The Bone People MOBI ✓ The Bone ePUB í

10 thoughts on “The Bone People

  1. Jude Jude says:

    I have read this book 11 times It's not because of my faulty memory although I do have one it is because this is my favorite fiction book of all time The shape is unusual for a novel it is not told in one voice or from one point of view At times there is an omniscient narrator and at others it is told in the first person It is the story of the journeys of three people back to the landscape of family Sometimes free verse sometimes standard prose always poetic Keri Hulme plays with the shape and feel of words themselves giving the book a sensory uality not usually found just by reading I do not want to give too much away because I feel that discovering this book is sort of like going on an amazing drive through beautiful country just around the next bend there will be something wonderful but each person will be struck by different things For those who don't speak Maori myself included she keeps a handy glossary at the end of the book for the phrases that are thrown in occasionally

  2. Hugh Hugh says:

    An original personal and visceral novel which for me is the kind of book that justifies the existence of the Booker Prize The surface story is about the interactions between three difficult and damaged people but there is a lot to it than that plenty of Maori culture mythology and language fortunately most of the latter is translated in the glossary and a mixture of first and third person narrative voices including uite a lot of poetry That may sound difficult but the core story is uite gripping though I must admit that I didn't try to follow everything Hulme's introduction says that it started as a short story but the finished novel is much than thatAt the centre of the story is Kerewin Holmes whose character must be at least slightly autobiographical She is an artist of mixed European and Maori heritage estranged from her family who leads a self sufficient and independent life in a tower she has built for herself on the New Zealand coast Her life is disturbed when she finds a mute boy with an injured foot in her tower The boy is Simon or Haimona who turns out to be a survivor of a shipwreck in which his parents are believed to have died The third character is Joe who found Simon and adopted him with his now dead wife Both Joe and Kerewin are heavy drinkers The story concerns their interactions conflicts and culture clashesThe story touches on some difficult themes particularly Joe's relationship with Simon which mixes extreme physical violence with a love that Simon needs than anything else Kerewin is asexual and dislikes physical contact she is also fiercely independent Part of the story involves the mystery of Simon's background for example it is known that he already bore the scars of physical abuse before his adoption I won't say too much about the plot I'm not sure I entirely believed the happy ending but it occupies such a small part of the book that it almost feels like an afterthoughtSo a very interesting book a little flawed but probably very memorable I don't know why it took me so long to get round to reading it but I would certainly recommend it

  3. Whitaker Whitaker says:

    This novel is a shining jewel one with a huge flaw in its centre It is still however an impressive and beautiful work and a hugely ambitious one an attempt to create a story that marries the disparate identities—Maori and European—that make up present day New Zealand There is a realism based story of friendship self destruction and child abuse and there is a symbolism filled story of healing catharsis and the necessary fusing of Maori and European civilisations Each is well told but they don’t fit together This is a problem because they are the same story Hulme’s writing sparkles and plays fantastic tricks of light and manages to—mostly—obscure that flaw but can’t make it go away The three main characters are Joe Kerewin and SimonHaimona They are respectively Maori Maori European and European All are estranged from their families and cultures and deeply damaged In each other they find comfort and solace but also hurt and pain As I noted a key story element in the novel is child abuse It’s horrific and at the same time is a necessary trigger for the eventual catharsis that occurs When asked whether SimonHaimona is a Christ figure Keri Hulme in an interview replied that she doesn’t like categorising him like that because it might cast an approbatory light on the child abuse that occurs She went on to say that she wanted to write about child abuse because it is a problem in New Zealand that is not acknowledged I can understand this desire We can’t however get away from the symbolic religious elements of the story because they seem just too carefully thought out and constructed We have a trinity; we have a child that is “sacrificed” to a greater end; we have a father figure called Joseph; we have a mother figure who is a virgin; we even have a powerful image of the three in one It is impossible to not see religious symbolism in this To cap it all the strength of the narrative derives its power from that symbolism These elements are not forced They carry weight in terms of who the characters are and in terms of their narrative arc But the story of these individuals has a powerful current that runs counter to the symbolism of the narrative arc It is difficult on the one hand to decry the abuse and at the same time to approve the catharsis that follows but this is what the work demands That Hulme even manages to fuse this contradiction into a whole is testimony to the strength of her writing But it is not enough The tension is just too great and so we see in it a crack a cleavage that is not healed Was this intentional a symbol on a meta fictional level of the cleavage between Maori and European civilisation in New Zealand? If so that would be too clever by half I would prefer actually that Hulme wanted to tell this story and tried and failed to resolve its inherent contradictory forces Somehow the passion behind that creative impulse moves me than the idea of a cold crafting of a deliberately flawed work An interesting discussion the book may be read at The Guardian Books Blog

