Slipping into Paradise: Why I Live in New Zealand

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Overview

In the tradition of Under the Tuscan Sun and A Year in Provence, here is Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s ode to his personal paradise–his adopted home, New Zealand. After living in California, why did Masson settle– out of all the places on earth–in such a faraway land? It turns out that while visiting a beautiful sandy beach just fifteen minutes from bustling Auckland, Masson and his family were utterly seduced by the exotic locale. There was little deliberation. This place, surrounded by lush forest on a bay dotted...
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New York, NY 2004 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Clean and tight-unused copy-Excellent! ! Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 248 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: ... General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In the tradition of Under the Tuscan Sun and A Year in Provence, here is Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s ode to his personal paradise–his adopted home, New Zealand. After living in California, why did Masson settle– out of all the places on earth–in such a faraway land? It turns out that while visiting a beautiful sandy beach just fifteen minutes from bustling Auckland, Masson and his family were utterly seduced by the exotic locale. There was little deliberation. This place, surrounded by lush forest on a bay dotted with volcanic islands, would be their new home.
Masson takes readers on a remarkable journey to another world, as he and his family “slip into” the paradise that is New Zealand. For anyone who has ever dreamed of finding utopia, Masson reveals a country where neighbors talk to one another and provide a sense of real community–rarely, outside of the big cities, locking their doors–and where politics are as mellow as the weather. New Zealand is also a land of spectacular scenery, made even more famous for being the shooting location for the Lord of the Rings films. The flora is plentiful. Mangroves, banana plants, papaya trees, and more than ten thousand species of ferns grow wild and freely. The fauna is benign. There are no snakes, tarantulas, or scorpions. Children can walk to school barefoot without a care– there is nothing to sting them, bite them, or give them a rash. In the blue waters near the lush coastline, dolphins and orcas abound.

While describing his love affair with the country and his affinity for its citizens, Masson reflects on the meaning of home, the importance of acting on intuition, and what happens when we lose our connection to the place we live in. Responding to an impulse, Masson reveals, he realized a dream.

Featuring a its glossary of phrases used by New Zealanders and important Maori words, as well as the author’s recommended travel itinerary, Slipping into Paradise is ideal for anyone planning a visit to this exquisite land. Full of photographs, delightful anecdotes, and little-known facts (jogging, for example, was invented in New Zealand), Slipping into Paradise is also a book for those who fantasize about dramatically changing their lives–and who imagine something better for themselves. Jeffrey Masson’s message: New Zealand awaits.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Should you move to New Zealand? "The short answer," writes Masson in this breathless paean to his adopted home, "is `Yes.' " Comprising two large islands, New Zealand is "the green gem in the middle of the South Pacific." Its physical beauty will be familiar to anyone who's seen The Lord of the Rings: the country boasts a temperate climate, beautiful beaches, towering mountains, exotic animals and lush vegetation. New Zealand's human inhabitants are just as remarkable, legendary for their modesty and warmth. When Masson, an American psychologist and author (The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, etc.), wants to interview the foreign minister, he finds him in the phone book. When he wants to chat with the country's most famous icon, Sir Edmund Hillary, he simply drops by his home. Though Masson is eager to portray New Zealand as "benign, gentle, friendly, and safe," he also acknowledges that it can seem remote, provincial and dull. Actually, the country's isolation may explain why it has one of the world's highest suicide rates, and why Masson spends three months of each year elsewhere. Blending history, geography, memoir and travelogue, Masson's book is a hodgepodge, but it succeeds in promoting New Zealand as an attractive place for a vacation-if not a permanent stay. Maps. Agent, Elaine Markson. (On sale Aug. 3) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Masson, best known for his books on psychoanalysis and animal emotions (e.g., Dogs Never Lie About Love), here shares his fondness for his adoptive country of New Zealand. Focusing largely on the benign and beautiful indigenous and introduced flora and fauna on the islands, Masson also notes the loss of species and habitat, lamenting the extinction of many of the islands' animals (e.g., the moa, a flightless bird that was hunted to extinction by 1400), which had developed for millions of years with no predators. A brief overview of the country's history its Maori, other Polynesian people, and European settlers gives readers a basic understanding of how New Zealand has developed into the country it is today, one that many see as a paradise: a place of perceived safety, low pollution, beauty, and recent Lord of the Rings fame. For those planning a short vacation, the author also briefly outlines some must-see places. Highly readable, this work conveys an acute and astute sense of life in New Zealand, mostly on the North Island. Recommended for all travel collections. Sheila Kasperek, Mansfield Univ Lib., PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Masson, seeker of animal wisdom and human truth (The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats, 2002, etc.), pens a love letter to New Zealand. Apparently it's a lot more than Canada in a better location or the place Peter Jackson shot Lord of the Rings. According to the author, this isolated land of do-it-yourselfers, home to four million unpretentious kiwis, is the last Eden, and Masson has found a home at last. He's applied for citizenship in this antipodal paradise, where prehistoric rainforest primeval flourishes virtually outside his window. In the New Zealand woods, he rhapsodizes over the beautiful puriri, the mighty totara trees, and the friendly piwakqwaka, not to mention the moving call of the morepork. In addition to all the trees, birds, flora, and fauna, New Zealand boasts the natural phenomenon of Sir Edmund Hillary, whom our arborist-ornithologist-philosopher visits eagerly. Masson also salutes all things Maori, with perhaps a bit of equivocation regarding old reports of cannibalism. He provides a suggested itinerary ("follow the route to Titirangi") to locate some of the pleasures of "Godzone Newzillan" (that's God's own New Zealand to you outlanders), from Hot Water Beach to the best falafel in the country. Another plus, declares the author: there are no public intellectuals in New Zealand. On the debit side, the suicide rate rivals Finland's, people regularly spank their children, and the performing arts are a bit lacking-though Masson overlooks a national anthem that ranks as one of the world's best. On a personal level, our far-from-shy scribe unabashedly honors his family and himself: in India, Masson recalls, "Pundits could not get enough of my questions and would speak with mein Sanskrit for as long as I could stay awake!"A blissful travel book transfixed on a specially favored geography, and an intriguing chapter in the author's ongoing personal history. (English/Maori glossaries; b&w photos, not seen)Agent: Elaine Markson/Elaine Markson Literary Agency
From the Publisher
“Jeff Masson is one of the world’s most erudite polymaths. He is also a brilliant and original thinker. So, naturally, even in paradise he is restless, but then any paradise devoid of the spice of intellectual quest and moral debate would be tedious. One does not so much ‘slip’ into Masson’s paradise as take a razorback ride, full of wit and insight, through his views on culture, national identity, public intellectuals, New Zealand history, New Zealand flora, fauna, and beaches. There is never a dull moment, and I suspect that this book will cause a further surge in the tourist boom to the Land of the Long White Cloud.”
–JANETTE TURNER HOSPITAL, author of Due Preparations for the Plague

