Sunday, May 29, 2016

PALLET ON THE FLOOR - Ronald Hugh Morrieson

Life was hard enough for Sam Jamieson without Jack Voot's lechery and Miriam Breen's jealousy. Then life at Kurikino erupted into a sensation of murder and blackmail, turning into a nightmare from which the efforts of Tinny Entwhistle, Gigglejuice Saunders and the remittance Man could not save him.  But Spud McGee had an idea.....

New Zealand's best author ever.

Morrieson only wrote four novels but they capture New Zealand, especially small town New Zealand perfectly.  I see much written today how things are worse now than they have ever been regarding many social problems but this just isn't true.  'Godzone' has always had all the social evils of the rest of the world but was really good at covering them up.  Morrieson wrote about them in a brutally honest fashion.  The drinking, the spousal abuse and the hypocrites that populate every town.

This is his last novel, published after his death and it is not much more than an outline as his publishers wouldn't touch it while he was alive.

But for me because its bare boned is what makes it so enjoyable.

There is a very good introduction by Peter Simpson in this edition who has written a critical study
Ronald Hugh Morrieson.

THE ROBBER BRIDE - Margaret Atwood

"Zenia is pure, free-wheeling malevolence; she wants wreckage, she wants scorched earth. she wnats broken glass'......

Roz, Charis and Tony were all contemporaries of Zenia in the sixties.  Each of them has been badly damaged by her once........ Now Zena is dead... But suddenly shes alive again.."  to menace these three women.

This is very entertaining and although Zenia is ''pure free-wheeling malevolence" she is a great character and adds much to the lives of the three friends whose existence she walks in and out of.

We all need a Zenia in our lives at some stage to show us whats important.

I love Margaret Atwoods writing that is all.


A collection of intertwined stories starting with the authors family in the Scotland and their making their way to Canada.

Its a family history 'blurred into fiction' by the 2013 Noble Laureate for Literature.  outstanding writing that you lose yourself in.


This is a collection of essays on authors and their works.

He covers Poe, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, a bit of the Bible, Mark Twain and many others.

All the essays are thought provoking, entertaining and he doesn't really rate E A Poe- His overwrought style is so filled with an essayist's rhetorical vines and brambles that you have to slash and hack if you're to make your way through the story.

A good collection.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

N or M - Agatha Christie

It is World War II, and while the RAF struggles to keep the Luftwaffe at bay, Britain faces and even more sinister threat from 'the enemy within'- Nazis posing as ordinary citizens.

Tommy and Tuppence Beresford take on a mission to seek out a man and a woman at a seaside guest house involved in spying.  This is the world of Agatha Christie who cheats the reader regularly to enable a resolution but I've got a soft spot for her stories and they make great Sunday reads.


This isn't a bad idea for a series which  features Sherlock Holmes's older brother Mycroft.

Well, it shouldn't have been a bad idea but  unfortunately this Mycroft is as dull as dishwater.  Even a Russian princess putting an appearance fails to liven things to make this a satisfactory mystery.  It doesn't kick off let alone come to a climax.


Eleven short stories by Canada's Noble Laureate .  All are out standing; she understands humans so well it can make you squirm the way she sees the human condition.

Fantastic writing.


A strange little book. Ernst Kestner, a German pork butcher , closes up his shop and travels to a small French village where he was involved in an atrocity during the 2nd World War with a view to confessing to the town.

On his way he picks up his daughter from Paris and she travels with him.

From the point the daughter is picked up the story turns to her unsatisfactory marriage and the father becomes a side story an is shown up to be a buffoon.

A strange wee story and I was glad there was only a hundred pages in it so it wasn't a massive time investment.