  4. Paul Paul says:

    45 starsThis was twelve years in the writing and was rejected by many publishers It defies easy description and is very much set in the interface between Maori and western culture There is complexity in the structure and a dose of magic realism at the end The character of Kerewin Holmes is a remarkable creation who jumps out of the page The novel revolves around three characters Kerewin Holmes is a solitary woman living in a tower a painter who does not paint and who is estranged from her family Joe is the adoptive father of Simon a boy washed up on the beach who isn’t able to speak and who has considerable behavioural problems and no sense of personal property Joe has relatively recently lost his wife and child and he is now bringing up Simon alone In this he is struggling and he is physically abusive and violent towards Simon Hulme is a great storyteller and her descriptions are vivid;''watching the blood sky swell and grow dyeing the rainclouds ominously making the far edge of the sea blistered and scarlet''There is a musicality and rhythm to it all; Hulme switches perspectives between her characters and mixes poetry with prose also mixing English with indigenous Maori language There are lots of themes All of the main characters are isolated A sense of home and family life is often seen as something to be strived for as Simon thinks;“He had endured it all Whatever they did to him and however long it was going to take he could endure it Provided that at the end he could go home if he can’t go home he might as well not be They might as well not be because they only make sense together We have to be together If we are not we are nothing We are broken”Hulme has said that interwoven threads is one of her favourite images in the novel Hulme has taken two elements of postcolonial literature language and magic realism and uses them to good effectOne issue that cannot be avoided is the violence by Joe towards Simon When Hulme writes the violence she strips back the language and makes it very stark Hulme herself is very clear about why she did this; to address an issue in New Zealand Hulme has stated that violence towards children was a “pervasive social problem in New Zealand among Maoris and Pakeha and she had written the bone people in part to draw attention to it” Hulme gives the reader nowhere to go with this; Joe by being violent loses his Maori language and sides with the Pakeha the western colonizers His attempt to destroy Simon seems linked to the destruction of Maori culture His redemption is linked to his rediscovery of his roots and culture I only found this partially convincing; male violence is male violence wherever it is foundI must admit that I did struggle with some aspects of the ending but the writing and language is captivating

