Blog Archives

A complicated relationship, Thom Conroy

The Ice Shelf Anne Kennedy Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776562015 What role does a book invite me to accept as its reader? I need not comply with a book’s request, of course, but I’m bound to recognise or, at…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

“Lashings of empathy”, Tina Shaw

From the Ashes Deborah Challinor HarperCollins, $37.00, ISBN 9781460754122 What You Wish For Catherine Robertson Black Swan, $38.00, ISBN 9780143772811 Discovering that From the Ashes is a sequel to Fire, Challinor’s 2006 novel, makes sense of this novel’s title. Fire…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Where perspectives collide, John McCrystal 

The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke Tina Makereti Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9780143771562 You don’t have to be a good old-fashioned structuralist to look into the patterns of history and see the tectonic grind of ideas reflected in the rippling of…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Giving them what they want, Linda Burgess

Donato and the Cartege Blade Fiona Jordan Mary Egan Publishing, $25.00, ISBN 9780473437367 1918: Broken Poppies Des Hunt Scholastic, $19.00, ISBN 9781775432821 How Not to Stop a Kidnap Plot Suzanne Main Scholastic, $17.00, ISBN 9781775434801 Dawn Raid Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith…
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Posted in Children, Fiction, Literature, Review

Sport and sexuality, Bill Hastings

Broken Play Nicholas Sheppard RSVP, $35.00, ISBN 9780994140814 Grant Robertson, our minister of finance, has a picture in his office of a rugby team called the Krazy Knights. The photo was taken 20 years ago. He is in it. All…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Back in the day, Chris Else

Tane’s War Brendaniel Weir Cloud Ink Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780473415648 Gone to Pegasus Tess Redgrave Submarine, $35.00, ISBN 9780473419196 Rotoroa Amy Head Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776561919 Over the last ten years or so, the number of established New…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Fathoms deep, James Robins

The New Ships Kate Duignan Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776561889 It’s a deeply distressing thing to find the word “bugger” on the first page of a New Zealand writer’s novel. Rather like opening some French fiction to discover “sacré…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Writing in circles, Kate Duignan

Caroline’s Bikini Kirsty Gunn Faber and Faber, $33.00, ISBN 9780571339334 Caroline’s Bikini is a text written by Emily Stuart, in which she “takes dictation” from her oldest friend, Evan Gordonston, recently returned from the United States to London, and helplessly…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Speculating on the speculative, Annabel Gooder

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā: To Speak of the Home Fires Burning Grace Bridges, Lee Murray and Aaron Compton (eds) SpecFicNZ, $25.00, ISBN 9780473428341 “Ahi Kā”, the opening to this speculative fiction anthology, is a sonnet framing prose, blending Māori myth…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Balancing pathos, Janet Wilson

This Mortal Boy: A Novel Fiona Kidman Penguin Random House, $38.00, ISBN 9780143771807 In This Mortal Boy (with its subtle, sad echo of Brendan Behan’s novel, Borstal Boy), Fiona Kidman gives a semi-fictional reconstruction of the highly publicised case of…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review
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