Mister Pip

Mister Pip  
Author(s) Lloyd Jones
Country New Zealand
Genre(s) Fiction
Publication date 2006
Pages 256 pp (paperback)
ISBN 978-0-385-34 107-3

Mister Pip (2006) is a novel by Lloyd Jones, a New Zealand author. It is named after a character in, and shaped by the plot of, Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations.

Lloyd Jones wrote 11 versions of the novel [1] originally setting it on an unnamed Pacific island. The novel was ultimately set against the backdrop of the civil war on Bougainville Island during the early 1990s.


Plot summary

On the small copper mining island of Bougainville all of the teachers, along with most of the other residents fled while one white man, Mr. Watts, stays on the island and becomes the teacher for many of the remaining native children of the island. Mr. Watts reads to the children from Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations. The children of the island, including the main character, Matilda, are fascinated by the young orphan boy, Pip, and his travels through London.

Main characters

  • Matilda is the main character in the novel. She was in her early teens and was still attending classes, which were taught by Mr. Watts. Matilda has lived on the island her whole life, where she lives with only her mother, Dolores. Her character is quite reliable given that the book is written with the first person narrative and so when the character talks about him or herself, we know it's the truth.
  • Mr. Watts (Pop Eye) is the only white man left on the island after most of the citizens left. He has a mysterious history, that many of the islanders long to know about with one of the many mysteries being the marriage to his wife Grace. He taught the children of the island and read to them, each day reading a chapter of Great Expectations.
  • Dolores is the mother of Matilda and a strong believer in an unknown Christian denomination. She has many different view points on issues with Mr. Watts.
  • Grace (Sheba) is the second wife of Mr. Watts. She was born on Bougainville Island, but moved to Wellington, New Zealand to study in the field of dentistry, where she fell in love with Mr. Watts. Grace returned to Bougainville Island with Mr. Watts where she lived in an old European mission building.


Mister Pip was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007; the novel won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best book in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, and also won the Montana Medal for Fiction or Poetry [1] in 2007.

Film Adaptations

  • Andrew Adamson has written a movie adaption to Mister Pip, which he will also direct.[2] Hugh Laurie has signed on to play Mr Watts.[3] He has filmed in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea and has filmed in various locations in and around New Zealand. On July 29 and 30th 2011 he was filming at Glendowie College, and at a flight training centre at Albert Street, Newmarket, Auckland.

See also

Book collection.jpg Novels portal


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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