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The Invisible Rider

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Philip Fetch is a lawyer with an office in a suburban shopping mall, a husband and father, and a cyclist on Wellington's narrow and winding streets. He is also a man who increasingly finds simple things in life baffling. As he moves through the sometimes alarming and sometimes comical episodes of this novel, a break in the hurtling flow of events looms ahead. ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published 2012 by Victoria University Press
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  35 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Susan  Wilson
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I wish we could give 1/2 stars as The Invisible Rider is more 3.5 for me. It's an excellent collection of short stories linked by a common central character but I believe it could have been so much more as a novel. The foundations were laid perfectly with the opening story of Lukas and Stan but then, other than a couple of interactions at the funeral, the story stopped short. I wanted to know Lukas and Stan better and think they would have been interesting characters to explore. It felt incomple ...more
Emma McCleary
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I began reading this in bed recently - the other book I'm reading was too dense for bed reading and this one was small and filled with short episodes. However, the book was soon in the lounge and then in my bag and then on the train to work.

Not quite short stories, not quite a novel, I found these episodes thoroughly enjoyable.

Phillip's life - and his interior - was so well described and the writing at times unexpected, which made it wonderful and delightful. Witty, smart and interesting this i
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Agree with other reviewers that this is worth reading and that it is particularly enjoyable for Wellingtonians. Philip is a good man. One of my favourite chapters is the one where he tries to save the greengrocer's marriage and his efforts are greeted with: "In the face of your relentless optimism, all I feel is an urge to die sooner."
It was, however, marred by the absence of a good edit: 'affect' used instead of 'effect' and 'brought' used instead of 'bought'.
Dylan Horrocks
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
At first, reading this was like a kind of meditation: quiet and slow. Somewhere along the way, it became an irresistible guilty pleasure: I kept stealing a few minutes to go back into Philip's world. Familiar, mundane, magical, with an emotional power that reveals itself by stealth. This was a library copy, but I may need to buy one so I can go back to it now and then. A real treasure.
Simon Sweetman
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Intriguing in scope and structure - The Invisible Rider is a set of sketches and snapshots, a novel-in-short-stories, a novel 'of' short-stories; its success is down to the way emotional states are conveyed, an interior novel set through a bunch of connected but disparate external scenes. ...more
Eleanor Toland
Riding the murky borderlands between the fantastic and the real and yet entirely grounded in 2012 Wellington, The Invisible Rider is a series of episodes from the life of Philip Fetch, devoted family man and bored lawyer.

Philip's world, coloured by his increasing anxiety disorder, can only be called a suburban gothic. The reader sees Wellington, with its book launches, cyclists and civil servants, through a filter of angst and unease that makes the events of a middle class life shimmer with fev
Maureen Jansen
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, the insights into life resonated for me and the symbol of the invisible rider in both senses of the words was satisfying. There were lots of moments in the book where I felt a deep sense of affinity with the protagonist.

The Invisible Rider has been much praised in New Zealand on the cusp of its release and I can certainly understand why. Told as a series of short stories based on the same character, it builds up into a satisfying piece of work that is tantamount to a novel.
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Katrina by: Radio NZ National
I really enjoyed how this novel evoked Wellington - the weather, the hills, the politics. In places it was also quite funny, although occasionally in a way that feels like an insider joke.

The first three chapters were especially good, and I enjoyed them immensely. I can't tell you how many times I've thought this:
...not for the first time he wished a serious but non-fatal illness upon himself, something that put him in bed for a couple of weeks but still left him able to read.

However, the rest
Jilly Lind
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was really cool to read a book written by someone you actually know and to recognise some of the locations in the book. I blitzed this book in a morning- a testament to how much I enjoyed this debut novel. The illustrations are great too and add to the dreamlike sequences in the story. Like any good book it left you wanting more.

Helen Heath
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Clever discontinuous narrative, funny, sad, sweet.
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You can read my review here: ...more
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