Stephen Daisley

Teoksen Traitor tekijä

3 teosta 84 jäsentä 11 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Stephen Daisley was born in 1955 in New Zealand. He served in the New Zealand army for five years. He worked other jobs on sheep and cattle stations, on oil and gas construction sites, as a truck driver, and Bartender. He is the author of two books. Traitor won the 2011 New South Wales Premier's näytä lisää Literary Awards, UTS Award for New Writing and the 2011 Prime Minister's Literary Awards for Fiction. Coming Rain was published in 2015 and won the New Zealand Book Award for fiction in 2016. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän

Includes the name: Stephen Daisley

Tekijän teokset

Traitor (2009) 55 kappaletta
Coming Rain (1656) 26 kappaletta
A Better Place (2023) 3 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




>Millions of people were killed and wounded in World War 2, including thousands from Commonwealth countries that never heard a shot fired in battle. Among these were casualties from New Zealand.

Archives New Zealand tells me that
A total of about 105,000 men and women from New Zealand served overseas during the Second World War. Of those nearly 7000 died on active Army service and a total of over 11,000 in all services. Nearly 16,000 were wounded as well.

The cover art, so thoughtfully chosen by W.H.Chong for Stephen Daisley's latest novel, A Better Place, illustrates what we hope would happen to a wounded comrade. Two soldiers, one supporting the other, as they make their way through the rubble to safety. The wounded not abandoned to his fate. But as with other examples of war art, it's idealised. It doesn't show both the wounding and the rescue taking place in the bloody heat of battle. It doesn't show the terror on the faces of vulnerable unarmed men under fire. It doesn't show that it took courage for a man to risk his own life to rescue another. It doesn't show that the battle is ongoing. Rather, there is hopeful blue sky ahead...

Stephen Daisley's A Better Place spares the reader none of it.

It tells the story of twin brothers from a hardscrabble farm in New Zealand, who, despite the best efforts of command, went forward into action together. Command had a policy of keeping brothers separate, because they did not want the worst of news to be compounded when a distraught mother received the fateful telegram. They were not to know that the mother of these brothers was not at home on the farm to get such news. She had abandoned the family because she could not cope with a husband so damaged by WW1.

The back cover blurb and the opening chapter tells us one of the twins did not come home.
The old shepherd Roy Mitchell was seventy-eight years old. He had never married. No.

People in the district would often say he was not quite the same after he come back from the war. There was a twin brother, Tony. Killed on Crete in 1941. (p.2)

The back story follows, depicting the ruthless brutality of war against soldiers and civilians.

To read the rest of my review please visit
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anzlitlovers | Jul 31, 2023 |
Lew McCleod is in itinerant shearer who roams the drought-stricken Western Australia backblocks with his mentor, Painter Hayes. They wind up at the run-down Drysdale Downs station, where they are engaged to shear the recently-widowed John Drysdale's flock. There Lew encounters Drysdale's young daughter Clara.

As Daisley tells Lew's story, he recounts a parallel story of a pregnant dingo bitch on the run from shooters, trying to find a safe place to whelp, with an injured male in tow. I found these chapters the best part of the novel: Daisley completely inhabits the animal, capturing its instincts and the landscape through its eyes.

If not for this second thread, this novel could have been like so many other outback stories, but Daisley has written something remarkable here. He draws his characters well, especially Painter and Abraham, although his other main characters are less original. Still, his eye for the Australian landscape and for the behaviour of the animals within it is unerring, and he describes these with great sensibility.
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gjky | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 9, 2023 |
New Zealand soldier David Monroe helps a Turkish doctor, Mahmoud, who is fighting to save a boy’s life. Then a shell bursts nearby, sending them both to the same military hospital. Mahmoud is a Sufi, a whirling dervish with many tales to tell. As the bond between them grows, will David betray his country to help Mahmoud escape home to his family?

I didn't enjoy the way this book was written, nor how it bounced back in forward in time. There were some interesting concepts here, but I had to force myself to finish it.… (lisätietoja)
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DebbieMcCauley | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 23, 2016 |
Traitor is a sensitive exploration of the Anzac myth through the life of David Monroe, hero of Gallipoli and the trenches of France. While wounded, David takes it on himself to guard a young Turkish doctor, Mahmoud, who had been captured when the two of them were trying to save the life of an Australian boy. He forms a deep friendship with Mahmoud, who teaches him about Sufism and the poetry of Rumi. He decides to help Mahmoud escape to his home village, but they are betrayed by their Greek boatman. David is sentenced to death for desertion, but the war ends and he is pardoned.

David then returns to the quiet life of a shepherd in New Zealand, unable to ever make good in a society which never completely forgives him for his 'treachery'.

Traitor is Daisley’s first novel, and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award in 2011. Daisley is a West Australian writer who delves deeply into the Australian psyche. I found myself coming back to the book again and again, unable to put it down. The story begins with David being questioned by intelligence officers, a scene with a Kafkaesque edge, and then unfolds as the past impinges on the present.

I was impressed by the lightness of touch in the story-telling: it is beautifully crafted, and the reader is rarely aware of the mechanics of the story. I felt I was in David’s world, and that the little things in his present really did touch off his memories. I felt I could taste the cold in the New Zealand air and smell the after-birth as he moved about the lambing flats, and I felt nauseated by his descriptions of death in the trenches, and genuinely moved by his love for Mahmoud and Sarah.

I am looking forward to diving into Stephen Daisley’s second novel, Coming Rain.
… (lisätietoja)
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TedWitham | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 7, 2015 |




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