Blog Archives

Into the labyrinth, Nicholas Reid

The Crocus Hour Charlotte Randall  Penguin Books, $28.00, ISBN 9780143008927 Whatever criticism you make of Charlotte Randall’s novels, you cannot say that she has no sense of place. In The Crocus Hour, as in her four earlier novels,  she ventures…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

A child’s eye view Gavin Bishop

Back and Beyond: New Zealand Painting for the Young and Curious Gregory O’Brien Auckland University Press, $34.99,  ISBN 9781869404048 This is a delicious book. As a child, I would have loved it. It reminds me of children’s books that were…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

Unstill life, Linley Boniface

Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life Jill Trevelyan Te Papa Press, $69.99, ISBN 9781877385391 Reading Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life, it’s difficult not to be periodically overcome by frustration at Angus’ exasperating personality. The picture that emerges is of a woman…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Behind the curtain, Michael Nicolaidi

The Theatre Royal: An Illustrated History Clerestory Press, $50.00,  ISBN 9780958288804 Grand temples of pleasure and entertainment, rather like temples of prayer and meditation, have the power to galvanise a particular kind of angel when they come under threat of…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Imperial vision, Richard Hill

The Best Man Who Ever Served The Crown? A Life of Donald McLean Ray Fargher Victoria University Press, $50.00, ISBN 7980864735607 The name Donald McLean pervades the historiography of colonial New Zealand. But despite this ubiquity, until now no extensive…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Bury my heart in the Maniototo, Laura Kroetsch

Speaking for Themselves: Ex-pats Have Their Say Jan Morgan Cape Catley, $29.99, ISBN 9781877340123 Visitors to New Zealand are asked, not long after arrival, a little question that comes up again and again – “So, what do you think of…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Letters — Issue 83

Balance before vitriol I was sorry to read Graeme Hunt’s letter (NZB Winter 2008) in which he takes offence at Trevor Richards’ admirable review of Spies and Revolutionaries (NZB Autumn 2008). Hunt demands novel admissions from his reviewer – first,…
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Posted in Letters

Containing multitudes, Hamish Clayton

The Plumb Trilogy Maurice Gee Penguin Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780143007562 Towards the end of Sole Survivor, the final instalment of Maurice Gee’s The Plumb Trilogy, journalist Ray Sole reflects on both the desire and difficulty of writing the story of…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Cock-a-doodle-do Jane Westaway

Roosters I Have Known Steve Braunias Awa Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780958275057 When my kids were small, we kept a bantam rooster called Mr Wingspan. The name was meant to be ironic, but what Mr Wingspan lacked in stature he more…
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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Review
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