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The Doctor Jesus Sanatorium

Ivan Bootham

Writing commercials for a radio station in a provincial 1960s New Zealand town is a reality on which Tom is more than willing to lose his grip. Meanwhile, his wife Barbara struggles to keep her grip on the reality of caring for their baby daughter and of being a suburban housewife.
Tom's hold on his workaday existence is loosened by treating his copy writing as an exercise in comedy and engaging in memo-swapping warfare with an eccentric colleague in the radio station's programme section.
The novel is in three interlinking parts. Part I is given over to Tom's day in and outside the radio station. Part II centres on Barbara's day, and a personal encounter unlike all the others she has recently experienced. Part III is a conversation piece: recording how Barbara, Tom and his English parents (with their peculiar view of reality) make it through the evening. Their after-dinner chat proves, one way or another, to have a mind-altering effect.
In The Doctor Jesus Sanatorium, Ivan Bootham again reveals his special brand of social comedy, acutely observed and spiced with a dash of the erotic.

ISBN 0-473-09180-1
200pp Paperback

Sense & Sensuality
Ivan Bootham

"Sense & Sensuality is the story, if told obliquely, of a poet's struggles with the demon of sexual infatuation in a 21st century urban environment. He is initially deceived by his own irony, his restrained tone of speech, and artistic taste, but it is through them that he eventually achieves a resolution of his predicament. He is given the choice of release from the burden of ever again having to write poetry (should he accept its assurance there is life after poetry) or to write poetry with values of a kind he had not hitherto been capable of wholeheartedly subscribing to."
(An extract from the preface by Ivan Bootham)

ISBN 0-473-08849-5

The Book of Cheerful Despair
Short Stories
Ivan Bootham

"Bootham has a black sense of humour . . . the collection of short stories exposes painters discussing women with writers, sculptors agonising over form, artists getting philosophical about life, homosexuality and how to drum up sales . . . Reading The Book of Cheerful Despair is like listening to a conversation in which, with typical artistic indecision, conclusions are never reached."

ISBN 0-473-08157-1
136pp Paperback

"I've very much enjoyed reading, smiling and puzzling over The Book of Cheerful Despair" - Lois Daish.

Quince.Noon The Trilogy

Three Novellas
Ivan Bootham

The three novellas that make up this comic trilogy - Quince.Noon, Under Godnose Wart and The Last Trumpet  - are all portraits of artists struggling to come to terms with the gap between their creative aspirations and their achievements. At times ironic, acerbic, humorous and moving, Ivan Bootham is a unique voice in New Zealand fiction.

 What Reviewers Said  

"..a very funny little novel,” said the NZ Listener, November 29, 1975 of Quince.Noon when it was first appeared as a stand-alone novella. Writing about satirical literature in his Bookmarks column (NZ Listener, 4 October 1975) Michael King isaid that amongst “Recent good examples of the genre are ... Quince.Noon,a tale of an amiable Kiwi artist  by Wellington novelist Ivan Bootham.”

"... Narrated in diary form, the story offers a series of vignettes and observation by a middle-aged man trying to convince himself and his family that he wants to paint full-time and seriously. Commissions to paint pubs and horses are the most he can manage; the story of his half-hearted frustrations is amusing, and the narrator's persistent jokiness is qualified ("I wonder if I'm as much a source of fun for other people as I am for myself") as his story ends in inconclusive hope." The Press (Christchurch), July 31, 1976.

"... It's something to brood over. Readers wanting a sterner puzzle can think about the title." Russell Bond, The Dominion, October 4, 1975

" ... With clever use of miss-spellings, block letters, layout, and with the few cartoon sketches, QUINCE.NOON is a visual book. It could be read easily in one sitting - but demands re-reading." Wendy Allardice, Independent Herald, October 7, 1976

ISBN 0-473-07397-8
134pp Paperback

Hoaks Quibble and Other Poems
Ngaire Snow

Do winging drotties get you down? Is it time to digglefloop your drappies? Welcome to the fantastical world of Hoaks Quibble!
Learn how the Custo builds his Blod. Laugh at Snorvid the Bold. Sympathise with Lost Boris. Weep with The Darkling. Follow the mysterious quest for the Gort. Stroll along Pilchy Top. Let your imagination take you where you've never been before - and your gartlegrods will smile!
Ngaire Snow's first book is a brilliant collection of "Learish" nonsense and zany fun to be enjoyed by children of all ages.

ISBN 0-473-08972-6
48 pp (A5) Paperback