The Back Of His Head – Patrick Evans

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READ FOR NZ BOOK AWARDS

Trustees overseeing the estate of Kiwi Nobel laureate Raymond Lawrence discover more than they wanted to know while struggling to keep his affairs in order.

➤ “When I read the blurb for The Back of His Head by Patrick Evans I have to admit to feeling a bit apprehensive: ‘… a hilarious and troubling satire on the making and manipulation of literary fame’.

“So I was very relieved that rather than this being a high-falutin’ novel of literary in-jokes it’s instead a funny and down-to-earth take on the adulation we have for our heroes and the accompanying blindness when faced with information that easily topples them from their pedestal. The author perfectly captures the shame we feel in having our own poor judgement exposed and how we will consequently forgive or even ignore the most blatant indiscretions. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite the toe-curling recognition of my own fan-girling behaviour (John Kirwan is still the best coach the Auckland Blues have ever had ok, and I will not hear anyone say otherwise).” – Suzy

➤ “This book is like a study of the complexities of a writer and a writer’s life. It’s a dry, dark comedy but with serious moments, too. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if I was mean to be laughing or not …

“Raymond is a complex character, written to ensure we sympathise with him, love him and hate him all concurrently. At the same time the book poses real questions about a writer’s lot, about what is real and what is not. Perhaps also the juxtaposition of the academic world versus the less-educated, though, pleasantly, it does not provide a grandiose portrayal of the academics.

“This book had me guessing right until the very last word, at which point everything is sewn up nicely. A book that subtly gets under your skin and lingers for some time.” – Rachel

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Published 2015
Victoria University Press
376 pages

 

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