pages, as the lack of descriptive prose was not to their liking. Nelson 041

We all enjoyed the book. Not a classic, but a good page turner! Auckland 267



WELL 180
Good book, although we felt that the author seemed unsure of how to end it. Really interesting discussion highlighting some different view points. Thanks.
AUCK 218
A "must-read" book. The most highly scored book and enjoyed book out of the 2 years' worth we have read. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
LINC 001
We loved it! A really great read.
CHCH 051
Great book - enjoyed by all.
Generally enjoyed by all the group. Interesting to see the way the Dickens story was layered into the narrative. Motivated one member to reread 'Great Expectations'.
DIAM 001
We all enjoyed the book. Many likened it to a "fairy tale". The structure of the story introduced many themes and therefore became confusing.
CHCH 058
The main comment was the excellent writing, not a wasted word. Many found the story painful, the characters frustrating, but the general feeling was that it is a masterly work.
CHCH 479
We found this book to be an absorbing contribution to NZ literature. Some input from Lloyd Jones regarding his intent in writing 'Mr Pip', and the meaning he intends would be of huge value to the reader.
Everyone enjoyed the book.
Most enjoyed the book and appreciated the writing style. Didn't particularly like the questions but it generated a lot of discussion regardless. A lot of food for thought and also very sad.