A summer Sunday outing February 1958 at the Waimakariri River.
Bain, Peter, Avis, Merle and Brenda preparing to float down the river for fun. They later realised the danger of the current and didn’t do it again.
- Gerry Anderson, 1929-2012
Creator of the futuristic 1960s television puppet series Thunderbirds, Stingray and Fireball XL5 that entertained generations of British children
- Richard Rodney Bennett, 1936-2012
Composer whose work ranged from film scores and jazz to symphonies and the avant-garde
- Dave Brubeck, 1920-2012
Composer, pianist and leader of the Dave Brubeck Quartet who had a million-selling hit with Take Five
- Lisa Della Casa, 1919-2012
Swiss-born soprano who combined beauty, legato and a silvery timbre to bewitch audiences
- Jonathan Harvey, 1939-2012
Composer who explored spiritual themes through electronic sound to great acclaim, if not wide recognition
- Jack Klugman, 1922-2012
Actor who starred as television’s crimebusting coroner Quincy and the slobbish Oscar in The odd couple
- Patrick Moore, 1923-2012
Popular astronomer who explored and explained the wonders of the Sky at Night in unique style over 50 years
- Oscar Niemeyer, 1907-2012
Architect whose futuristic design for Brasilia pushed the use of free-form concrete to the limits
- William Rees-Mogg, 1928-2012
Donnish editior of The Times and Chairman of the Arts Council who relished his status as a pillar of the Establishment
- Charles Rosen, 1927-2012
American pianist and writer on music
- Norman Schwarzkopf, 1934-2012
Commander of the coalition forces that drove Iraqi troops out of Kuwait during the Gulf War
- Ravi Shankar, 1920-2012
Maestro of the sitar who dazzled George Harrison and Yehudi Menuhin in his mission to bring Indian music to the West
- Galina Vishnevskaia, 1926-2012
Soprano who married Rostropovich and captivated Britten, but became a non-person in USSR
- Jim Weir, 1922-2012
Former NZ diplomat and author
“I never thought I could care so passionately for a zombie…” says Stephenie Meyer on the cover of Warm Bodies. And she’s right. R is a strangely compelling male romantic lead, even though he is dead and has no lips and can’t remember who he is – or was. He thinks he might have been some kind of office worker because he is wearing the remains of a suit. But like the other zombies drifting around the abandoned airport, the past is a blur of half memories that don’t stay still long enough to make any sense. They can only talk in sentences of one or two words and only feel pleasure when they eat the brains of the few still-human survivors they hunt down in the nearby wrecked city.
But something strange is happening to R. During a raid for food, he eats the brain of a young man and feels his overwhelming love for the girl cowering in the corner. So, instead of eating her, R takes her back to the airport smothered in the blood of her lover to distract the other zombies from eating her. Sounds gross – it is. But also oddly touching. And now R is in big trouble for keeping her, instead of making her his lunch.
This is the first novel of Isaac Marion who describes himself as “not married, has no children, and did not go to college or win any prizes.” Based on a short story, the novel is also about to be released as a feature film including John Malkovich in the cast.
Zombies at Christchurch City Libraries
Zombies are very popular in literature and on film these days, so we are running a holiday programme designed especially for children aged 10 to 14 years. On 10 January at Upper Riccarton Library you can have your face painted, listen to zombie stories, create a zombie poster and share a zombie feast. Just ring 941 7923 to register for lots of bloody fun.
Elinor and Toby are brother and sister, they have an incredibly close bond with Elinor being the youngest and Toby the adored older brother. Early on we encounter a ‘situation’ between these two that affects the rest of their lives, and has a lasting impression throughout the book. Adulthood sees Toby starting training as a doctor and Elinor at art school. Neither are unscathed and both become unlikeable – but fascinating – adult characters.
Jumping to the outbreak of World War I, Toby volunteers and becomes a fearless medic leading his men into more and more dangerous situations, seemingly with little regard for his life. Elinor learns that he is missing, presumed dead, and this starts her obsession with finding out what happened. Her friend Kit from art school, who was in Toby’s regiment and has come home suffering dreadful facial scarring, seems knows what happened but refuses to tell Elinor. Why? The famous Queen Mary hospital that treated these returned soldiers for their horrendous facial trauma becomes a macabre backdrop from which the story now unfolds.
What makes this book so compelling are the main flawed characters, the descriptions of hospital and life for the men having returned with scars both physical and mental, and an increasing sense of intrigue and angst around Toby’s probable death. Stories of the First World War are always harrowing and this book is no different. It’s not a light holiday read, but it is enthralling and incredibly well written.