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Books

March 8, 2010

Infinitely more likable than that other American psycho George W, protagonist extraordinaire Patrick Bateman is the ultimate yuppie: offensively rich and deeply metrosexual, with a personality-destroying job on Wall Street to seal the deal. Naturally, he must be a serial killer. Bateman indeed finds himself adrift in a self-created world of narcissism, materialism, and emotional […]

March 1, 2010

First thing’s first: I wanted to read this book the second I heard about it. A book found whole and complete on Crichton’s computer after his death that no one had ever heard about? This is the stuff of pop-culture urban legend. Not only that, but one of the most succesful and prolific writers of […]

October 12, 2009

He seems compelled by a force so vindictive it may be misinterpreted as either fiction or corporate policy. Weeknights in the USA The O’Reilly Factor is full of anger and energy. Sadly, O’Reilly’s book The No Spin Zone falls far from the tree. As a liberal nutjob, I was disappointed, bemused, at the very most […]

October 5, 2009

Wynton Rufer, the 1982 All Whites, Ryan Nelson, various age group successes, the underachieving Auckland Knights/Kings and now the Wellington Phoenix. Not really enough material to create an extensive literature of Aotearoa football. This is often reflected in A New Fire, where the exploits of one person (even with as mammoth a CV as that […]

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 […]