“Since arriving in New Zealand four years ago, Jeffrey Masson has traveled widely and met thousands of New Zealanders as part of his quest to better understand his adopted homeland. His book reflects that. Written by someone who clearly loves the country and is prepared to say so, it’s an effective introduction to anyone who wants to know more about a society on the cusp of new beginnings. New Zealand isn’t just a scenic wonderland, or the place that gave us Sir Edmund Hillary and Peter Jackson, and Masson suggests the reasons why.”
–PHIL GOFF, New Zealand’s minister of foreign affairs

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345466143
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/3/2004
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, former psychoanalyst and projects director of the Sigmund Freud Archives, is the bestselling author of two dozen books, including Raising the Peaceable Kingdom, Slipping into Paradise, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats, Dogs Never Lie About Love, and When Elephants Weep. A longtime resident of Berkeley, California, he now lives in New Zealand with his wife, his two sons, and several animal friends.

From the Hardcover edition.

Biography

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s career falls not-so-neatly into two rather distinct phases. In his early days, as a Freudian scholar and disenchanted psychoanalyst, he was an author-combatant (he uses the term “maverick” on his Web site), challenging perceived thinking on Sigmund Freud and therapy itself.

He rankled sensibilities, attracted often-harsh criticism and lost his post as guardian of the Freud Archives. He even became embroiled in one of the most notorious libel battles of recent times, alleging that writer Janet Malcolm made up quotes in her highly unflattering two-part profile of him in the New Yorker in 1983.

In the second -- and more commercially successful -- phase, Masson has instead focused his psychological insights on a community that cannot talk back: the animal kingdom. Beginning with When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Life of Animals in 1995, Masson has put dogs, cats, mongooses, etc., on the couch, explaining that they, just like their more litigious bipedal cousins, have feelings.

"A masterpiece,” said Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of a similar classic, The Hidden Life of Dogs, “the most comprehensive and compelling argument for animal sensibility that I've yet seen."

Even amid the controversy of the early part of his career, Masson garnered positive reviews for his translations of Sigmund Freud’s letters and his passionate critiques of psychotherapy. (To be sure, he garnered less glowing ones as well.) A former Sanskrit scholar, Masson was placed in the care of the famous doctor’s archives. But when his research in those same archives turned up correspondence that he said discredited Freudian’s theories about sexual abuse among children, he made those findings public. He lost his position and faced the wrath of Freud’s defenders.

