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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning exploration of bonds between disparate characters
This is a densely woven, idiosyncratic book written from three separate viewpoints. It deals with the nature of relationships, the nature of selfhood and the meaning of family and cultural values. Drawing upon the Maori culture and history it blends narrative and philosophy, twisting and turning, and carrying the reader on a voyage of discovery. Each reading reveals...
Published on 5 Aug 1999

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor print
The print of the book is such poor quality that I find it difficult to read. Book highly recommended to me but I would not have bought if I knew the poor standard of print, small and smudgey. Would like to try on kindle.
Published 11 months ago by Mrs. F


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning exploration of bonds between disparate characters, 5 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bone People (Picador Books) (Paperback)
This is a densely woven, idiosyncratic book written from three separate viewpoints. It deals with the nature of relationships, the nature of selfhood and the meaning of family and cultural values. Drawing upon the Maori culture and history it blends narrative and philosophy, twisting and turning, and carrying the reader on a voyage of discovery. Each reading reveals additional levels and complexities of narrative, touching on the meaning of identity and the fusion of past present and future, and provides confirmation that this one of the outstanding works of literature of the decade if not the century.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Poetry, 19 Feb 2004
By 
Mrs. A. C. Whiteley "AllieW" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bone People (Paperback)
This is no mere book. Rather, it is an experience. An experience which covers virtually the whole gamut of human emotion. It resonates with beautiful poetry and is steeped in the deep spirituality of the Maori people. Their beautiful language (translated in a glossary at the back) peppers the narrative of this achingly poignant story of the (originally) hermit like Kerewin, Joe and his adopted son, Simon. They are drawn to each other, and indeed they have many similarities. All are nursing some deep private hurt from the past and as such each has their own barriers and each can be their own worst enemy. Yet each of them, too is possessed of a deep, fierce love for the others and a strong sense of community.
So much drama is contained in these 450 pages that you may think the plot line would be jumbled and incoherent. This is emphatically not so – the plot line never falters. Through this novel, too, we are made to confront our own judgements and prejudgements about subjects such as child abuse and behavioural difficulties. There is so much humanity in this book – we are forced to see each character as a rounded person with good and bad attributes. Nothing is black and white, Keri Hulme seems to be telling us. No one is wholly a monster nor wholly a saint. This point is really hammered home in the final few chapters, which are some of the most harrowing and yet joyful passages of literature I have ever read.
Never before have I read such a powerful, majestic, spiritual and thoroughly human book. I had to read it in bits, and come back to it again and again; it was such a potent and heady brew. I invite you, no, implore you, to dip into this multifaceted and precious treasure. It will be an experience you will never forget, I guarantee.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, profound, infuriating and well worth reading, 9 Aug 2011
By 
Stephen Carr "ardvaark5" (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bone People (Picador Books) (Paperback)
This is an emotionally powerful novel which, fundamentally, is an extended illustration of the W. H. Auden line that we must love one another or die.. The novel is a graphical depiction of the process of living with other people, accepting both the joy and pain of commitment, or rejecting relationship and the demands it brings. It's a terrific read, though untidy, sometimes ragged, and not always very plausible. It's also an impressive depiction of Maori culture, in its mixed modern existence. This is a demanding book, sometimes a bit infuriating and you may well feel like banging a few heads together, but well worth the effort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor print, 18 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Bone People (Paperback)
The print of the book is such poor quality that I find it difficult to read. Book highly recommended to me but I would not have bought if I knew the poor standard of print, small and smudgey. Would like to try on kindle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary!, 25 July 2011
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This review is from: The Bone People (Picador Books) (Paperback)
Wow, tough!! I would strongly recommend this, it is wonderfully written, but it is only for those with a strong constitution!! A beautiful and very human tale, exposing the most beautiful and the ugliest traits within man. I found it a very tough read at times, but couldn't put it down either. Try it!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 10 April 2009
By 
A. Hope "bookcrossing ali" (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bone People (Picador Books) (Paperback)
This is the story of three unforgettable characters, Kerewin, a hemit and artist, Joe a hard drinking widower and his adopted mute son Simon.

How can I even begin to review this really quite atonishing book. It is sometimes hard to read on two levels; hard because some of the things these characters do to one another, and the repercussions - made me almost want to look away, but also because of the langauge used in the novel. There are many maori phrases, words and names, even the print is not always arranged in a conventional way. At times the story of Simon, Kerewin and Joe is nothing short of heartbreaking, it is often brutal, horribly so. What fascinated me was the idea of how three people only really worked when they were together, that despite the terrible things that were visted upon Simon, I found myself slowly beginning to forgive Joe and Kerewin for their betrayl of one of the most memorable child characters I have read about. There were several times when I had tears in my eyes as I read, and I think I'll continue to think about Simon in particular for some time to come.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every time you read it you will discover something new...., 13 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bone People (Paperback)
A rich reading experience, with characters so real it is sometimes painful to read, and always totally engrossing. I re-read the Bone People every few years and am always discover more in it. I recommend this book to all my friends - especially at difficult times in their life. Somehow reading it is a balancing, re-rooting experience - can't explain how, you'll just have to read it! Persevere through the opening chapter which is quite obscure....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Bone People (Paperback)
Very good book takes a bit of getting into and if you don't know New Zealand would probably struggle to understand a lot of it. Cant believe it was her first book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Poetry in a novel, 13 July 2013
This review is from: The Bone People (Picador Books) (Paperback)
Keri (female) Hulme's first novel, set in beachside New Zealand. An interaction between a man, a woman and a boy. Before this book Keri had published poetry, and it shows, as words have been used to convey ideas rather than be specific (but not all the time.) This is not a book that you could put down for a few days and come back to - the impression would be lost. But then....you wont want to put it down for a few days.

hulme"Walking the innocent stick alongside, matching its step to hers, she climbs back up the sandhills. Down the other side in a rush, where it is dark and damp still, crashing through loose clusters of lupins. Dew sits in the centre of each lupin-leaf, hands holding jewels to catch the sunfire until she brushes past and sends the jewels sliding, drop by drop weeping off. The lupins grow less; the marram grass diminishes into a kind of reedy weed; the sand changes by degrees into mud. It's an estuary, where someone built a jetty, a long time ago. The planking has rotted, and the uneven teeth of the pilings jut into nowhere now.

It's an odd macabre kind of existence. While the nights away in drinking, and fill the days with petty killing. Occasionally, drink out a day and then go and hunt all night, just for the change.

She shakes her head. Who cares? That's the way things are now. I care.

A great poetic novel but the boy in the novel is abused by the man. Because of this, the book will leave different impressions on different people so it could be a good idea to look at other reviews before choosing.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to be read and re-read time and time again, 22 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bone People (Picador Books) (Paperback)
Keri Hulme writes brilliantly of the lives of three people; a reclusive woman, an angry man, grieving for his dead wife and child, and a boy who's optimism in the face of absolute hardship will move you to tears.
Ms Hulme's style takes a little getting used to, but once you are accustomed, there is no putting the book down. She is able to weave together the lives of these three unusual characters with the art of a master storyteller.
This the type of book that, once read, will be cherished for life and each time it is re-read, new aspects of the story will be revealed. A great book.
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The Bone People (Picador Books)
The Bone People (Picador Books) by Keri Hulme (Paperback - 4 July 1986)
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