Blog Archives

The trouble with Harry, Catherine Hill

Tomorrow Tastes Better Russell Haley HarperCollins, $19.95, ISBN 1869503910 The English Harem  Anthony McCarten Random House, $26.95, ISBN 1869414640 What exactly is a comic novel? The question arises because comedy is the common feature of Tomorrow Tastes Better and The…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Charms and riddles, Kathryn Walls

Another 100 New Zealand Poems for Children ed Rachel McAlpine (illustrated David Elliot) Random House, $24.95, ISBN 1869414853 Like its evidently popular predecessor, this anthology is invitingly presented. Hard covers announce that it is meant to be kept for long-term…
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Posted in Children, Literature, Poetry, Review

Small shoes; small reviews: media treatment of children’s literature, Barbara Mabbett

It is a truth universally acknowledged that value of labour is associated with size of client: children’s nurses and teachers, for instance, are almost always paid less that those who nurse or teach people whose shoes and wallets are somewhat…
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Posted in Comment

On the Main Trunk Line, Charlotte Yates

An Ordinary Joker: the life and songs of Peter Cape ed Roger Steele Steele Roberts, $59.95, ISBN 1877228125 For a singer, Peter Cape has always struck me as an anomaly, with his thin nasal tenor, tentative tuning, and strongly defective…
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Posted in Biography, Music, Non-fiction, Review

Pamela to pomo, Sydney Shep

Samuel Richardson of London, Printer: A Study of his Printing Based on Ornament Use and Business Accounts  Keith Maslen University of Otago (Studies in English 7), $95.00, ISBN 0473077604 Reading/Saying/Making: Selected Essays Alan Loney The Writers Group, $39.95, ISBN 0473076284…
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Posted in Biography, Essays, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Lucky dip, Nelson Wattie

After Bathing at Baxter’s: Essays and Notebooks Gregory O’Brien Victoria University Press, $39.95, ISBN 0864734182 Structurally, as the subtitle suggests, this is a mixed bag, but on most pages most readers will find a sentence or two, a paragraph, an…
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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Review

Super-seded? Susan St John

Rewarding Service: A history of the Government Superannuation Fund Neil Atkinson University of Otago Press, $39.95, ISBN 1877276227 It is hard to disagree with the opening lines of this book: “In The past three decades superannuation has become one of…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Chord and discord Laurence Jenkins

A Life Set to Music, the Autobiography of Edwin Carr, New Zealand Composer Edwin Carr Blanchard Press, $42.95, ISBN 0473078511 With the recent death of Douglas Lilburn, this country was reminded that the vanguard of creative artists, those who first…
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Posted in Autobiography, Music, Non-fiction, Review

Less than kind, Elizabeth Webby

Kin of Place: Essays on 20 New Zealand Writers C K Stead Auckland University Press, $39.95, ISBN 1869402723 When invited to review this new collection of critical essays by C K Stead, I initially demurred on the grounds of my…
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Posted in Essays, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

A fierce inwardness, Peter Wells

I got on the bus the other day, and there was only one seat left. I sat down beside a young woman. She had a book open on her lap, and she was leaning her head against a rain-teared window.…
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Posted in Imprints
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