  5. Trudie Trudie says:

    15 Warning spoilers trigger warnings and unpopular opinion time CK Stead is a fairly divisive figure in NZ literature and has been roundly rebuffed for his criticisms of both The Bone People and The LuminariesAfter reading The Bone People for myself I went searching for his much maligned letter to the London Review of Books 1985 entitled Maoriness which can be found here amongst some perhaps unfortunately worded statements I finally found a set of arguments about Hulme's novel that happen to dovetail almost exactly with my own reading of it The letter is in no way entirely disparaging of the book and neither am I but this final paragraph stood out I’m glad The Bone People has been written and published But when I stand back from it and reflect there is in addition to the sense of its power a bitter aftertaste something black and negative deeply ingrained in its imaginative fabric which no amount of revision or editing could have eliminated I suspect it has its location in the central subject matter and that this is something it shares with Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes a work which also presents extreme violence against a child yet demands sympathy and understanding for the man who commits it In principle such charity is admirable In fact the line between charity and imaginative complicity is very fine indeed A bitter after taste is precisely what I am left with here despite the books obvious power and lingering hold over me Some of this writing is the best I have encountered in NZ literature the sense of place particularly for the South Island is unparalleled and Hulme takes a delight in word play and poetry that initially made me think this was going to be a 5 star read Also as Stead states Simon is a major fictional character the most complete convincing and fascinating of the three and all the remarkable in that his personality has to be conveyed to us without spoken language I would go further and say that Kerewin is just as fascinating A singular personality the so because she is so obviously a fantastical version of Keri Hulme herself This makes things all the problematic for me because despite the love she demonstrated for this Goblin sun child as she calls SimonHimi she fails him over and over again Lets take a look at how dated and tone deaf some of the this central subject matter is I will let Joe and Kerewin do the talking here view spoiler At the moment he'd rather cut his throat than hurt his son but he knows from broken past resolutions that come the morning if the child is sulky or rude or baulks at doing what he is told he'll welt him with a cold and righteous intent Joe well what the hell do I do now ? o I know what I am supposed to do ring up child welfare and report the bloody mess he is in Excuse me i know a small child who's getting bashed it looks like he been bashed with a whip but i hope to god not I had suspicions when he was here with his face battered But he never said it was Joe and Joe didn't admit it was himI've seen him slappedHell everyone slaps kids Kerewin internal monologue for the first time it comes to her that she is aiding and abetting the concealment of a criminal offence and yet at no stage does she show any personal regret at not doing anything sooner We just decided that if Himi ever needs a hiding again Joe will wait till I agree to it soo she shrugs comfortable in her power that should prevent Himi getting damaged again wrong You could argue that this is not the author condoning violence but rather shining a light upon it and yet there is this all too pervasive anti establishment rhetoric here that argues that a child no matter what occurs is best with his foster father even if that person hits you so hard you are now deaf The pity of it all is that they are wrong you've given him a solid base of love to grow from for all the hardship you've put him through You have been mother and father and home to him And probably tomorrow they will read you a smug little homily castigating you for ill treatment and neglect And the'll congratulate themselves uite publically for rescuing the poor urchin from this callous ogre this nightmare of a parent At least you worried enough about his wrong doing to try to correct it Kerewin The Church doctors psychiatrists meddling family members North Islanders the middle classes and child protective services all come in for snide asides in this book which I think says about the authors own views on the establishment than any real commentary on the problem of child abuse in this country I said I hope your father knocks you sillier than you are now you stupid little bastard Kerewin as said to a 7 year old Simon over the phone and essentially giving permission for the beating that ensues doubly horrific after her promises to protect him I know I exacerbated his reckless wounding of himself but now I am not allowed to give him even shelter Joe demonstrating a lack of comprehension that his actions towards the child he loves left him deaf and brain damaged and his entire body covered in scar tissue wonder if he is up and about or playing the discreet vegetable still Kerewin What is this tone levity ? I literally blanched and put the book down here Sure it is possible to read The Bone People in ways that are less literal and you can eually put forth uotes that highlight other less distasteful aspects as well as the beautiful writing but that can't disguise the deeply disturbing undertone that pervaded the entire book In the end I decided this was 550 pages of Keri Hulme expounding on Keri Hulme and the poor bedevilled Simon a mere plot device to make some statement about spiritual awakening and the power of love to overcome personal failings hide spoiler

  6. Adam Adam says:

    The Bone People had been on my to read shelf for almost a year so I decided that it was a good first read of 2013 I wanted to like it; indeed for the first hundred pages or so I did The language is unconventional but richly textured and evocative and exotic to this American boy This was enough that I didn't notice some major flaws until I was too far in to uit reading Once I noticed them however they were impossible to un noticeMy first problem with the book is that one slowly realizes that Kerewin is a bothersome character Since she is arguably the most important character this is an issue If you've familiar with the mysterious sometimes scary realm of fan fiction you'll know the term Mary Sue Kerewin has got the Mary Sues something bad The similarity of her name to the author's is only the first clue She's also fabulously wealthy talented in art music and language a survivalist and oh she can kill a man with her bare hands In conversation and in monologue she sounds exactly like someone with all of these traits would sound that is she sounds ridiculous About three uarters of the way though the book I was wincing every time she opened her mouthview spoiler Then there's the child abuse thing I understand that their relationship is supposed to represent the cultural conflict but Joe beats the crap out of Simon Kerewin doesn't like it but doesn't really do much about it They both let the kid smoke and drink for cryin' out loud Joe’s presented in a disturbingly sympathetic light and we're supposed to be okay with it all at the end because he finds an ancient god and is redeemed Yep that’s right Actually everyone finds an ancient god and all of their troubles vanish Kerewin’s cancer disappears and she is reunited with her family The ending of this book is just chock full of deus ex machina The last fifty pages creak under the weight of it Everything is mended between Joe and Simon They all move in together and it’s swell I could overlook the other flaws of the book if it wasn't for this The characters don't earn their own redemption or suffer because of their own mistakes The gods fix everything Maybe it’s a grand metaphor for cultural healing or the power of tradition but it just doesn’t work hide spoiler

