Exit Music and End Games

Excellent Scottish writer Ian Rankin is due to visit Christchurch tomorrow. I’ve always been a fan – he is one of the few writers for whom I’ll happily yield up an outrageous amount of money for a large format paperback just to read his newest offering as soon as possible. Sadly Ian has retired his Inspector Rebus and the latest novel Exit Music will be the last in the series. I’m a fan of crime fiction as long it is not in the gruesome serial killer formula and anything with good characterisation, plotting and good writing will get my attention, so learning that one of the best will be no more is rather sad.Book cover: Exit Music

2007 has seen another favourite crime writer Michael Dibdin write his last Inspector Zen novel. In this case it was because Dibdin died. Read Michael Dibdin’s obituary in the Guardian. Both Rankin and Dibdin are fine writers by any standard and the word “formula” does not really apply.

A visit to Ian Rankin’s official website is an interesting one. There is lots of good fan stuff – lists of all his books, a map of Edinburgh, quizzes, video clips of interviews with the author and so on.

Some of my other favourite crime writers seem to still be going strong – Lawrence Block (Bernie Rhodenbarr), Tony Hillerman (Joe Leaphorn), Walter Mosley (Easy Rawlins), Donna Leon (Inspector Brunetti), Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch), Ruth Rendell (Inspector Wexford) and Peter Robinson (Inspector Banks) – but new suggestions are always welcome.

Hand-set edition of Hone Tuwhare’s Rain

News from Otago University for poetry lovers and bibliophiles alike:
A limited edition hand-set printing of Hone Tuwhare’s classic poem ‘Rain’ has just been completed as part of the 2007 Printing in Residence Programme at the University of Otago Library. Eleven other poems were re-printed from Tuwhare’s Come Rain Hail (1970) and produced in a large format portfolio production. It was printed by Dr John Holmes, under the University Library’s Otakou Press.

Tuwhare’s well-known ‘Rain’ was illustrated by Olav Nielsen, a Dunedin printmaker-artist. Six other Dunedin artists were involved: Inge Doesburg, Simon Kaan, Mary McFarlane, Kathryn Madill, Jenna Packer, and Marilyn Webb. Each selected a poem and created their own delightful image-masterpieces.

All the copies printed have been sold. Those interested in viewing the production can call into Special Collections at the Otago University Library (1st floor) and request to see it, or otherwise view online images. Next year’s project, which will feature master-printer Alan Loney.

Hone Tuwhare For more information about Hone:

  • Books by Hone Tuwhare at Christchurch City Libraries
  • Information about Hone at Christchurch City Libraries
  • The New Zealand Book Council entry on Hone

If you are looking for a different interpretation of Hone’s poetry, try the sound recording Tuwhare. This was a project commissioned by Toi Maori Aotearoa and directed by Charlotte Yates in which poems by Hone were set to music by recording artists from NZ/Aotearoa.