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Raymond Chandler meets Alfred Bester, Michael Morrissey

Hold My Teeth While I Teach You to Dance  Mike Johnson 99% Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780994101518 Mike Johnson is one of our most gifted novelists, yet he has been curiously neglected. I suspect the problem is his bold originality. Each…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature

Something nobody counted on, Murray Bramwell

Travesty  Mike Johnson (graphic art, Darren Sheehan) Titus Books, $39.00, ISBN 9781877441134   Fosterling Emma Neale Vintage, $29.99, ISBN 9781869794859   Wulf Hamish Clayton Penguin Books, $30.00, ISBN 9780143206491   Like many futuristic nightmares, the naming of the nihilistic Gaia…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Polishing a grubby art, Duncan Campbell

The Vertical Harp: Selected Poems of Li He Mike Johnson (retrans) Titus Books, $42.95, ISBN 9781877441035 By all accounts, the Chinese poet Li He, who died in 816 at the age of 26, was the oddest of the major poets…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Screen play, Martin Edmond

On River Road Chris Else Random, $26.95, ISBN 1869416236 Tarzan Presley Nigel Cox Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864734808 Stench Mike Johnson Hazard Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877270687 Three books, all works of fiction, all by men who will not see…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Packed collection of clues, Alan Loney

Treasure Hunt Mike Johnson Auckland University Press 1996, $19.95 ISBN 1 86940 141 7 It is often tempting to approach any new book of poetry as an example of either “mainstream” or “postmodern” work and assess it according to the…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Modernist genius or drunken lecher? Michael Morrissey

Lethal Dose Mike Johnson, Hard Echo Press, $27.95 While official feminism may be liberating and strengthening women, it is having an unfortunate effect on male writers, artists and intellectuals. Many males now cravenly play to the feminist ears and eyes…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Determined industry? Andrew Mason

Foreigners Mike Johnson, Penguin, Auckland, 1991, $19.95 Distortions John Connor, Reed Books, Auckland, 1991, $24.95 Man with Two Arms and other Stories Norman Bilbrough, Vintage, Auckland, 1991, $19.95 The Lie of the Land Michael Henderson, John McIndoe, Dunedin, 1991, $19.95…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories
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