Review: A Land of Two Halves

A Land of Two Halves
by Joe Bennett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Joe Bennett hitchhikes across New Zealand, and lives to write about it.

Bennett, a transplanted Brit living and working in New Zealand since 1987 (the book was published in 2004) clearly loves his adopted country, even though the conceit of this book is that it's about a quest to determine whether he should stay on in NZ after his elderly dog passes on, or return to England.

Written in a breezy style this travelogue follows the acerbic, middle-aged author as he makes his way first around the South Island, then the North.  While Bennett's wit can come across as sarcastic or negative, the strength of the book are the stories of the people he meets and the sense of place you get from them.   

Not quite a Bill Bryson or Tim Cahill, but an enjoyable read, especially if, like me, you've had an opportunity to travel in New Zealand yourself and so can compare notes (so to speak).

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