28 January, 2015

Madmen: Inside the Weirdest Election Campaign Ever by Steve Braunias [Ana, Central Library]

This is a small, thin book which catches your eye with its plain white cover, the title MADMEN in red capitals across the top, and the black outline rendering of a man smoking in the style of the old Zig-Zag cigarette papers packet. Is it John Key or John Wayne? Is it a joint he's smoking?

Steve Braunias is a naughty and cheeky New Zealand writer whose work appears in our leading publications and has won many awards. He is also a romantic who likes bird-watching. It just happened that leading up to the 2014 election - on the day that Nicky Hager was launching his Dirty Politics book, Braunias agreed to write a daily blog on the election - which was two weeks away - with Metro magazine.

Each day Braunias reports on the election, and the 2014 election is like a TV drama: the leadership question in the Labour party, National's issue with Judith Collins and citizen's privacy rights, the ACT party's problems, the Conservatives, again. We had Dirty Politics, privacy concerns and the spying agencies, Whale Oil, Rawshark, and the big reveal from Kim Dotcom (but was it?). He talks to many of the key players involved and details the events in his witty and satirical style. At the Election 2014 debate on TV3 between John Key and David Cunliffe, John Key "had only two pages of A4 paper on his lectern while Cunliffe had brought with him what looked like the manuscript of The Luminaries".

This is a great little book; it is very entertaining and provides us with further insight into the election. It will provide an excellent record of an important event in New Zeland's history. At the end of the day all the theatrical events of this election were put aside and the New Zealand voters made their choice.

Title: Madmen
Author: Steve Braunias
ISBN: 9780908689903
Published: 2014
Publisher: Luncheon Sausage Books

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