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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

The Lobster’s Tale by Chris Price and Bruce Foster

The Lobster’s Tale by Chris Price and Bruce Foster is less of a story or narrative and more of a beautiful exploration of life, love, and physiology. Focusing on the eponymous lobster, the writers look closely at the concepts of ambition and learning. It is beautifully crafted with a very poetic writing style that can take a little getting used to when first encountered.

As a book, the presentation is beautiful. The binding alone is eye-catching but, when paired with the stunning images within the book, the item as a whole becomes more a piece of art than a text. Across the bottom of the pages runs a single line of poetic text. When read in isolation the poem (of sorts) is really quite remarkable.

Chris Price is a writer of great depth and talent. Her lyricism in the prose is stoic but approachable at the same time. She is able to capture the lobster in all its aesthetic wonderment and extrapolate the biological elements of the creature as a metaphor for our own existence as human beings and the psychology that goes with decision making and ambition - both personal and corporate. Throughout the piece Price refers to Captain Cook, his navigator Tupaia, Sisyphus, Robinson Crusoe and many other real and imagined figures to assist in the shaping of the narrative.

At the same time as Price is presenting this rich analogy through words and phrasing, Bruce Foster’s contribution to The Lobster’s Tale cannot go unnoticed. As a photographer known for his lamentations on the destruction of natural and pristine landscapes through interactions with people and corporations, Foster continues to triumph with the imagery presented here. It is hard not to be moved by the images, confronted by some, and deeply affected by others.

The writing and imagery of The Lobster’s Tale took some shifting to adapt to initially. One must be in a more reflective and thoughtful frame of mind to truly understand and appreciate the subtlety of the piece. It is a work of art. It is beautiful. The Lobster’s Tale is more than just a homage to one of gastronomy’s greatest accomplishments. It is a metonym for where we are right now as a people, and where we are going.

Reviewer: Chris Reed

Massey University Press


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