Blog Archives

Quality assured, Guy Somerset

Annual Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris (eds) Gecko Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781776570775 Would it kill Wellington children’s publisher Gecko Press to once – just once! – say “Sod it, really, who can be bothered?” and bung out some bit

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

From a trio of veterans, Anna Mackenzie

The Severed Land Maurice Gee Penguin, $20.00, ISBN 9780143770244 Shooting Stars Brian Falkner Scholastic, $21.00, ISBN 9781775433606 Cool Nukes Des Hunt Scholastic, $20.00, ISBN 9781775433422 As a veteran of more than 50 years, Maurice Gee is one of New Zealand’s

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Posted in Children, Fiction, Literature, Review and Young adults

“The push and pull of parenting”, Catriona Ferguson

Billy Bird Emma Neale Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9780143770053 Emma Neale’s sixth novel, Billy Bird, probes the life of a troubled family – Liam, Iris and eight-year-old Billy. They are all reeling from a series of tragedies that have befallen their

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Bleak stuff under total control, Stephanie Johnson

The Wish Child Catherine Chidgey Victoria University Press, $30.00, IBSN 9781776560622 When Dutch writer Herman Koch visited New Zealand as part of the 2016 Auckland Writers’ Festival, he expressed his belief that WWII was losing its allure as a subject

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Mysteries past and present, John McCrystal

Days are like Grass Sue Younger Eunoia Publishing, $30.00, ISBN 9780994104762 Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley Danyl McLauchlan Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776560479 Claire is a paediatric surgeon, newly returned to Auckland, city of her birth, from London,

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Music boxes and willows, Edmund Bohan

The Song Journey T E Scott Scott Publishing, $37.00, ISBN 9780473328863 Napoleon’s Willow Joan Norlev Taylor RSVP Publishing, $30.00, ISBN 9780987658784 One of the attractions of historical fiction is its infinite variety. For far too long in New Zealand’s curious

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Familiar and strange, Charlotte Graham

Deleted Scenes for Lovers Tracey Slaughter Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776560585 In almost a decade in journalism, I’ve spent a long time sitting in courtrooms. The people whose lives play out in front of a judge seem at first

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Promising softly-spoken wonder, Thom Conroy

The Quiet Spectacular Laurence Fearnley Penguin, $38.00, ISBN 9780143574156 Laurence Fearnley occupies a position somewhere between national treasure and experimental writer. Her depictions of landscapes and her stylistic tendency toward restraint inspire praise, with reviews admiring Fearnley for how markedly

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Sweet recklessness, Kiran Dass

The Salted Air  Thom Conroy Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9781775538820 “We strut about imagining heroism and lucky saves, but we’ve got it all wrong. Catastrophe arrives when the air is warm and people are everywhere … .” So observes the keenly self-aware

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The headlock of myth, Mark Reason

Seelenbinder: The Olympian Who Defied Hitler James McNeish Steele Roberts, $35.00, ISBN 9780947493011 “After a certain time a life exists not for what it is in reality, but for its mythological qualities”: in that one sentence, James McNeish defines his

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