Blog Archives

Overcoming entomo‑ignorance, Dale Williams

A Houseful of Strangers Patrick Dale, Collins, $19.95 (139 pp) Insects’ lib – the author attempts to defend the smaller occupants of our home environment against what Ruud Kleinpaste calls ‘entomo‑ignorance’. Subtitled ‘Living with the common creatures of the New…
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Posted in Māori, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Cryptic crosswords and intellectual judo, Chris Else

Black Rainbow Albert Wendt, Penguin, $29.95 Octavio’s Last Invention Michael Morrissey, Brick Row, $27.95 The world of Black Rainbow is a futuristic parody based on New Zealand Pakeha values, a world without crime, poverty or unemployment founded on a comfortable,…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Unique, fascinating and vulnerable, Alan Mark

Natural History of New Zealand Nic Bishop, Hodder & Stoughton, $59.95 Yet another natural history of New Zealand, I hear you say, but this one is sufficiently different, attractive and up-to-date to appeal to the wide audience that is known…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Heed the tale, not the teller, Ruth Brown

One Night Out Stealing Alan Duff, Tandem Press, $24.95 Affluence, it seems, is vindicated. Whereas Once Were Warriors exposed the anguish of the dispossessed, One Night Out Stealing is more concerned with reassurances for the well-to-do that their good fortune…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Plucking a victim from the wreckage, Tony Collins

The Black Robin: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Bird David Butler and Don Merton, Oxford University Press, $49.95 The story of the black robin’s rescue from the brink of extinction has been told more than once in recent years by…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Minnie Mouse plays Anna Karenina, Iain Sharp

Staying Home and Being Rotten Shonagh Koea, Vintage, $19.95 Unlawful Entry Marilyn Duckworth, Vintage, $19.95 It’s always presumptuous to thrust two authors under a single umbrella. At least in the present instance one can point, by way of excuse, to…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

How misleading it all is, K R Howe

The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific Paul Theroux, Hamish Hamilton, $34.95 The barrage of criticism that greeted this book in New Zealand needs to be ignored. The exception taken to Paul Theroux’s acerbic comments about New Zealanders and…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Pacific, Review

The self-loathing of a Stead novel, Damien Wilkins

The End of the Century at the End of the World C K Stead, Harvill/ HarperCollins, $39.95 C K Stead has always suffered from a surfeit of lucidity. This may seem like a wrong-headed thing to say. Surely those values…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

True to principle, David Young

Peace People Elsie Locke, Hazard Press, $34.95 At the age of 80, Elsie Locke can look back on a life as a sometime communist (till 1956), environmentalist, peace campaigner, feminist and writer, and, contemplating a world so different from the…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology, War

Finding a solid footing here, Bernadette Hall

The Skinny Louie Book Fiona Farrell, Penguin, $24.95 Female morality is described by Marilyn French as being a web of relations, not a hierarchy of rules. It takes its strength from recognising connections and taking responsibility for them. It is…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review
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