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Issue 128 Summer 2019

Volume 29 | Number 4 | Issue 128 | Summer 2019 Letters C K Stead: “91 Woodstock Road” (poem) Thom Conroy: Elizabeth Knox, The Absolute Book Elizabeth Crayford: Laurence Fearnley, Scented John McCrystal: Craig Cliff, Nailing Down The Saint Lydia…
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Leading by the nose, Elizabeth Crayford

Scented Laurence Fearnley Penguin, $38.00 ISBN 9780143773283 If technology and price allowed, Scented would have made a fantastic “scratch and sniff” novel. As it is, the pitfalls of first-person narration make this a challenging read, and I finished the book…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Letters – Issue 128

Costello errors Despite its brevity, Ken Ross’s article on Dan Davin’s memoir of Paddy Costello (NZRB Spring 2019) contains a quite remarkable number of factual errors. By my count, there are 18 – there may be others beyond my ken,…
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Words and deeds, Helen Watson White

The Political Years Marilyn Waring Bridget Williams Books, $40.00, ISBN 9781988545936 The cover of Marilyn Waring’s book The Political Years shows a telling photograph of the 1979 National Party caucus in the Beehive: row upon row of suited men, with…
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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction, Review

Absolutely fabulous, Thom Conroy

The Absolute Book Elizabeth Knox Victoria University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781776562305 The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox is a Ronsardian ode to worldbuilding. Who creates worlds? What connects them? Who controls them? These questions shape the novel’s plot, subject and…
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Controversial still, John O’Leary

A Communist In The Family Elspeth Sandys Otago University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781988531601 Families are complicated things. Members don’t necessarily agree with one another, or even like one another; relationships can be strained, or snapped, then re-made across the years.…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

“The frequent flyer friar” John McCrystal

Nailing Down The Saint Craig Cliff Penguin Random House, $38.00, ISBN 9780143773740 Those familiar with Craig Cliff’s work will know that he is fond of a kooky premise – a starting-off point that allows him to tread the blurred line…
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Opening the fifth dimension, Lydia Wevers

Science Fiction: A Review Of Speculative Fiction: Special Double Issue Featuring Phillip Mann (Vol 19, Nos 1-2) Van Ikin (ed) $AUD30.00 ISSN 03146677 A special double issue of a well-regarded journal, plus full-page authorial cover photo, is a handsome tribute…
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Best of all possible worlds? Stephen Levine

Promises Promises: 80 Years Of Wooing New Zealand Voters Claire Robinson Massey University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9780995109544 When Jacinda Ardern stated in 2017 that, if elected, Labour would move to “abolish child poverty”, this resonated as an ambitious goal, enlightened,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

A travelling life, Tony Mackle

Don’t Forget To Feed The Cat: The Travel Letters And Sketches Of Stewart Bell Maclennan Mary Bell Thornton (ed) The Cuba Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781988595009 This delightful and beautifully produced book is a worthwhile read on several levels. It is…
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Posted in Letters, Non-fiction, Review
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