Living in the Maniototo

“Living in the Maniototo” by Janet Frame (New Zealand)


Readers found this book most interesting both from the point of view of the story as well as the style of writing. They thought that there was an incredible use of language, which required their full attention, and they liked the clever interspersing of poems. Some readers didn’t like the long, meandering sentences as they felt that they interrupted the flow of the story. Everyone agreed that the author makes some wonderful observations about people. They especially enjoyed the parts with the two couples that they found were like clichéd representations of certain types of couples. They appreciated the fantastic metaphors and the humour. One reader described it as fanciful, illogical, but interesting! Overall, the book averaged an 8.1 out of 10, the highest score of the season.


In a sweltering basement in downtown Baltimore, Mavis Halleton, writer, ventriloquist and gossip, is struggling to write her novel when an unexpected invitation arrives. The Garretts, a couple Mavis has never heard of but who admire her work, are to spend time in Italy, and offer the use of their airy home in the Berkeley hills… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list 

Season 15 – “Fantasy and the Fantastic” (Feb – Jun 2012)

“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka (Czech Republic)
“Living in the Maniototo” by Janet Frame (New Zealand) *
“A Brief Life” by Juan Carlos Onetti (Uruguay)
“The Icarus Girl” by Helen Oyeyemi (Nigeria)
“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe (U.S.)

* The book club favourite

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