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Poor People with Money by Dominic Hoey

It’s been compared to Trainspotting, Breaking Bad, Once Were Warriors and Ozark. This future classic was written by Auckland based poet and playwright Dominic Hoey.

Fifteen years ago, Monday Wooldridge’s brother disappeared and she’s been looking for him ever since. Meanwhile her mother is catatonic and living in an expensive nursing home.

When she’s not training, Monday works in a bar and dreams of escaping. She supplements her minimum wage bartending job as a semi-pro Muay Thai kickboxer. She’s invited to travel to Thailand to train and fight, but she’s completely broke.

Alongside her flatmate JJ, she comes up with a scheme to make enough money to get them both out of debt and have enough to travel. She convinces JJ to help her buy cocaine off the dark web, but their plan quickly goes awry. She becomes a victim of her own success after word gets out that she’s dealing. She soon finds herself coerced into a partnership with drug dealing gangsters who frequent her bar. But when her ex-boyfriend is murdered by her ruthless business partners she panics. To escape the gangsters, fleeing the city is their only option.

Poor People with Money is full of dramatic twists and features strong, relatable characters. It takes an honest look at life on the poverty line in Aotearoa New Zealand today without being voyeuristic. The dialogue is sharp and contemporary, reflecting today’s vernacular.

Dominic Hoey’s debut novel Iceland was a New Zealand bestseller. He has written and performed one-person shows about his bone disease and his inability to get arts funding. Formerly he was an MC battle and slam-poetry champion. He also works with young people teaching art, yoga and meditation for wellbeing. Follow Dominic Hoey online and read an excerpt of Poor People with Money here.

Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Penguin, RRP $37.00


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