Megankellie's Reviews > The Bone People

The Bone People by Keri Hulme
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May 10, 12

Read from March 10 to May 10, 2012

I read this because once upon a time someone, whose taste made me feel insecure, told me this book was amazing and really steeped in Maori culture. Then it turns out it's a lot about child abuse. Like vicious abuse where bones get broken and people threaten to call the authorities and don't. And very few jokes. And ambiguous questions like "oh did that old drunk make that 8 year old touch his junk?" And uncomfortable feelings like "uh, did that vicious, horrific beating just function as a plot device?" I stopped reading before the very end when maybe, hopefully, things are wrapped up and everyone is reunited. I couldn't get myself to finish it and still feel confused and weird that this is a huge literary favorite. It feels very callous to read about a detailed beating and then read someone's poetry with long words and neat metaphors. I also dislike romanticizing the artist life and always want someone to say "this is lonely and awful" instead of intellectualizing it and pretending we don't all feel lonely and awful sometimes particularly when you're doing something that is supposed to be amazing. Which is maybe Odysseus. And Kim Kardashian, if she is honest. And what is starting to make me mad about Oprah.

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