Blog Archives

War stories, Anne Else

Passing Through
Coral Atkinson
Dancing Tuatara, $35.00,
ISBN 9780473262693

Heartland
Jenny Pattrick
Black Swan, $37.00,
ISBN 9781775535850

Tropic of Guile
Sue McCauley
Xlibris, $42.00,
ISBN 9781483683195

All three of these novels centre on hard-won survival against the odds of poverty, violence and malice, offset by love, loyalty and friendship; but the clashes they chronicle range widely in time, place and complexity.

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Writing on the high wire, Sue McCauley

The Score
Adrienne Jansen
Escalator Press, $28.00,
ISBN 978047325328

The Virgin & the Whale
Carl Nixon
Vintage, $38.00,
ISBN 9781775533757

I’m Working on a Building
Pip Adam
Victoria University Press, $30.00,
ISBN 9780864738981

When more than one book is featured in a review, does the order in which those books are first read have an impact on the reviewer’s perceptions? I’m hoping it doesn’t. But I can’t quite rid myself of the feeling that, had I read them in reverse order, I might have felt better served.

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Bovver boys

What they wrote A taste of contributor comments over our first 20 years   On New Zealand Books My hope is that New Zealand Books will provide a forum for frank discussion that dares to rise above the suffocating confines

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Posted in Comment

A dollop of literary life, Sue McCauley

Beside the Dark Pool Fiona Kidman Vintage, $37.99, ISBN 9781869790592 Such a seductive title for a memoir, hinting at murky depths of angst, turmoil and scandal. The stuff we hope, in fact expect, to find in the autobiography of a

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

Darts and sledgehammers, Sue McCauley

Two Little Boys Duncan Sarkies Penguin Books, $28.00, ISBN 9780143020912 Acid Song Bernard Beckett Longacre Press, $29.99, ISBN 9781877460111 Girlie Gillian Ranstead Penguin Books, $28.00, ISBN 9780143010005 “I thought it was one of those boys’ books,” said a friend when

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Author as dinner companion, Sue McCauley

The Cowboy Dog Nigel Cox Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735448 The Fainter Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735308 In a way the titles say it all. It’s as if, in naming these novels (Cox’s sixth, Wilkins’ fifth),

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

OM – pride of the south, Sue McCauley

Watch of Gryphons and Other Stories Owen Marshall Vintage, $27.95, ISBN 1869417062 Occasional: 50 Poems Owen Marshall Hazard, $25, ISBN 187727089X In 1979 I reviewed – I think for the New Zealand Listener – a slim book entitled Supper Waltz

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Poetry, Review and Short stories

Short lives on earth, Rebecca J Davies

Life on Earth Sue McCauley Vintage, $26.95, ISBN 1869415493 Water Bernard Steeds Penguin, $27.95, ISBN 0143018353 The Chandrasekhar Limit and other stories Sugu Pillay The Writers Group, price unavailable, ISBN 0473087316 There is a common misconception that big themes require

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Limbering up, Anne French

It could be You Sue McCauley Vintage, $24.95, ISBN 1 86962 008 9 The Mathematics of Jane Austen Elizabeth Smither Godwit, $24.95, ISBN 1 86941 317 2 Remember Me Linda Burgess Otago University Press, $21.95, ISBN 1 877 13335 3

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

War, love and self, Jane Stafford

Blood Money: the incredible true story of David Morris and the tragedy of Somalia  Trisha Stratford Penguin Books, $24.95, ISBN 0 140 26323 3 Escape from Bosnia: Aza’s Story Sue McCauley Shoal Bay Press, $29.95, ISBN 0 908704 42 9

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction and Review
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