Tag: New Zealand


Underrunners by Margaret Mahy (Viking, 1992); audiobook read by Richard Mitchley (Brilliance, 2017) Set in rural New Zealand, a down-to-earth middle-grade exploration of hope, disappointment and making the most of things; of using imagination as a coping mechanism yet still facing up to reality. Mahy plumps for realism and character development over clichéd happy endings.

Guns Akimbo

Guns Akimbo dir. Jason Lei Howden (2020) Daniel Radcliffe works hard to carry this stylised and at times highly violent action comedy. (‘Comedy’ is used here advisedly; a pervasive graphic novel vibe all but obliterates the film’s understated New Zealand humour.) Clunky characterisation and scripting undercut the intended satire.    

Mrs Windyflax and the Pungapeople

Mrs Windyflax and the Pungapeople by Barry Crump; ill. Murray Ball (Hodder Moa Beckett, 1995) Though Crump’s rhyming verse and storyline aren’t up to much, Ball renders this children’s picture book visually resplendent through a mix of vibrant cartoon watercolours and his more usual Footrot Flats-type illustrations. The New Zealand landscapes offer a pleasing point of difference.    

Teeth of the Wolf

Teeth of the Wolf by Dan Rabarts & Lee Murray (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2018) Rabarts and Murray go from strength to strength in this second instalment, blending SF, Horror and Mystery in a murky, not-quite-dystopian New Zealand setting. Again, the story alternates between Penny and Matiu, two disparate but—to the authors’ credit—evenly balanced protagonists.    

Hounds of the Underworld

Hounds of the Underworld by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2017) An understated but engrossing SF murder mystery set in rundown near-future New Zealand. What starts as a character study—pairing up and alternating between Penny, a straight-laced scientific consultant, and Matiu, her dissident brother, both of Chinese-Maori descent—blossoms into supernatural horror.