The New Animals – Pip Adam

READ FOR NZ BOOK AWARDS

Current and last generation fashion designers compete for fame on the streets of Auckland. 

➽ “Ugh this book made me hate myself quite frankly, but once I moved past my self-loathing I was able to enjoy it in all of its glory. It was the Gen Xers working alongside the Millennials that felt awfully recognisable to me and this part especially was a killer:

She was wearing the same type of clothes as them, she listened to the same music, she knew exactly what they were talking about, but right now she knew she was old. Not cute, cool old, just very old…

“Anyway I am determined not to turn this review into an introspective psychological assessment so let’s move on.

“This novel started as a superficial, typically Auckland novel and I was not having it, but once I was into the rhythm of the characters’ lives I felt deeply invested in what was happening.

“The last part of the novel is stunning, confusing, beautiful, weird and in marked contrast to everything else prior. Is Pip Adam a genius? Perhaps.

“However, while this is a must-read novel of 2018 but I’m not sure if it’ll take out the Ockhams.” – Suzy

➽ “At first I was put off this book because of its superficiality. The narrative seemed merely observational and didn’t delve deeper into the real issues it mentioned in passing.

“As with Baby this was a book aimed at Millenials and I wondered: is this what that generation want to read about? Sex. Porn. Bodily Functions. Masturbation. Superficiality. Garishly presented without meaning or subtly? Pip Adam was losing me.

“Then the last third of the book arrived. Amongst what I took as references to Maori myth was a truly emotional and beautiful psychological awakening. Though I’m still unsure if it was metaphorical or literal, it was easily the highlight of the novel and I actually couldn’t tell what the connection was between that and the rest of the book.

“My recommendation – read Kirsten McDougall’s Tess off the longlist instead.” – Rachel

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Published by 2017
Victoria University Press
224 pages

 

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