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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

Moss, C K Stead

Maurice Gee: Life and Work
Rachel Barrowman
Victoria University Press, $60.00
ISBN 9780864739926

When I was young, New Zealand fiction had three Maurices. Duggan (“Maurice”) was the maestro, Gee (“Moss”) the dependable tradesman, and Shadbolt (“Morrie”) the showman. The maestro wrote mostly very slowly and with difficulty; the tradesman was more fluent and produced new work with what appeared to be near regularity; the showman was always ahead of the pack, prolific and catching the public eye, but was felt by some to be a bit of a sham. All three were in varying degrees neurotic – to be a writer in the 1950s, you had to be.

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Posted in Biography, Literature, Non-fiction and Review

Gee-whizz, Roger Robinson

Maurice Gee: A Literary Companion: Fiction for Young Readers
Elizabeth Hale (ed)
Otago University Press, $35.00,
ISBN 9781877578847

Maurice Gee published Under the Mountain in 1979. It was a success in print and on TV, but for some years it was possible to regard it, and his subsequent work for young readers, as a sideline, a paying Saturday morning job that freed him for the serious adult writing. Times have changed.

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Posted in Literature, Non-fiction and Review

Give peace a chance, Jill Holt

The Limping Man Maurice Gee Puffin, $19.99, ISBN 9780143305163 The Limping Man is the final volume of Maurice Gee’s Salt trilogy for teenagers. The trilogy portrays a grim city of a wrecked civilisation whose dictator is determined to destroy the

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Crimes, creeks, concealment, Roger Robinson

Access Road Maurice Gee Penguin Books, $37.00, ISBN 9780143202448 Parliaments and law courts used to “access”, though only “recess” survives in current usage. Incoming tides and the rising sun also accessed. These days we fashionably access our emails or information

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No easy heroics, James Norcliffe

Shadow of the Mountain  Anna Mackenzie Longacre Press, $18.99, ISBN 9781877460005 Smashed  Mandy Hager Random House, $18.99, ISBN 9781869419424 Gool  Maurice Gee Puffin, $19.95, ISBN 9780143304005   Each of these kidult novels tells a compelling story in a tightly written

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Containing multitudes, Hamish Clayton

The Plumb Trilogy Maurice Gee Penguin Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780143007562 Towards the end of Sole Survivor, the final instalment of Maurice Gee’s The Plumb Trilogy, journalist Ray Sole reflects on both the desire and difficulty of writing the story of

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Breaking free, Jill Holt

The Dumpster Saga Craig Harrison Scholastic New Zealand, $16.99,  ISBN 9781869438166 Salt Maurice Gee  Puffin, $17.95, ISBN 9780143303350 The Sea-wreck Stranger Anna Mackenzie  Longacre Press, $18.99, ISBN 9781877361883 It’s hard to imagine and salutary to recall that many teenagers do

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The Gee-spot, Roger Robinson

Blindsight Maurice Gee Penguin, $34.95, ISBN 0143020234 Alice Ferry, narrator and co-protagonist of Maurice Gee’s new novel, is a mycologist – an expert on fungi. That is, her professional life is devoted to studying spongy, fragile, morbid life-forms that lurk

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