Published June 2012 FOR A HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGE OF THE COVER CLICK HERE
NZ Listener top 100 pick, 2012.
A bloodied figure travels through time, a stepfather kicks a ball and curses a snack machine, a cranky ghost brakes a Kapiti train. From a reimagined history to a future where holograms walk the streets, these stories traverse time and genre to explore the frontiers that face the adventurousnow and in the past.
Lawrence Patchett is an articulate and philosophical author who creates terrific frontier stories. His tales describe moments of conflict, struggle and human frailty and yet his characters find a kind of peace through self-awareness, human connection and compassion. This is a rugged and haunting collection which has remained in my thoughts months after its first reading. Laurence Fearnley
' a corker of a tale by Lawrence Patchett about the lifesaving power of storytelling itself. '- Metro (Jolisa Gracewood)
'The winning story over 10,000 words, Lawrence Patchetts The Road to Tokomairiro, is elegant, with a deep sympathy towards the people involved.' The NZ Listener (Sarah Laing)
'The Road to Tokomairiro shows us how ordinary human fortitude and decency can be, even in the most troubled circumstances. The story has moral seriousness, but feels lighter than its subject matter, perhaps because it is so beautifully and sympathetically written.'
Judges Report, The Long and the Short of It
On Good Reads.
NZ Herald Review.
'The present and the past are allowed to inhabit the same frame, whether it's the ghost of Maud Pember Reeves pestering a council clerk or a musket-wielding time-traveller appearing on the side of State Highway 1. Our past has never felt so exciting or accessible.' - Craig Cliff, Dominion Post
'it has the vitues of a damned good yarn as much as of a sophisticated and finished work of literature... a very accomplished debut.' - Nicholas Reid, NZ Books.
'Here’s the disclaimer – I workshopped parts of some of those stories – but I think this is an instance where the whole truly is better than the sum of the parts, and I’m glad these stories were collected. Frontier tales in every sense, they push boundaries of time, relationships, and genre. Not since Nigel Cox’s ‘The Cowboy Dog’ have I found the landscape of my own country, both the people and the physical, reflected back at me through such a strange yet recognisable lens. I want to believe.' – Sarah Bainbridge
'It is not only my favourite VUP book, but my favourite book that I read this year. The collection of 'frontier stories' shows incredible imagination, and attention to the craft of writing.' – Sarah Jane Barnett
'My pick is Lawrence Patchett's I Got His Blood on Me. I discussed this excellent collection of stories in Booknotes 176, writing 'Patchett’s characters expend a lot of time trying to dominate or wield the stories or histories of others, while others struggle to maintain autonomy over their own voices, experiences and histories. Yet, as the characters push each other to discuss and debate, these men and women also unpick some of their own self-mythologies or habits of understanding... Patchett’s I Got His Blood on Me underscores the way fiction can, when infused with local history and the strangeness of thinking back across time, enable us to examine our habits of seeing, thinking and dreaming. It’s the kind of time travel that keeps pace with us as readers. The only thing we risk leaving behind is who we thought we were. A fantastic read.' – Rachel O'Neill