Book Review: Shamejoy, by Julie Hill

Available now in selected bookstores nationwide. 

With cutting, occasionally acerbic, Kiwi wit, Julie Hill has penned for us nine short stories, bound up in this slender collection, delighting in social satire, political parody and a scattering of pop culture.

cv_shameJoyIt is peopled with an eclectic cast of quirky characters − O’Gradient who has always wanted to lose a leg and cultivates an array of admirers who follow her every suggestion; Maus, the soft metaller who credits himself for ending the Cold War (with a song suspiciously reminiscent of one I recall from that era); Caramel, whose Uncle Jeff accidentally sparked an international incident − in which New Zealand and Australia go to war, over dessert.

The stories are short, with a bleak but sarcastic edge, a dark wit that creeps across the page and drags you in with a sadonic smile. This is quite literary, very character based, and at times the multiple point-of-views within the short story narrative become somewhat confusing, requiring multiple reads to see through the many layers.

Undeniably clever, the main flavour is strongly kiwi, the wit distinctly aimed at parodying our culture.

Reviewed by Angela Oliver

Shamejoy
by Julie Hill
Published by Giant Sparrow Press
ISBN 9780473284060

 

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