Blog Archives

Brave new world of publishing, John McCrystal

The Spanish Helmet Greg Scowen Whare Rama Books, $32.99, ISBN 9781463558482   Coast David Carnegie Young Vanguard Press, $38.00, ISBN 9781843866855   No Second Chance Mark Stephenson Steele Roberts, $29.99, ISBN 9781877577345   Zhu Mao Mark Sweet Huia, $30.00, ISBN…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Off the main drag, John McCrystal

Gravel Roads Peter Butler David Ling, $29.99, ISBN 9781877378461   The Widow’s Daughter Nicholas Edlin Penguin, $40.00, ISBN 9780143204091   Settlers’ Creek Carl Nixon Vintage, $29.99, ISBN 9781869794033   Quinine  Kelly Ana Morey Huia, $35.00, ISBN 9781869694319   Peter Butler…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Otherwise fine, Simon Upton

Poles Apart: Beyond the Shouting, Who’s Right About Climate Change Gareth Morgan and John McCrystal Random House, $39.99, ISBN 9781869790455 When I learnt that Gareth Morgan was writing a book on climate change I groaned. Out of politeness, it was…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Science

Half a good book, John McCrystal

The Trowenna Sea Witi Ihimaera Penguin Books, $37.00, ISBN 9780143202455 First, let’s deal with the distractions. Unless you were living under a rock in the latter part of 2009, you will be aware that Witi Ihimaera found himself in a…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Ghost in the machine, John McCrystal

John McCrystal explores the practice and ethics of ghost-writing.  Everyone has a book inside them, as the saying goes. But not everyone can bring their inner book into the world without intervention. And as with childbirth, varying degrees of intervention…
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Posted in Comment

Seeing as God saw, John McCrystal

Mr Allbones’ Ferrets: An Historical Pastoral Satirical Scientifical Romance, with Mustelids Fiona Farrell Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 9781869418649 “What a book a devil’s chaplain might write,” Charles Darwin exclaimed in a letter to eminent botanist J D Hooker, “on the clumsy,…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Old novelists never die, John McCrystal

Guthrie Wilson: Soldier, Writer, Educator Julia Millen First Edition, $34.95, ISBN 1877391638 A stroll past the literature shelves of the “reference-only” section of a public library is a sobering experience for a writer, for there engraved on the spines of…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Ambitious manoeuvres, John McCrystal

Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs Linda Olsson Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143020285 Café Wars Barbara Strathdee Tara Publishing, $29.95, ISBN 0476016061 About Turns Maggie Rainey-Smith Black Swan, $27.99, ISBN 1869416791 Look around at any session of any literary festival, and…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Make-believe, John McCrystal

Paradise Tina Shaw Penguin, $27.95, ISBN 0143018272 Notions of paradise – nirvana, Shangri-la – are universal to human societies, because they are, of course, simply expressions of that most basic of human faculties, hope. Just as we live our lives…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Driven to grizzling, Dale Williams

The Cars We Loved John McCrystal Penguin, $36.95, ISBN 01401004517 Killing Us Softly: The Kiwi Culture of Complaint John Bluck Shoal Bay Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877251100 Kiwiana! The Sequel Richard Wolfe and Stephen Barnett Penguin, $49.95, ISBN 0140298770 We seek…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology
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