The Commercial Hotel
When John Summers moved to a small town in the Wairarapa and began to look closely at the less celebrated aspects of local life - our club rooms, freezing works, night trains, hotel pubs, landfills - he saw something deeper. It was a story about his own life, but mostly about a place and its people. The story was about life and death in New Zealand.
Combining reportage and memoir, The Commercial Hotel is a sharp-eyed, poignant yet hilarious tour of Aotearoa: a place in which Arcoroc mugs and dog-eared political biographies are as much a part of the scenery as the hills we tramp through ill-equipped. We encounter Elvis impersonators, the eccentric French horn player and adventurer Bernard Shapiro, Norman Kirk balancing timber on his handlebars while cycling to his building site, and Summer's grandmother: the only woman imprisoned in New Zealand for protesting World War Two. And we meet the ghosts who haunt our loneliest spaces.
14cm x 21cm x 1.7cm
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