In the Nation, though, he found support. Reviewing Masson’s book on the discovery, the newspaper wrote: “Those who bother to read The Assault on Truth will probably be surprised to discover that the book is a lavishly documented, carefully reasoned work, written in a straightforward, readable style, with only occasional polemical flourishes. The passion of the book is that of a scholar trying to solve a puzzle; only now and then does the voice break to reveal the bewildered outrage and pain of the recently excommunicated disciple.”

His translation of the letters in question drew praise from The New York Times: "The publication of The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess represents an important moment of truth... The general public can now evaluate at first hand the evidence bearing on the various controversial issues raised by the letters... Of more lasting importance, however, is the insight this new edition provides into the creative process at work in the formation of a fundamentally important scientific theory."

His 1988 attack on therapy itself, Against Therapy: Emotional Tyranny and the Myth of Psychological Healing was dismissed by many as a screed, but Time pointed out that screeds can sometimes also be wake-up calls: “Masson raises some intriguing points, even if he insists on doing so at the top of his voice. Psychotherapy is a big and largely unchallenged business in the U.S.; many of its practitioners wield considerable influence over personal lives and public policy. Once in a while, it does no harm to listen to an alarmist hollering that some of those shrinks have no clothes.”

Not until Masson turned to the psychological study of animals did he draw the widespread attention of the public at large. When Elephants Weep, written with Susan McCarthy, may have had critics pointing out that his evidence was largely anecdotal – the title, in fact, comes from a story of a circus elephant that collapsed in tears when it couldn’t learn a new routine – but an animal-loving public ate it up. Elephants has been translated into more than 20 languages and has sold more than a half a million copies in the United States alone.

That set the stage for a hugely popular follow-up Dogs Never Lie About Love: Reflections on the Emotional Lives of Dogs. A bestseller, it won praise from the Los Angeles Times for its risk-taking and uncompromising puppy love. “The strengths that this Sanskrit scholar,” she wrote, “brings to his subject are intelligence, originality and a refreshing willingness to go out on a good number of scientifically unsupported limbs in his enthusiasm for canines.”

Now for the felines. The Nine Emotional Live of Cats: A Journey into the Feline Heart, released in the fall of 2002, again won praise from Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, who penned her own ode to the cat, The Tribe of Tiger: Cats and Their Culture. "An affectionate, completely engaging book full of new insights into the emotional lives of cats,” she said. “Of course, all cats are interesting, but Masson’s five felines seem particularly so – and you don’t need to be a cat lover to enjoy them via these pages."

Masson’s turn to the wild kingdom has brought him financial success certainly, but he says the rewards run even deeper than that. As he told Newsday in 1997, “I learned more about emotions from dogs than I did from my psychoanalysis. I think dogs make better therapists than Freudian analysts… and they don’t cost as much, either.”

Good To Know

Masson legally changed his middle name from Lloyd to Moussaieff in 1975.

In June 1980, when he was interviewing with Sigmund Freud’s 84-year-old daughter Anna for the position to head the Freud Archives, he walked her pet Chow in the back yard.

Masson's long-term goal is to help his wife, Leila, set up a camp for children with chronic illnesses where they can learn alternative methods to diminish pain.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jeffrey Lloyd Masson (birth name, legally changed in 1975)
    2. Hometown:
      Auckland, New Zealand
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 28, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A., Harvard, 1964; Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1978, Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard, 1970

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Why I Live in New Zealand

The affair began on the flight from Sydney to Auckland. I was sitting next to a tall, blond woman. She was beautiful. She was young-thirty-four. She was also smart (she had studied at Harvard, the University of California-San Francisco, France, Germany) and spoke five languages fluently. She was a doctor and she had a charming sense of humor. As the plane circled Auckland and I looked out, I realized I was falling in love. Not with her. I already fell in love with her six years previously. She was my wife. I mean with Newzillin (New Zealand). As we circled over Auckland, I could see the whole city laid out beneath me, but what really got my attention were the ocean, the harbor, and the bays. Everywhere you looked there was water, and small green islands with volcanoes on them. It reminded me of Hawaii, and I have always had a soft spot for Hawaii, ever since I lived there as a fourteen-year-old for one year, and then had strange ecstatic dreams about tropical oceans for years after. When I got off the plane, I saw green hills surrounding the airport. But they were not the green I was used to. This green was like no other green I had ever seen. It was green green. And the blue of the water near the airport was blue blue. There was a strong breeze blowing in the balmy summer (it was December-remember, reversed seasons in the Southern Hemisphere), as it often blows in Auckland, taking away the little pollution there is. So the light is not distorted in the way it is in Los Angeles. I had just been running in California, at Laguna Beach, where my mother lived, and while I loved the place as you can only love the places of your childhood, I could barely see the hills just a mile or less away, so bad was the smog. Yellow air everywhere. So this is what the world looked like when you were seeing it without interference.

