Being the record of an expedition to locate
and capture an iceberg seen to be somewhere off
the coast of the South Island last seen buried deep
within Freemans Bay
Something Else is a big book but nonetheless tight and rhythmic in style,
a style imbued with a certain whimsiness, touch of comedy and frivolity,
yet all credible and quite joyous. The perservering reader is well rewarded
by a book richly evocative of scene - Auckland in the fifties and sixties
is 'nailed' and the old mariner and the shipyard are wonderful.
Parkyn has his very own voice as a writer, there is a quality that's tantalising
and real, ethereal yet believable. Overall a remarkable piece of work.
Though this novel is set very much in the present the beginnings
of the Auckland art market are also there. The reader is dropped
into the 1960s and even further back into the infinitely hospitable
culture of shared flats in an old mansion in St Mary's Bay and a shed
by the water that when the door opens looks as if a tidal wave has swept
debris inside. It's a mere hint of the dire situation the inhabitants
of earth are in, not described but penetrating the saga and the wonderings
of the adventurers as they sail off to catch that elusive iceberg.
This is a novel populated with artists, poets and boat builders all living
their craft as inner necessity, loyal, loving, and suspicious of one another
by turns as they set off together on surreal adventures.
And who is the protagonist? Eventually the connections become apparent through
the riffs of anecdotes and haze of narcotics, for nothing is explained
or commented on but casually and intensely recounted by the one who is keeping
a logbook from the moment he meets his mentor, the mysteriously named Troon.
First published last year in a small print run this book has attracted a growing
number of readers who delight in its quirky humour and exuberant language
while appreciating the serious themes and rich depth of experience that informs
"...The freshness of Something Else - besides Sally Griffin's lovely,
expressionist illustrations at the head of each chapter - is that it tells
a story from our recent history that has seldom been told....
New Zealand Books
David Parkyn takes a unique blend of art theory, maritime camaraderie
and a touching story and combines them elegantly....
Piedog Press is a publisher of books and art works. It favours those
of an unusual and imaginative nature, informed by the reality of our times.