NZ Author: Bernard Beckett & Clare Knighton - Deep fried AND NZ Author: Ged Maybury - Crab apples
New Zealand authors can approach the issues of greed, the temptation of easy money, public health and teenagers making choices in very different ways …
This is both a thriller and a coming-of –age story. The disillusioned, risk-taking teenager is well characterised.
On his blog Beckett says the following: “You’ll also see a nod to Holden Caulfield in the opening of this novel, this is the book where my love of The Catcher in the Rye comes to the surface. Pete’s itchy, restless, pissed-off as he calls it, a sort of low level depression in the face of a world he has so little regard for, is my dim reflection of that shining character.”
The novel is unusual in that the two authors each provided a voice. It switches point of view between the protagonist Pete and a shadowy, geeky stalker. Pete takes on a large corporation, not from any reasoned, ethical stance, but simply because he is “pissed-off”. His stalker decides to assist him, both from fascination with Pete himself as because of strong moral objections to the corporation. Their activities will lead them into real danger.
Still, this is not an action-packed thriller. Despite the mystery and hairy situations, the focus is very much on the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist.
Review by Anneke a Campo.
This is a light-hearted and humorous take on money-making schemes.
The protagonist is Randy, a young teenager on holiday in a small beach community. He is obsessed with the need to make money to buy the fashion accessory he craves. When his conscience raises questions about morality or legality he firmly squashes it down. His attitude is contrasted to that of his Maori friend Piho who, while just as avid to make money, has a sense of responsibility to whanau which causes him to at least feel guilt about his activities.
In their small way the teens reflect the less than moral and sometimes outright illegal ways of making money of the adult community. Shady councillors, dubious entrepreneurs and people wanting a job at any cost are the grown-up versions of Randy and Piho.
Reviewed by Anneke a Campo.
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