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37 Reviews
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Identity isn't Skin Deep
This is a story about three people, but it is moreover an account of a culture that has been splintered by colonialism. There were a lot of critical arguments circulating at the time of this novel's publication because there was a heavy debate over what the Maori culture should represent itself as and if this female author was doing it properly. The powerful thing about...
Published on 14 Nov 2002 by Eric Anderson

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Bone People
I bought the book to read for our Book Club as someone had recommended it. I found it quite a hard book to get into with pages of descriptive sequences and poetry, that for me, got in the way of the actual story. The characters are all quite difficult individuals and it does make quite a painful read at times and challenges perceptions about what is right and wrong...
Published on 2 July 2010 by CateSaint


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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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deep insight into human nature, 19 Jun 2007
By 
Wordsworth (Edinburgh, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Bone People (Paperback)
As it's been a couple of years since I read this, and my memory for detail is not so great; I can offer a review of the aspects of this book that most struck me at the time and have stayed with me since.

Firstly, I remember it being quite unlike anything I had read before, and I have read nothing like it since. The narrative style of first-person observation interspersed with thought in English and Maori is difficult to describe (I am failing miserably here!) and took a while to get used to, but lends the book a unique feel. (By the way, there is a handy Maori - English translation guide at the end which I failed to spot until I had finished the book.)

Secondly, I remember that the characters are drawn with exceptional love and understanding. Without wanting to spoil the story, I found myself empathising with them and forgiving actions and attitudes that I would normally consider incomprehensible and unforgivable.

I think I shall have to read it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of its Booker Prize win, 6 Mar 2014
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mucklewick (Knighton, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Bone People (Paperback)
This book won the Booker Prize several years back now.

And it has lost none of it's ability to draw you into an amazing culture and its people.

This is a book that I will be picking up and re-reading for many more years to come.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 6 Feb 2014
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DJIRL (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Bone People (Paperback)
Read the book while travelling through NZ. Beautifully written and an easy read. Highly recommend it. Can see why it won the Booker.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Bone People, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Bone People (Paperback)
Found this interesting and the language is colourful, poetic at times. It seems quite autobiographical. Found it absorbing but it stretched credulity a bit towards the end. Don't believe it would have had a happy ending
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Bone People, 26 Jan 2014
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I bought The Bone People as is was recommended by a friend who said it was one of the books that has been re-read many times over the years. I have just started to read this an so far have found it bit difficult to to get into, but interesting so I will continue to read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, 20 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Bone People (Paperback)
This takes a while to enter; the cadence and rhythm are unusual. There is poetry here, there is also disturbance. Not an easy read and will take a while to assimilate; but glad that I encountered it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The bone people, 28 Oct 2013
This review is from: The Bone People (Paperback)
In agreement with all other positive comments. A book I read yearly for a decade. A 'brilliant beauty'. I loved it.
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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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The Bone People (Picador Books)
The Bone People (Picador Books) by Keri Hulme (Paperback - 4 July 1986)
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