Broken October : New Zealand 1985 : A novel by Craig Harrison
Wellington : A.H. & A.W. Reed, 1976. Hardcover. 291 pages ; 22 cm. In original dust jacket with firm binding, clean and unmarked pages.
Who would have thought that aging, yellowing document could still be so potent?
But when Maori guerillas steal the Treaty of Waitangi, it lifts the lid off an explosive racial situation.
A weak Prime Minister resigns, and his power-hungry successor can't cope with the internal and international problems which rapidly follow. Industrial unrest flares overnight into violent racial conflict. New Zealand splits into two colours. And then the dominoes begin to fall . . .
In one sense this novel is a straightforward narrative of violent revolt and savage repression — a 20th century Maori Land War fought with all the weaponry and ps\ etiological techniques so grimly familiar to the 1970s. Fantastic? Or eerily credible. . . .
At a deeper and even more disturbing level this credibility reminds us that only a thin line separates a smugly-cozy democracy from ruthless dictatorship and bloody anarchy.
Craig Harrison has How To Be A Pom and two successful plays, Ground Level and Tomorrow Will Be A Lovely Day already to his credit. Broken October brings him with one stride into the front rank of New Zealand's serious novelists.
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