Blog Archives

Before and after, Christina Stachurski

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from Decades Past Alison Parr Penguin, $45.00, ISBN 9780143573371 A Villa at the End of the Empire: One Hundred Ways to Read a City Fiona Farrell Vintage, $40.00, ISBN 9781775537519 King Rich Joe Bennett HarperCollins, $37.00, ISBN…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Sociology

Maybe, maybe not, Craig Cliff

The Writers’ Festival Stephanie Johnson Vintage, $38.00 ISBN 9781775537984 Taken together, Stephanie Johnson’s The Writing Class (2013) and her latest novel, The Writers’ Festival, are a study in ambivalence. Can creative writing be taught? the first asks. Maybe, maybe not.…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

“Shocking the model” John McCrystal

Five Minutes Alone Paul Cleave Penguin, $38.00, ISBN 9780143572312 The Legend of Winstone Blackhat Tanya Moir Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9781775537755 MiSTORY Philip Temple Font Publishing, $35.00, ISBN 978047328204 You could argue that the artistic imagination is like one of those…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Genesis of a Māori writer, Tina Makereti

Māori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood Witi Ihimaera Vintage, $40.00, ISBN 9781869797263 It is sometimes useful, in reading a review, to have some sense of the reviewer’s positioning in relation to the material. After all, the New Zealand literary community…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Myself alone, Louise O’Brien

Landscape with Solitary Figure Shonagh Koea Vintage, $30.00, ISBN 9781775535881 Shonagh Koea’s novel Landscape with Solitary Figure is concerned with themes of domestic trauma, emotional unhappiness, withdrawal and solitude, written with a careful attention to detail which mires the reader…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Characters from the past, Elizabeth Heritage 

The Naturalist Thom Conroy Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9781775536482 Lives We Leave Behind Maxine Alterio Penguin, $38.00, ISBN 9780143565710 The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt Tracy Farr Fremantle Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781922089465 Here we have a trio of historical novels…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

“The retrospective glance”, Bronwyn Dalley

Journey to a Hanging: The Events that Set New Zealand Race Relations Back by a Century Peter Wells Vintage, $45.00 ISBN 9781775533900 As a child, I owned a Webster’s Illustrated Dictionary. My brother had bought it in mail-order instalments over…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Ticking on by, Catherine Robertson

Carnival Sky Owen Marshall Vintage, $38.00 ISBN 9781775535827 The White Clock Owen Marshall Otago University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781877578632 Both of Marshall’s latest works centre on confrontations with mortality, and both do a fine job of showing that these are…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Reverse engineering, John McCrystal

The Infinite Air Fiona Kidman Vintage ISBN 9781869797928 Of all the technological accomplishments in a century studded with them, the advances made in heavier-than-air aviation between 1903 and 1939 must have seemed to those alive at the time to be…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Victims and villains, Bernard Carpinter

Joe Victim Paul Cleave Penguin Books ISBN 9780143570424 Drowning City Ben Atkins Vintage ISBN 9781775535522 “The Christchurch Carver” is the name bestowed by the media upon Joe Middleton, the central character of Paul Cleave’s debut novel, The Cleaner. Joe is…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review
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