I have enjoyed Frank Sargeson for many years – it way William Plomer who put me on to him. He writes well, he knows heaps about New Zealand including its Maoris, but that is not what draws me to him. I like him because he believes in the unsmart, the unregulated and the affectionate, and can believe in with, without advertising them. ‘My heart’s on my sleeve so mud you look at my sleeve.’ No – nothing of that sort in him at all. And connected with this rare reticence is his power to combine delicacy with frankness and his personal feeling for poetry. How exquisitely yet how incidentally can he introduce Blake. E M Forster
The nub of Sargeson’s achievement is his translation on to paper of the rhythms of ordinary New Zealand speck of ordinary New Zealanders. The task of making laconic men richly articulate is a heavy one but one which he perfoms with such effortless ease that we have difficulty now in putting ourselves back in the days before his work was published. The achievement lies not only in the accuracy of his ear, he has a startling gift for compression, for packing into minimum space material emotionally supercharged. New Zealand Listener
What Mr Sargeson sought to do was to comment on New Zealand society in the light of his more humane, more tolerant and compassionate vision of man as a loving, suffering animal who often mutilates himself and other is propitiation of false gods. He did so not by frontal attach of by broad comprehensive survey, but by close and sympathetic spotlighting of parts of the under-surface of society. He sought to expose and isolate the dead tissue in the minds of those who like Uncle “can’t suppose”, to pause where there were unnoticed growing-points in the unvoiced thoughts or intuitions of social underdogs and outcasts, to show them as they respond to warmth and light or come to nothing in a frosty atmosphere. Bill Pearson, from the Introduction to the first edition
And I am convinced that New Zealand prose literature really begins with Sargeson rather than with Katherine Mansfield, because he has so evidently sought the essence and spirit our own language as the real means of discovering ourselves. The Auckland Star
Paperback, 351 pages. In excellent preloved condition with the exception of one lengthwise crease on front cover..