Blog Archives

Larrikins past, Nick Bollinger

Teenagers: The Rise of Youth Culture in New Zealand Chris Brickell Auckland University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781869408688   In 1971, I became a teenager. It was the start of a complicated, confusing, exciting time. Over the next few years, I…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Gloomy agreement, Tom Brooking

The New Zealand Project Max Harris Bridget Williams Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780947492588 New Zealand: Paradise Squandered? Reflections on What We’ve Lost and Where We’re Heading John Hawkes John Hawkes, $40.00, ISBN 9780473375553 Two New Zealanders at either end of their…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review, Sociology

“Loneliness was his condition”, Owen Marshall

Notes From the Margins: The West Coast’s Peter Hooper Pat White Frontiers Press, $35.00, ISBN 9780473380663 A journey is a kind of endless forgetting. The boys lived only in the present, seeking a river crossing, probing a thorny thicket for…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Fifty years on, Spiro Zavos

The Team that Changed Rugby Forever: The 1967 All Blacks Alex McKay New Holland Publishers, $35.00, ISBN 9781869664725   On the afternoon of the first test between New Zealand and the British and Irish Lions, the 1967 All Blacks held…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sport

Fascinating threesome, Rosemary Wildblood

Obsession Elspeth Sandys Upstart Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781927262900 Set mostly in the 1980s, Elspeth Sandys’s Obsession explores the dynamics of a relationship fuelled by desire and driven by a symbiotic need for intimacy. The narrative is purportedly written by a…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Connecting kindred tribes, David Eggleton

Black Marks on the White Page Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti (eds) Penguin Random House, $40.00, ISBN 9780143770299 Billed as a guidebook to the contemporary literature of Oceania, Black Marks on the White Page is not quite that; it’s too…
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Posted in Art, Literature, Māori, Non-fiction, Pacific, Short stories

Nosing out the story, Lawrence Patchett

Breaking Ranks: Three Interrupted Lives James McNeish HarperCollins, $35.00, ISBN 9781775540908 Partway through Breaking Ranks: Three Interrupted Lives, James McNeish stops his narrative to admit his own bias. “At this point,” he writes, “I had better come clean and declare…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Talking of war, Hugh Roberts 

Mulgan Noel Shepherd Steele Roberts,$25.00, ISBN 9780947493387 Noel Shepherd’s debut novel, Mulgan, certainly doesn’t lack for moxie. Writing one’s way into one of the small handful of truly iconic New Zealand novels and, what’s more, openly setting out to imitate…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Sustained fullness of feeling, Damian Love

Tell Me My Name Bill Manhire Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776561070   Some Things to Place in a Coffin Bill Manhire Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781776561056 It is often a revealing act. To translate, to imitate, to inhabit…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Letters – Issue 120

Throw off the founders’ shackles As regards your editorial about “our present reviewing wasteland” (NZB, Spring 2017): perhaps the time is ripe for New Zealand Books Pukapuka Aotearoa to take some practical steps to improve matters beyond scolding strictures. The…
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