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Kiwis Might Fly

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  241 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
When Polly Evans read a survey claiming that the last bastion of masculinity, the real Kiwi bloke, was about to breathe his last, she was seized by a sense of foreboding. Abandoning the London winter she took off on a motorbike for the windswept beaches and golden plains of New Zealand, hoping to root out some examples of this endangered species for posterity. But her chal ...more
331 pages
Published 2004 by Bantam
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Brad
Nov 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, humorous
Polly Evans is a big whiner. But it’s kind of cute actually.

Whether she is complaining about the sixty school boys with whom she had to share her time in Rotorua or complaining about the cross winds while riding a bike much too big for her, she's got an affability about her gloominess that suggests at least some part of it is a put on.

Her personality makes Kiwis Might Fly a manipulatively calculated adventure story unlike any travel book I've read before (although I am, admittedly, a neophyte wh
...more
Rebecca
Mar 17, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Completely uninspired New Zealand travelogue with two gimmicks -- riding a motorcycle cross-country, searching for the endangered Kiwi "bloke" -- that she seems to forget until she needs a segue. One cliche after another, a bundle of random events tied up together and published. blugh.
Sally906
Feb 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
After she read that the stereotypical Kiwi male was a dying species, Polly Evans got herself a motorcycle licence then flew to the other side of the world for a journey around New Zealand to see if she could still find examples of the hard-living, hard-drinking, ingenious New Zealand bloke of pioneer days.

I have read some of Polly’s previous books – Fried Eggs with Chopsticks, Mad Dogs with an English woman and On a Hoof and a Prayer – and really enjoyed them. In KIWIS MIGHT FLY Polly Evans deci
...more
yo
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little silly, but overall entertaining and full of interesting information about New Zealand.
Sonatajessica
Mar 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Traveljunkies
Shelves: read-in-2012, journey
Sweet, sweet nostalgia! I never rode a motorcycle in my life but I was right there as a passenger with Polly on her trip through New Zealand, revisiting and even discovering a couple of places I missed in my own days backpacking Kiwiland.
This is a light, fun travel book and I quite like that, it has something of a female Bill Bryson. She isn't quite as funny, I chuckled more than I actually laughed but her approach to the journey grew on me so I could overlook one ore two over whingey comments.
...more
Jess Neuner
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, reviewed
Despite a rather shaky excuse for the trip (a newspaper article mentioned that the quintessential 'Kiwi bloke' was a dying species and she flew all the way to New Zealand to find out for herself), this was a great read. I've recently been to New Zealand myself and was delighted to revisit the country in my imagination, even if I can't go back just yet.

I was much more interested in the author's journey to becoming a competent motorbiker and her increasing connection to New Zealand than I was in t
...more
Radford Secondary Library
When Polly Evans read a survey claiming that the last bastion of masculinity, the real Kiwi bloke, was about to breathe his last, she was seized by a sense of foreboding. Abandoning the London winter she took off on a motorbike for the windswept beaches and golden plains of New Zealand, hoping to root out some examples of this endangered species for posterity. But her challenges didn't stop at the men. Just weeks after passing her test, Polly rode from Auckland's glitzy Viaduct Basin to the vine ...more
Barbara
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barbara by: Lesley
Shelves: travel
LOVED IT! Ok, partly because I loved my own experience in NZ and eat up anything that takes me back again. This was my first encounter with Polly Evans -- it was a gift from Lesley in England, before it made the shelves here in the US. Even her early comments about learning to ride a motorcycle, and getting to know her rental in NZ, had me laughing out loud! The search for the last Kiwi bloke--well, great framework for the rest of her travels. She's a great observer, marrying the odd and unusual ...more
Diane
Mar 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Travelers & those who wish they were
Recommended to Diane by: Inez, the most elegant & gracious of all travelers
A fun read about a 32-year old London woman who rents a fast bike in New Zealand and tours North & South, looking for the personification of the real Kiwi bloke. Along the way, she battles and comes to terms with a bike too fast and powerful for a novice, one-lane railroad/car bridges and sheep.

While the search for a real manly man grew old quickly, I thoroughly enjoyed Evans' view of New Zealand's roads, attractions and towns. I laughed at her when she finally realized that no one in New Z
...more
Karen Banks
Jul 13, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm finished this book because I'm abandoning it. I have read three other Polly Evans books and thoroughly enjoyed two of them -- I didn't like parts of Fried Egg and Chopsticks because I did not believe Evans actually like China and it colored her writing in a negative way. But the whole premise of Kiwis Might Fly is finding the real New Zealand male who has, according to Evans, become emasculated (liberally paraphrasing Evans). And Evans riding a top of the line model motorcycle the entire tim ...more
Phair
Aug 28, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travelogue
Premise for this grand tour of New Zealand was to find that vanishing species: the 'Original Kiwi bloke' who has largely been superceded by the caring, sensitive, considerate male. There were some good descriptions of the wide variety of NZ landscape but it was not as vivid and interesting as it could have been. Her 'study' kept intruding and there was far too much about herself and her experiences as a motorbiking novice.

