Reviewer: QSS

By this author

Books February 25, 2017

The Name on the Door Is Not Mine

Karl Stead is in his 80s now and for as long as anyone can remember he has been New Zealand’s leading literary critic. It was in the 1960s that he wrote The New Poetic, a book that shed light on T. S. Eliot by suggesting that The Waste …

Books February 04, 2017

Winter Traffic

Sometimes a work of trash fiction comes along with such blatant pretensions that readers are lining up to be impressed by the eloquence with which they are entertained. And so it is with Winter Traffic, this entangled depiction of guys and …

Books December 10, 2016

Joy Ride

John Lahr is a theatre critic who has commanded audiences and made careers. Theatre is in his blood because he’s the son of Bert Lahr, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz and the original Estragon on the New York stage in Waiting for …

Books November 26, 2016


Michael Chabon is one of those fictional masters of the middle way who can tell a story with plenty of honeyed charm and narrative invention while going some distance to persuading the reader that he is a craftsman of language, loving, artful and myriad-minded. Moonglow

Books October 29, 2016

Days without End

There’s something weird beyond belief about Sebastian Barry. He conjures up a world of very contemporary queerness (cross-dressing, gay maritals) and then casts it, with some degree of laconic historical verisimilitude, in the 19th-century Wild West. …

Books October 15, 2016


Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed is the latest in a series of Shakespeare novels that Hogarth has commissioned in order to get contemporary novelists’ takes on the different stories of the Bard’s plays. We have had a retelling of The Winter’s …

Books September 10, 2016

The Schooldays of Jesus

J. M. Coetzee’s The Schooldays of Jesus is essentially the continuation of his previous novel The Childhood of Jesus and it has the same kind of breathtaking sobriety in the face of the strangest and most haunted subject matter …