Monday, October 15, 2012


You paid $50.00 for a book? my neighbout exclaimed.

Yes I did. It was for a real book, hard covered with buckram binding,beautiful marbleised end papers,set in 12 point minion on quality paper, its jacket a work of art in itself and it is the latest Terry Pratchett.  'Dodger' is supposed to be a Young Adult novel. but like all his books has a level that shpild appeal to any intelligent oldie.

Dodger is set in Dickensian London, or rather Dickens and London are in Dodger who is a Tosher. Mudlarks are children who scavenged between tides on the river Thames. Toshers did the same in the sewers. The story is set before private houses linked their w.c.s to the sewers. The Dodger himself is of course the artful character of Olivcer Twist. Fagin is a kindly Jewish watch and jewellery maker. Sweeney Todd is a shell shocked veteran from Waterloo and the Peninsular. Robert Peel and his copperknob cops play a part and the social extremes of the Victorian age are brilliantly shown.

Dodger rescues a young woman who is being beaten by two thugs during a thunder storm. She has escaped from her brutal husband, and the adults who help her are regretful, but the law says they must hand her back to her 'owner' the husband. Dodger of course fixes things, and the reader learns a great deal of social and political history. It is dedicated to Henry Mayhew the founding editor of Punch.

Dodger by Terry Pratchett
978  0 385  61927  1
published in Great Britain 2012

My copy is going to son Eric, the other Pratchett fan in my family.

WHAT A LIFE  is the second book of REX THOMPSON. His first, FLYING HIGH, was mainly about leaving his Ashurst farm and learning to fly in WW2. What a Life is mainly about growing up in the shadow od the Tararua ranges, learning to shoot and hunt, in those ranges. It is a wonderfully detailed reminiscence of tramping the high ridges as a teenager along with his brothers, told clearly but without pretensions to 'literary style' and it is a delightful read.

What a Life by Rex Thompson
978 1 877449 4

This will go to at least one of my teen age grandsons

Stuart Nunn lives in Gloucestershire in a lovely English village called Chipping Sodbury (don't you dare laugh.) Last April Stuart, as well as preparing athlestes for the Olympics, wrote a poem a day and published them in APRIL, a chap book of poems which cover glimpses of his magical country side. like the snakeshead fritilleries pictured on his cover, reminiscenses, like following the Queen's Commonwealth tour in 1954.

April a month's poems by Stuart Nunn
printed and typeset by BLURB

And this one is not going to anybody. It's mine and I shall keep it.

And finally a piece of news that makes a poet feel good.

In 2009 Sviatko Associates published my fourth set of poems 'Over and Out From Down Under,'
I was heading for Crete and Ireland an wanted something I could give away. Most of the first printing was given to people in Crete, I even left one for Sergeant Anastakakis, and poets I met in Belfast, Dublin and Liverpool. I used some of them as Christmas cards too, they were cheaper than good quality cards. Then the e mails began arriving, my poem Waitaki Hogmannay had been read at gatherings in England, Crete, France, Australia, several United States, as well as N.Z. of course. The local U3A read it at one of their meetingsd. And Mirabile dictu! some of their members wanted to buy copies.

Now modern technology is wonderful. The printer, Bocarda Print Ltd in Petone keeps everything they print stored somewhere in cyberspace and within a week a box of 'Over & Out etc." arrived in my post box at the mouth of the Waitaki river.

These are available at $5.00 from me, just send an e mail to

I hope my next slim volume will be out in time for Christmas.

Over and Out Froim Down Under
by Waiata Dawn Davies
Published 2009 ny SVIATKO ASSOCIATES
918 0 473 15851 4

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