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Books

September 21, 2009

Geoff Cochrane’s Pocket Edition is a slim volume that covers a great deal of ground, and the empty bookcase on its cover belies a broad array of influences. The narrative voice is at its most involved when recalling the poet’s past, whether the memories be of death, “His wet soul winked and steamed/ like jellied […]

September 21, 2009

New Zealand has been wandering down a dangerous path of political discourse lately. Between painfully phrased plebiscites, pro-smack acolytes proselytising moral panic, locking prisoners up in shipping crates and nanny state arguments, there is a glimmer of hope. A thin sliver, that somewhere in New Zealand someone cares about deliberative democracy. The New Zealand Republic […]

July 20, 2009

In the footsteps of Ethel Benjamin: New Zealand’s first woman lawyer by Janet November, is a thoroughly researched account of—unsurprisingly—New Zealand’s first female lawyer. What is surprising however, is how accessible this part biography, part legal history, written by a senior researcher at the Law Commission, is to a layperson like me. Beginning with a […]

July 20, 2009

The film adaptation of Elizabeth Knox’s acclaimed novel The Vintner’s Luck, directed by Niki Caro, is due for release on October. Appetite whetted for Jeremie Renier as (foxy) French winemaker, Keisha Castle-Hughes as winemaker’s insane (foxy) wife, and Gaspard Ulliel as winemaker’s (foxy) angelic lover, I didn’t want to court disappointment by reading the book. […]

July 20, 2009

This is a rather smashing tome of Kiwi-esque poetry, with a sci-fi slant—but it’s not only sci-fi. In this instance, the sci-fi genre expands and encompasses all manner of thought pertaining to our modern fears, apprehensions, excitements, discoveries, prophecies, and imaginative forays into both darker, lighter, paler, androgynous worlds within worlds. Don’t for a second […]

June 2, 2009

Tom by Mark Pirie is a “verse novel” in 70 parts. All roughly a page long and, with two exceptions, ‘written’ by the lead character Tom Grant. Tom is a first year English student at Victoria University, sometime in the recent past when Generation X were in tertiary education and the Southern Cross was called […]

June 2, 2009

I wouldn’t call myself paranoid, yet I see conspiracies everywhere. I never really believed what the experts told me, and I always had the sneaking suspicion that science was just metaphysics dressed in elegant drag. Lately I had become convinced swine flu was just sensational propaganda promoted by the pharmaceuticals. But it didn’t stop there, […]

May 11, 2009

Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. A rticle 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. A rticle 20: Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. Eleanor Roosevelt is rolling in her grave right now, […]

May 4, 2009

I’ve been travelling, which, as an avid reader without a lot of spare time, has given me opportunities to catch up on some couch-time with a few good books. Coincidentally, I also did some sight seeing and bought a new book along the way. So I’m going to start by reviewing the book I acquired […]