  7. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    455A rare mix of characters and languages and emotions indeed Gripping Kerewin is one of my all time favorite characters; she's everything I am and so much The talent and the energy and the drive Simply beautiful I can't forgive Joe though I can't view spoilerI don't see any justification for his violence Is this how males get? Is this how their logic works? It has no place in society whatever their excuses and reasoning and past horrific experiences may be What he did to Simon was unforgivable and the way the book kept pushing them together was unbearable No one should go through that much torture and horde the blame for themselves hide spoiler

  8. Hanneke Hanneke says:

    So okay Ms Hulme I already felt rather suffocated by your novel throughout the book but you really tried to strangle me with your final chapters I was going to rate the novel 3 stars However after those last chapters I will now grant it a mere one star plus another one for the rather picturesue writing throughout the book Let me explain I rather liked the sing song uality of the narrative and in particular the inserted little snippets of poetry contemplations and lamentations What I truly hated were the two main characters who are just utterly unsympathetic Hulme’s apparent alter ego Kerewin has serious character flaws and feels so elevated from mere humans that she does not want to commit herself in any way even if a six year old boy whom she claims to love is ferociously beaten on several occasions the last abuse so severe that the boy is within inches of death She is convinced that the father her new friend Joe cares about his adopted son and that should be a sufficient reason to excuse his behaviour and for herself no reason to act in a decisive way Subseuently at the end of the book Hulme seems to insist that her readers accept her idea of the redemption and forgiveness of Joe It feels to me that she forgets that her readers might feel pretty disgusted by both Kerewin’s and Joe’s earlier pathological behaviour and are not in the mood to forget what transpired before To help her doubting readers she introduces sudden magical occurences which result in the elevation of Joe to a moral even saintly human being Sorry what drivel Needless to say I was relieved to finish the book

  9. Isis Isis says:

    I out myself as a philistine I guess with my dislike of this painfully literary book which I read only because I was in New Zealand and thought I ought to read a famous NZ author Once I got past the aggressively defensive introduction Idiosyncratic Author is idiosyncratic I can dizzily swap first person POV and use my own grammar and make up my own words because I am Artistic and the Mary Sueish tinge of the central character being named after the author headdesk I found this bookconfusing Parts of it were interesting parts dull and hey surprise woo woo at the end which I kind of wish had been introduced sooner because it was cool and actually you know went some where I didn't particularly like any of the characters but I suppose that was part of the point

  10. Meredith Meredith says:

    I cannot put my finger on why I love this book I didn't really think it all that special when I read it but it has stayed in my mind so vividly when many a lesser book has dissipated from my memory I think the authors descriptions are understated while being vivid I read the book years ago and I can still remember clearly descriptions of meals cooked of the matter of fact efficiency the main character displayed in her solitude All of the characters are overtly flawed and the author doesn't just skip over that to tell a happily ever after story about friendship Maybe I loved this book because it is not a fairytale The characters you grow to love and empathize with are also the ones that drink to much and beat their children or the ones who steal from you after you've generously given them money These are not the heroes we put next to flags or on films but they still come across the page as lovable A very provacative novel

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The Bone People ❰KINDLE❯ ❃ The Bone People Author Keri Hulme – Integrating both Maori myth and New Zealand reality The Bone People became the most successful novel in New Zealand publishing history when it appeared in 1984 Set on the South Island beaches of New Z Integrating both Maori myth and New Zealand reality The Bone People became the most successful novel in New Zealand publishing history when it appeared in Set on the South Island beaches of New Zealand a harsh environment the novel chronicles the complicated relationships between three emotional outcasts of mixed European and The Bone ePUB í Maori heritage Kerewin Holmes is a painter and a loner convinced that to care for anything is to invite disaster Her isolation is disrupted one day when a six year old mute boy Simon breaks into her house The sole survivor of a mysterious shipwreck Simon has been adopted by a widower Maori factory worker Joe Gillayley who is both tender and horribly brutal toward the boy Through shifting points of view the novel reveals each character's thoughts and feelings as they struggle with the desire to connect and the fear of attachment Compared to the works of James Joyce in its use of indigenous language and portrayal of consciousness The Bone People captures the soul of New Zealand After twenty years it continues to astonish and enrich readers around the world.