Having had a New Zealand pen-pal for many years as a teen I was fairly f
...more
Nancy Lewis
Polly Evans can tell an engaging tale, but she throws superfluous junk into her stories. Endless descriptions of pumping gas, pages of driving down a dirt road just so she can tell us she made a u-turn. Here's her anecdote about getting carded at the liquor store:

"The checkout girl looked blank. She had clearly never seen a British driving license before. She screwed up her pimply nose... 'And there's my date of birth,' I jabbed my wrinkled finger at the spot, 'nineteen seventy.' The girl looke
...more
Marilyn
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Evans has written an entertaining account of her motorcycle exploration of New Zealand, told with a great sense of humor and more than a little British reserve. She is constantly taken aback by how polite and friendly New Zealanders are, and does not seem taken with trying to be friendly herself. But her description of the country, and of her eventual success at conquering her extreme fear of the motorcycle, makes for an engrossing read. Looking for the ultimate Kiwi bloke was fun too. Read ...more
MB (What she read)
Advertised as a travel adventure to discover Kiwi blokes, this turns out to be mostly 'what Polly did'. A few sentences here and there with flat and minimal character details do not satisfy, or rise to the level as advertised.

However, having been indoctrinated with Essie Summers' harlequins at an early age, all extolling the wonders of New Zealand, (and it's hunky menfolk), it's kind of interesting to read a modern and non-fictional version.

Readers who enjoy travel writing similar to Bill Bryso
...more
Mary Glass
Long, winding road with a view

You take a trip with a good friend. There are moments of great fun and closeness and moments of irritation. The whole motorcycle issue made me a little mad. Just foolish. A nut. And the leathers. A vain nut. And the whole snarky Kiwi Bloke angle. A vain nut on the make? But, no! Our own fighting Polly is a far better lass than that! She covers a great deal of ground pretty well. History, geography, major spots and things to do all covered. Not a bad trip, after all.
Anna
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why Polly Evans needed the straw man of looking for a macho kiwi male (that we wouldn't like anyway) instead of a straight up travel memoir by a newly minted and therefore, inexperienced, motorcycle rider. Kiwis Might Fly is very funny and quite wryly observed. Pity that she didn't like Christchurch though (especially since she got to see it pre-earthquake) since it really is/was a lovely city. My favourite chapter was her visit to Stewart Island and it really made me want to go the ...more
silfanny
Oct 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book appealed to me a lot because I've been to New Zealand. Lived there for onee year in fact so I know what's she's talking about in her book and laugh at it because it was so true. Like her writing style. Am thinking of reading her other books as well
Jenny
Fun book. I envy Polly's independence. I'm no good at traveling and really don't enjoy it but I love hearing about the places she visits and what she sees and does. I think This was one of her better ones I've read so far.
Michael Seeds
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A man would not admit that he dropped his motorcycle and could not lift it back up, but Evans takes us along on her motorcycle tour in search of a true Kiwi bloke. The charm of the book is the people she meets and the insights she gives us into the character of New Zealand.
Alex
Feb 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Being a Kiwi made this book interesting being able to picture all the places she went to in my head but I found it much more interesting when she was riding around Spain on a bicycle then New Zealand on a motorcycle.
Cheryl
Jun 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed vicariously riding around New Zealand on a motorcycle too big to handle.
Shirley beverly
May 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is fun, I will never experience traveling on a motorcycle through New Zealand or anywhere else so I have loved her stories!
Cassandra Joseph
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted a map of New Zealand so I could follow where she was. It was a good account of how people are adapting to societal and environmental changes around us.
Brandi
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book was alright & it gave a nice detailed your of the country, but it didn't hold my interest very well.
Emma
Dec 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Cool girl motorcycles around New Zealand. Inspiring and funny!
Lizz
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably her best book to date. I've read all of her books and this one is even a tad better than Fried Eggs with Chopsticks. She is on a hilarious trek through New Zealand.
Cynthia
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I always love a travel adventure book.
Natasha Hassan
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so much fun to read. My only complaint? She focused too much on finding her macho Kiwi guy that it took away from some of the other points of the book.
S Reinarz
Basically a travelogue. Not deep or detailed, but a different perspective. Consider this very light author-centered reading. Enjoyable for an interlude, but that is it.
Chris Schaffer
It was pretty funny at first but I feel like the travels through New Zealand took too long. I do like her funny, irreverent and informative style of writing.
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