Nigel Cox

Jungle Rock Blues

ISBN: 9780864736444


Published September 2011

Raised by gorillas in the wild jungles of New Zealand, scarred in battles with vicious giant wetas, seduced by a beautiful young scientist, discovered by Memphis record producer Sam Phillips and adored by millions – the dirt-to-dreams life story of Caliban is as legendary as his 30 number one hits. That story came to a dramatic end in 1977 when Caliban took his own life.

But now, in a sensational new development, a manuscript, written in old age by Caliban himself, has emerged which proves that his story didn’t end there. At last we can know: why did he leave us? What did it all mean to him? And – for the first time – what did it feel like to be Caliban?

Each new book from Nigel Cox is a surprise. But Jungle Rock Blues is a wild, slow-motion astonishment. – Bill Manhire

Through its hypnotic fusing of two mythic lives this novel takes on some of the founding fables of our culture. In the guise of a joyous adventure story, it slyly poses questions about genius, fame, failure and love.

From its boldly funny opening page, the novel re-imagines the facts, and from then on the reader surrenders to one of the most extraordinary narrators in our literature: speculative, sexy, outlandish and tender. In a pulpy world, Jungle Rock Blues rewrites the lyrics of the familiar, giving us a wondrous new song.

Praise for Jungle Rock Blues:
...Nigel Cox's fourth novel has me jumping up and down excitedly because I can't believe how good it is. To take such an unlikely attention-getting idea and to develop it into such an intelligent book – it's like seeing someone suddenly make a successful film of Lord of the Rings in Miramar. ...This whole book rings true. It's superbly written and utterly original. – David Larsen, The NZ Herald

Nigel Cox was born in 1951 and died of cancer in 2006. One of the leading NZ writers of his generation, he was the author of six novels and an essay collection. For many years a bookseller at Unity Books Wellington and Auckland, he also had an important career in museum development as part of the project teams that created Te Papa and the Jewish Museum Berlin, where he spent five years, returning in 2005 to New Zealand and to Te Papa as Director–Experience.

Jungle Rock Blues, Nigel’s fourth novel, was released in 2004 to rave reviews from readers and critics, and was a runner-up at the 2005 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
His fifth, Responsibility, was a runner-up in 2006, and his sixth, The Cowboy Dog, was published posthumously in 2006. Phone Home Berlin: Collected Non-Fiction appeared in 2007.

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