06 September 2016

Going Upstairs: Two Reviews

What with focusing on the New Sea Land launch, I've neglected to post about a couple of reviews I've written of recent New Zealand fiction.

First of all, my review of Dad Art by Damien Wilkins appears in the August edition of Landfall Review Online. I said:

Dad Art is a short, easily read and quickly digested novel, set in a very recognisable contemporary Wellington.... Michael [the protagonist] may be approaching the age at which the best opportunity to catch up with one’s friends is at other friends’ funerals, but he still retains curiosity about the world and a desire to engage with it. I liked Michael, and because I liked Michael, I enjoyed Dad Art.

Next, my review of Mean: Short Stories by Michael Botur appeared on Beattie's Book Blog. I said:

The stories in Mean are gritty social realism, so I wasn’t sure how much the book would appeal to me. But social realism has gone urban since the days of Coal Flat, and that’s where Mean is located: the underbelly of New Zealand’s towns and cities. So it’s the realism of DJs and remixes, drugs and needles, shit and piss and cum.... Michael Botur knows the mean streets of the big city well, and he writes about them with wit, compassion and insight. That makes Mean a tough but rewarding read.


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