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The Bone People by Keri Hulme
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The Bone People (1984)

by Keri Hulme

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 409 mentions

English (69)  Dutch (4)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (75)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
Poignant. Difficult at times, slow and it deals with child abuse. But it’s magical and mostly true. The story takes us to an in between place where the ancient meet survivors. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Set in New Zealand, this story is about three people - a man, a woman, and a child - who are at war with themselves and their families but nevertheless find solace and love with each other. Keri Hulme has a distinctive style and she writes well (I believe that's what Toni Morrison said when someone asked her why she won the Nobel Prize). The narrative is compelling right up to the epilogue, which left me somewhat disbelieving. Four stars for an unforgettable read (took me all day).
( )
  Jeannine504 | Jan 23, 2016 |
This is a difficult book for me to rate. While there are many aspects of it I like, in addition to stream-of-consciousness style writing that I tend not to like in the first place, the way adults treat children in the story is hard to swallow. I know that the author isn't condoning child abuse, but the line between harmless behavior and abuse for these characters is troubling for me. Severe abuse requiring hospitalization is bad, but allowing children to get drunk is OK? (Not just a sip of dad's beer to see what it tastes like, but out-and-out drunk.) ( )
  Lindoula | Dec 27, 2015 |
I read this book because I wanted to get an idea of the Maori culture in New Zealand and, yes, this book touched on that. The story is engaging and mixes in Maori phrases which I also liked. But there were 2 things I found difficult about this book. The first is the writing style. In the preface the author makes a point of how she was insistent, against the publisher's suggestions to changing the writing style to make it more readable. Although there were some clever turns of phrase, this book was very difficult to slog through and much of her cleverness in turning a phrase was lost on me. Also, the personalities of 2 of the main characters, Kerewin and Joe were so self-destructive that I found them difficult to relate to or feel empathy towards. I'm now in New Zealand, so I'm definitely going to see if I can find someone who loved this book to gain more insight. ( )
  jmoncton | Dec 20, 2015 |
I haven't thought about this book in years, which isn't to say I haven't thought about it. I think about it in a sub-level all the time, just not in a focused way. For me it is one of thsoe books which rackets about the hallway of my brain all the time. And yet, it is not a favorite. It would never make my top 100, and I am not sure why. I was mesmerized by it at points, but not in love with it. It belongs to that odd class of books, ones I admired, were fascinated by and stuck with me, but didn't win my heart. Admired, not loved. So if this book was Machiavelli.. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Keri Hulmeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bok, AnnekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He walks down the street.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
In a tower on the New Zealand sea lives Kerewin Holmes, part Maori, part European, an artist estranged from her art, a woman in exile from her family. One night her solitude is disrupted by a visitor — a speechless, mercurial boy named Simon, who tries to steal from her and then repays her with his most precious possession. As Kerewin succumbs to Simon's feral charm, she also falls under the spell of his Maori foster father Joe, who rescued the boy from a shipwreck and now treats him with an unsettling mixture of tenderness and brutality. Out of this unorthodox trinity Keri Hulme has created what is at once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, clash, and sometimes merge. The Bone People is a work of unfettered wordplay and mesmerizing emotional complexity.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140089225, Paperback)

In a tower on the New Zealand sea lives Kerewin Holmes, part Maori, part European, an artist estranged from her art, a woman in exile from her family. One night her solitude is disrupted by a visitor—a speechless, mercurial boy named Simon, who tries to steal from her and then repays her with his most precious possession. As Kerewin succumbs to Simon's feral charm, she also falls under the spell of his Maori foster father Joe, who rescued the boy from a shipwreck and now treats him with an unsettling mixture of tenderness and brutality. Out of this unorthodox trinity Keri Hulme has created what is at once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, clash, and sometimes merge.

Winner of both a Booker Prize and Pegasus Prize for Literature, The Bone People is a work of unfettered wordplay and mesmerizing emotional complexity.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:18 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

This unusual novel, set in New Zealand, concentrates on three people: Kerewin Holmes, a part-Maori painter who has chosen to isolate herself in a tower she built from lottery winnings; Simon, a troubled and mysterious little boy; and Joe Gillayley, the Maori factory worker who is Simon's foster father. Elements of Maori myth and culture are woven into the novel's exploration of the passions and needs that bind these three people together, for good or ill. It's not easy reading, but the story is compelling despite its stylistic eccentricities and great length. The novel is the winner of the Pegasus Prize.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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