Literary Fiction

The problem with reviewing a book that you love is that it is often hard to describe just why you like the book so much - the usual adages of ‘good characterisations’, ‘innovative plot line’ and ‘page-turning entertainment’ are the obvious explanations, but often that is simply not enough. This is especially the case when… Read More

This is a departure for Sebastian Barry, a book set entirely in mid to late nineteenth century America. We follow the fortunes of two young men, John Cole and Thomas McNulty, who sign up for the army and end up fighting in the Indian Wars and then the Civil War. I say it is a… Read More

I found this novel excellent. It worked so well on lots of levels. Very simply, it is the story of an extended family over time. It begins at the christening party for Franny Keating, where the uninvited Bert Cousins turns up and kisses Beverley Keating, the young girl's mother. This sets the whole story in… Read More

Shakespeare’s last masterpiece, adapted for a modern novelization by a contemporary literary master? The temptation is surely too good to pass up, which is why I jumped at the chance to read this one. Unfortunately, the novel doesn’t quite live up to expectations. Felix is the innovative, pioneering Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre, bringing… Read More

Set in Seattle, U.S. during the 1999 World Trade Organization protests, this novel’s narrative flows through the viewpoints of seven central characters. All seven are involved in varying degrees, and all seven have their own different reasons for being there. Three are U.S. law enforcement officials stationed to keep peace; two are radicals leading the… Read More

This is the kind of novel that captures the tone and mood that comes with people watching – that voyeuristic contemplation that allows you to map out others’ lives in your imagination that’s somehow weirdly relaxing. Except this time you get the full picture. This story centres around three women living in the American expat… Read More

A narrative poem in couplets that rhyme; You’d hope for something truly sublime. A tale that shines, like the sun, is golden; Alas, alack, to mediocrity we’re beholden. TS Eliot has the upper hand with cats, Treading on his toes this is inferior, ersatz. And while the story’s not only about felines It’s hardly exciting… Read More

There was a time when New Zealander Heidi North-Bailey lived in a house on Grass St that once belonged to poet Lauris Edmond. The hillside garden grew tulips and poems; and in the house with its view of the harbour, Heidi wrote poems of her own. But always there is the possibility of flight, and… Read More

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