Thursday, September 29, 2011


Journeys in a New Zealand Summer
Garth Cartwright
Allen & Unwin - $39.99

This is Australasian publisher Allen & Unwin's lead title for October and judging by the amount of  review attention and comment it has already received (see below) it seems likely to enjoy strong sales. We Kiwis do seem to like books in which authors write about us, our customs, features and peculiarities, even if we disagree with some or many of the writer's observations.

The review by Nick Bollinger in this week's NZ Listener runs to almost three pages and is headed "Opinionated expat Kiwi writer and art and music critic Garth Cartwright has written "a love song to Aotearoa". Bollinger says " Some of Cartwright's observations merely replicate those of local commentators: we've got fatter  and more consumption obsessed, the roads are busier and scarier, and money doesn't buy what it used to. Others are intensified by long absence: the beauty of the Buller Gorge, the splendour of our fish and chips".

Gary Steel writing in the October issue of Auckland's Metro magazine describes the book as a "bittersweet elegy to the land of his birth"  and suggests that while "at times Cartwright's research tends towards Google-like laziness, his on-the-fly descriptions and historical evocations are rich and free flowing" and admires a "surprising candour and wit" even if there are a number of "quaint Misconceptions".

New Zealand-born, London-based, oft’ wandering Garth Cartwright is an award-winning author, journalist and critic. He regularly writes for The Sunday Times, The Guardian and other publications. Garth is the author of Princes Among Men: Journeys with Gypsy Musicians (2005) and More Miles than Money: Journeys through American Music (2009).

1 comment:

Rod said...

This looks like a promising read.
Garth's previous book 'More Miles Than Money' was superb.Especially if the reader is interested in American music off the beaten track.
Will be interesting toread about Aotearoa from an ex-pat's perspective.
So many books,so little time but Cartwright's new offering is on the short-list.