The Bone People Keri Hulme

OK, it HAS been months since my last post and that is courtesy of this bloody book. This is part of my read all Booker winners self imposed chore. I say chore now, because of this bloody book, but of course it has mainly been a pure pleasure.

Since finally finishing this tome, I have found out that the author struggled to get it published. Publishers didn’t want a bar of it and eventually it got done by a small NZ publishing firm. I don’t get why it won the booker, but it did. This is a tough read in more ways than one. The author seems to (at times) want to paint pictures with words. That these sentences don’t necessarily match the plot doesn’t seem to matter. The book also pops in plenty of Maori language without translation. So it is not very accessible.  But wait, there’s more. Part of the plot deals with child abuse. This made me put it down frequently and leave it down for sometimes days on end. Worse, there seems to be some sort of justification for the abuse. It is a hard read.

The last quarter of the book seems to go way off topic and on to some sort of Maori spiritualism. Introduced at this time is a bit of heroin smuggling. It is all messy.

If you are a totally dedicated reader of Booker winners then you may read it. If not TOTALLY dedicated, then give it a miss. You can only read a certain number of books before you die and this may not be one that you want to read.

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