I found this book to be an enjoyable read that dealt with a lot of different issues. The central character is Michael Stirling, an acoustic engineer dealing with: growing older, health issues, separating from his wife, getting back into the dating scene, connecting with his father and daughter and her generation, having to live in Wellington… okay not that last one so much. He is well and truly entrenched in his mid-life crisis and does not seem to be able to get to grips with being a divorced man in modern Wellington.
It all sounds a bit dour but what this novel does is inject these real life situations with some truly funny musings and moments to balance Michael’s story. Such laughs come through his interactions with his daughter and her ‘performance art' and his own Te reo classes. Wilkins doesn’t seem to bog this story down too heavily with symbolism in this novel but there are nods to identity in the flag debate and Te reo Maori and Michael’s divorce/dating is again mirrored through his daughter’s 'ropy' performance art.
It’s fun, it’s local, it’s good. Read this book and then go see the Great War Exhibition at Te Papa in a new light. Heh heh.
Title: Dad art
Author: Damien Wilkins
James W sneezed the other day into his raised elbow in a bout of politeness and was at once revered by his niblings as asserting his ‘swag’ over everyone else… James now carries a handkerchief wherever he goes.