Classics

The great Guillermo del Toro has blessed us with his offering of Crimson Peak, and with it demonstrated what all good stories need: a larger than life house, memorable enough to be the beating heart of the story. Allerdale House, the great, emaciated, maw of Allerdale House with its sinister secrets is undoubtedly one of… Read More

The wise old saying to not judge a book by its cover is entirely applicable to John William's novel Stoner. Without even a smattering of any kind of illegal substance in sight, this novel - originally published in 1965 - is all about love and literature. More precisely, it is about that point of falling… Read More

At last, the French Film Festival has arrived in Tauranga. My first visit was to see Gemma Bovery, unsure if I was going to get an adaptation of Flaubert’s novel or a film version of Posy Simmonds’s graphic novel. In fact it was the latter, although it obviously borrows heavily from the original novel. The… Read More

Sons for the Return Home was first published in 1973. It is the story of a Samoan boy who migrates to New Zealand with his family, grows up in Wellington and falls in love with a wealthy Palagi girl. They meet at University, and she is instantly attracted to him. But he is wary of her, and… Read More

Franny and Zooey is the third book by J. D. Salinger, published as a whole in 1961. The main action of the story takes place in two separate scenes during a weekend in New York. Franny is a precocious twenty-year old student who meets up with her ivy league boyfriend, then promptly has a mental… Read More

The novels of classic author Jane Austen must be some of the most frequently retold works of fiction. Known for her sharp wit and insight into society, love and relationships, her observations are as relevant now as they were in the early 1800s – after all, in spite of major changes in the world around… Read More

I had high expectations of Val McDermid’s Northanger Abbey. Seeing as the novel is a rewrite of Jane Austen’s literary classic by the same name, and that Val Mc Dermid is one of Britain’s most successful crime and suspense writers, specialising in “tartan noir” (Scottish crime fiction), I was primed for the combination of Austen’s… Read More

Looking for a theme for a book club? Wanting to expand your horizons of Russia beyond the memes of Putin? Here’s a beginner’s guide to Russian literature. Thanks to the dark and surreal shades of Slavic humour, along with an enduringly captivating history, Russian authors are a joy that’s often not for the fainthearted. Here’s… Read More

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