Kirsten McDougall

The Invisible Rider

ISBN: 9780864737670

Published August 2012 
Reprinted December 2017


NZ Listener top 100 pick, 2012.

Philip Fetch is a lawyer with an office in a suburban shopping mall, a husband and father, and a cyclist on Wellington’s narrow and winding streets. He is also a man who increasingly finds simple things in life baffling. As he moves through the sometimes alarming and sometimes comical episodes of this novel, a break in the hurtling flow of events looms ahead. Is it safe for Philip to pull out and pass? Tender and magical, and fired by a quietly burning moral engagement, The Invisible Rider asks what it takes to be happy in the world.

Praise for The Invisible Rider (2012)

‘charming, heart-wrenching and funny. McDougall imbues her book with a lovely optimism and an infectious affection for her characters; this is a writer to watch.’ 
—Louise O’Brien, NZ Listener

‘quirky, playful and finally moving’  
—Lawrence Jones, Otago Daily Times

‘Fetch has the ability to grapple with the borders of his life with a melancholy that belongs to us all, with a deceptive simplicity that sounds as if it is coming from his wisest self. The stories capture the delicacy of human feelings and relationships.’

‘The greatest merit of The Invisible Rider, however, is the author’s lack of condescension. Hovering in this novel is a sense of love – love desired, love thwarted, love not always guaranteed.’
—Reid’s Reader

Praise for Tess (2017)

‘McDougall understands well the advantage of the gradual reveal, teasing out her story yet leading inexorably to some kind of denouement and keeping the reader off balance, never quite knowing what comes next.’
Your Weekend

‘so cleverly written and with such empathy for the characters’
—Booksellers NZ

‘McDougall illuminates a New Zealand that may feel uncomfortably familiar. The town of Masterton glows in its gothic fairy-tale setting, the threat of violence hovers menacingly and love shines through like the sun behind clouds in bright patches.’



Current stock: 0

This title is temporarily out of stock
Calculated at Checkout

1 Review

Pip Adam 18th Dec 2012

This is great for so many reasons, here are a few ...

This is a great book for so many reasons. My favourite thing about it is that, as a reader, I get to take an active part in the formation of its narrative. What is cut from this novel is the connective tissue that an author might use to lead a reader through a life. Instead, each chapter cuts out a little more of the cloth so the narrative takes shape. It's an extremely satisfying read on several levels. The language is superbly crafted on a sentence-by-sentence level yet feels very un-poetic, in a good way. The images and the events of the novel seem fresh and exciting and I think it has a subtle way of changing a reader's view of things that are happening now.

Add a Review