Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Bone People

The Bone People by Keri Hulme was approximately 450 pages lone. It was won the 1985 Booker Prize. I liked it very much but would also agree with some reviewers who felt that the novel would have benefited from a bit more editing. The story is centered around three broken people and the New Zealand Maori culture. It's a unique novel in the way it is written, with the line breaks and Maori vocabulary throughout the story. It is not an easy book to read in terms of subject matter and would also benefit from a careful reading when one has the time to see what each Maori phrase means (in the back of the book).

From Amazon:
"This is quite a first novel. The ending is revealed at its mysterious beginning; exotic line breaks and poetic punctuation put off at first but gradually become the best way to tell the tale; the Maori vocabulary is interwoven with contemporary British, Australian, and American idioms; and the New Zealand sea- and landscape vibrate under fresh perception. Hulme shifts narrative points of view to build a gripping account of violence, love, death, magic, and redemption. A silverhaired, mute, abused orphan, a laborer heavy with sustained loss, and a brilliant introspective recluse discover, after enormous struggle through injury and illness, what it means to lose and then regain a family. No wonder The Bone People won the Pegasus Prize. Highly recommended."

I would highly recommend it also because it managed to capture my attention during a chaotic stressful time.

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