Blog Archives

Playing at home, John McCrystal

Pearly Gates: A Novel Owen Marshall Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9780143773153 “Pride goeth before a fall”, so the proverb runs, “and an haughty spirit before destruction”. The prideful one in Owen Marshall’s latest novel is Pat Gates, universally known as “Pearly”.…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Why Y? David Hill

Ursa Tina Shaw Walker Books, $23.00, ISBN 9781760651244 Invisibly Breathing Eileen Merriman Penguin Random House, $20.00, ISBN 9780143772859 Flight of the Fantail Steph Matuku Huia, $30.00, ISBN 9781775503521 An unspecified number of years back at a Going West Festival, I…
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Posted in Literature, Review, Young adults

Human error, Stephanie Johnson

A Mistake Carl Shuker Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776562145 Carl Shuker is a writer who is not afraid to take risks. His previous four novels were all hailed for their innovation in form and espousal of post-modernism. He is,…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

The play’s the thing, Victor Rodger

Southern Stage John Broughton, Oscar Kightley and Erolia Ifopo, Gary Henderson, and Carl Nixon Playmarket, $40.00, ISBN 9780908607662 These four plays all have a connection to the mainland, via either their setting, their writers or, in most cases, both. However,…
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Posted in Literature, Plays, Review

Modern love, Hannah Marshall

Invisibly Breathing Eileen Merriman Penguin Random House, $20.00, ISBN 9780143772859 Invisibly Breathing is Eileen Merriman’s third novel, and it offers more than your typical romance. Bullying, homophobia and being an outsider – Merriman tackles plenty of tough topics in this…
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Posted in Literature, Review, YA Reviewers, Young adults

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

Going high, Julia Millen

To the Mountains: A Collection of New Zealand Alpine Writing Laurence Fearnley and Paul Hersey (eds) Otago University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781988531205 Since the arrival of Pacific peoples, New Zealand’s mountains have enthralled and enchanted. Māori revered the craggy peaks…
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Posted in History, Literature, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Listening for the voice, Janet Hughes

Coming to it: Selected Poems Sam Hunt Potton and Burton, $30.00, ISBN 9780947503802 Poeta: Selected and New Poems Cilla McQueen Otago University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781988531281 Watching for the Wingbeat: New and Selected Poems Pat White Cold Hub Press, $40.00,…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, 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

Teenage territories, Barbara Else

Make a Hard Fist Tina Shaw One Tree House, $20.00, ISBN 9780473421878 Ocean’s Kiss Lani Wendt Young One Tree House, $29.00, ISBN 9780995106741 Legacy Whiti Hereaka Huia, $25.00, ISBN 9781775503347 To state the obvious, one problem with writing young adult…
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Posted in Literature, Review, Young adults
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