This is also a book that deals with topics such as white over indigenous, male over female and straight over gay domination within modern society, both in the past and in the present. However, above all, "The Uncle's Story" is a love story between two human beings, regardless of their gender and ethnicity. They were both a journey of introspection. However, my reason for having given it 4 instead of 5 stars is because the subplot about the Vietnam War was too detailed and long-winded and the subplot about the Indigenous Peoples' convention had a ranting quality that was a tad off-putting.
The True Story of 'Uncle Tom’s Cabin' | History | Smithsonian
I am not crying. What a powerful last 50 pages. The story was moving along just fine for the major part of the novel: it was a nice novel, mostly focussing on the plot with lots of interesting details about Maori culture and the Vietnam war, but nothing that made me think "oh yeah, that's why other reviewers said this book made them cry like babies". But this book really snuck up on me, and before I knew it, I was reading the last pages with tears in my eyes. Nov 03, Henry rated it really liked it. More of a Vietnam war book than I'd expected.
I also found myself thinking a lot about the movie 'Whale Rider' the author wrote the book of the same name on which the movie was based.
Several characters reminded me of characters from the movie. The overall story was interesting and well written, but just okay. A nice coming-out story with a mystery tacked on. Only towards the end did I realize that the book affected me much more than I'd thought. I was very moved at two scenes towards the end More of a Vietnam war book than I'd expected. I was very moved at two scenes towards the end of the book, and after I finished, I was sad that I was no longer going to have any new information about the life of the main character.
Jan 01, Robyn rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction. I had this book sitting in my bookshelf for 2 years, it was a book which I purchased as part of our post-colonial subject in an old literature course but never read due to laziness on my behalf. What a silly move that was! This book is moving in so many ways. It was definitely a page turner.
As a reader who tends to confine themselves to fantasy novels, I am so glad that I stepped out of my I had this book sitting in my bookshelf for 2 years, it was a book which I purchased as part of our post-colonial subject in an old literature course but never read due to laziness on my behalf. As a reader who tends to confine themselves to fantasy novels, I am so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone with this one. Jan 16, Katewood16 rated it liked it. A brave book by a Maori writer who takes on homosexuality within his culture.
The love between Uncle Sam and Cliff Harper is captivating in that it conveys both passion and love from two men who haven't recognized their homosexuality and don't want to be gay.
Graphic in places, and it's not all love and kisses: Michael's life as a gay man is filled with politics, broken romances, clubs and the possibility of marriage and children with a lesbian. At places the plot feels forced. Oct 02, Katherine rated it really liked it Shelves: read-for-school , war. I had to read this book for my lit class and im so glad i did, it had a brillant story line and a beautiful love story. This was so different than anything i had read before, i usually dont like books that have lots of details about war but in this book i didnt mind. This book surprised the hell out of me, I was in the middle of a super-boring Post-Colonial Literature course, loathing all of the books, and then this came along and I fell in love.
I normally avoid comparisons like this, but it is like the New Zealand version of Brokeback Mountain. I must caveat by saying that apparently this was the least literary of the books on my course, and apparently the most poorly written, but who cares- it's the only one that i enjoyed, and the story was beautiful.
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I've always enjoyed Witi's books. I remember reading Nights in the Garden of Spain in one day and walking away breathless but invigorated.
The same has happened again with The Uncle's Story. The plot was confronting to me due to the material but I became so engrossed with the characters that I began to care for them. I wanted to know everything.
Always a pleasure to read Mr Ihimaera's works and this was no disappointment. Crikey, I don't think that I have ever been so affected by a book, I was completely swept up by it, I had to finish it in bed at four in the morning, I cried, a lot. I think that when I have reread this book, and I am sure that I will read it again, I will know better what I tuned into. In the meantime I heartily recommend this terrific read. Nov 22, Elysa rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , gay-lesbian.
This was my first experience with war-fiction, and it was a very easy introduction. The focus of the novel is on a gay uncle's diary and how a family and a native tribe react to homosexuality. This book defines "heart-wrenching story," and it is well-worth the read and the cost of tissues. May 01, Marnie rated it really liked it. This isn't a book I would normally read, I had to read it for my literature class at uni and I really enjoyed it.
I loved the conflict and issues that the characters had to face, and the love story, while being different to any I had read before, was really beautiful. Definitely worth a read. Yes, this is a great book. It talks about the quandary that I often face. Am I queer or a person of color?
And to that I add, am I a person with a disability? It's hard to find support for all the facets of my life. The author does a good job of combining at the end of the book. Jul 07, Rosie rated it it was amazing Shelves: m-m , very-favourite-mm-keeper-books , heartbreakers. Incredibly emotional read. Jun 11, Chris rated it it was amazing. One of the most gripping NZ novels I have ever read. See my review of the novella. He has sixteen novels to his credit, including Bulibasha which I reviewed as well. Ihimaera came out explicitly in with Nights in the Gardens of Spain, which I gather from Goodreads reviews is set in New Zealand and is a raunchy novel about reconciling sexuality with family.
Decades later his nephew Michael finds out about Sam when he too refuses to conceal his sexual identity and comes out to his family — and is also exiled from his community because of it. Obviously things have changed in New Zealand because they legislated for same-sex marriage in , well before Australia did. But this novel tells a story of the not-so-recent past, when Sam was tied to a fence and flogged by his own father, and was refused burial in the marae. Entry is by invitation, and there are traditional rituals to usher visitors and family members into it.
I picked up this book at a thrift store even though I was not familiar with the author but because it is set mainly in New Zealand, a country I once visited and loved It's a very moving, sad, cruel, intimate story of a young Maori, Sam and his two buddies who enlist in the Vietnam War. The pages describing some of the things that went on at that war time are frightening. There is an instant attraction between the two which I picked up this book at a thrift store even though I was not familiar with the author but because it is set mainly in New Zealand, a country I once visited and loved It's a very moving, sad, cruel, intimate story of a young Maori, Sam and his two buddies who enlist in the Vietnam War.
There is an instant attraction between the two which Sam tries to resist since there are "no gay Maoris" according to the tribal rules. The family never spoke of the deceased Sam so when a generation later Michael, Sam's nephew is given Sam's Diary which his sister, Patty had kept unbeknownst to the rest of the family. She begs Michael to search for Cliff because she needs to tell him a secret.
Michael is dealing with his own decision to 'come out' but is fascinated with the story and takes on the task The book really tears at one's emotions Jun 21, Jenn Sarich rated it really liked it. Beautiful and heart breaking: two key components to a good novel. I struggled throughout the first half, when the narrative was based in Vietnam , due to my own lack of knowledge there- regarding the war or you could say war in general The story was heartbreaking and had me in tears at one stage.
My only critique would be the storyline is claiming that Beautiful and heart breaking: two key components to a good novel. Therefore while the novel ends progressively it seems this progress is coming from Michael himself and a new generation is adjusting tikanga traditions as opposed to analysing the history deeper.
Besides that Tino pai.
Jul 20, Cheryl McArthur rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. But I had friends who lived in parts of the city where they would be raided in the night and forced out of their beds. After a childhood of holidays in Scotland, she decided to go to drama school in Glasgow and won a place at the Royal Scottish Academy. I like things that are character driven.
But it is her work with Butterworth that has left the most indelible mark. Every performance was alive with curiosity and specificity.
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