There is a joke about New Zealanders. As soon as you arrive in the customs area at the airport, the officer, sensitive as all New Zealanders are to perceptions of their country, asks: "How do you like New Zealand?" (The mandatory answer of course is: "The most beautiful country on earth," or, as they say here, Godzone.) How on earth, foreigners wonder, can you know when you have just disembarked? But I knew, I knew. And it was no joke, the woman at the desk did ask me, and I answered truthfully: I am in love! (I am not alone. When my eighty-four-year-old mother had been here for less than a day, she, too, was asked how she liked her new adopted country. Like a nice Jewish lady she always answers a question with a question, so she said, truthfully, "What's not to like?")

People were unbelievably friendly at the airport; there is free coffee and tea, and special lanes at immigration for families with kids. There was a telephone with a big sign: free local calls. Volunteers brought carts to arriving passengers, and offered help. There was a small stream with tropical flowers in the middle of the terminal.

We rented a car and started to drive into the city. The breeze was light, the air was warm, and it felt just like the tropics. Everybody was in shorts and sandals. Actually, lots of kids were barefoot-something else I had not seen since I was in the ninth grade in Kailua. We left the airport and were immediately driving alongside a mangrove swamp. Mangroves! Like Bali. Where was I? Was this really a temperate climate? (For the longest time I was convinced the climate here was tropical, or at least semitropical. I was chagrined to learn it was more soberly called temperate.) Sea wherever you looked. And volcanic mountains. What a paradise, I thought, feeling like I had been given a drug. I was high on the beauty of this place just driving from the airport. What would happen to me in the next few weeks? Leila worried. She was right. Within two days I told her: "I have found my home." Why did I feel like this? Does it happen to others?

When I was living in Toronto, one cold winter morning I told my analyst (I was in training to become a Freudian analyst-bad mistake) that I missed Los Angeles. "Of course," he said, "it is home." Well, that made sense, it was home, for I lived there for most of my childhood. But Auckland, New Zealand? I had never before set foot in this place; how could I feel I had come home? It remains a mystery to me even now, but I find I'll still suddenly feel ecstatic for no good reason just driving along the shore that leads from our house into the center of Auckland. Islands do this to me. Something about being on an island affects me deeply. It is green surrounded by blue. Personally, I think it is deeply rooted in everyone. I am no great fan of sociobiologists (now called evolutionary psychologists), but they have one point I am in agreement with: We have innate, genetically mandated preferences for certain kinds of scenery that involve water and trees. It's really nothing but common sense. If humans evolved in certain climates and landscapes, then to find them again could represent survival, as well as happiness, so it is little surprising that when we see them again, it is if we "recognize" something we already knew. Even hospital patients do better when they look out on green as opposed to a blank wall. Duh, as my daughter Simone frequently used to tell me when she was a teenager.

Over the next few days, my seemingly drugged state did not abate. On the contrary, the more I saw, the more certain I was that this was to be my home. I would drive Leila and our three-year-old son Ilan around Auckland, just exploring at random, and I would bang on the steering wheel in wild enthusiasm: "Look at those giant banyan trees!" Wrong: They are Morton Bay fig trees, from Australia, not native at all. "Look at those giant ferns! This could be a million years ago!" (Actually, I got this right: These were pongas, (Cyathea dealbata), which grow up to forty-five feet high, New Zealand's tallest tree fern. The uncurled parts of the new shoots look like little babies asleep, and they are edible, a tall native fern. They were indeed here when dinosaurs roamed New Zealand.) There were ferns everywhere. Almost all of the ten thousand known species of ferns grow in New Zealand. "Look, avocado trees! Papaya trees! Guava trees! Banana plants, with stalks of red flowers and yellow bananas hanging down!" I drove aimlessly, in a state of enchantment.

We drove out of downtown, along the water's edge, heading east, following the coast. On my left was the water, filled with what seemed a million sailboats (not far off the correct figure-there is practically one boat for everyone in the country). Hundreds of people jogged along the waterfront (jogging was actually invented in New Zealand), and they cheerfully waved at us. We went past a little beach town, Mission Bay-where everyone seemed to be sitting at a café looking out over the beach-past the next little bay, Kohimarama, and then into St. Heliers, another seaside town. Well, town was too big a word for a single street with a bank, a bookstore, a fruit store, a travel shop, a real estate agent, and a post office. Like a scene from a 1950s small American town, women walked along wheeling babies in jogging strollers, or they sat outside the restaurant on the corner, looking out at the magnificent cone of the six-hundred-year-old Rangitoto, the island just two miles offshore that is found in every picture of Auckland. In fact, Auckland is built on volcanoes, and many of them are still, in principle, active.

I kept driving, following the coast. I came to a road, Peacock Street, that was aimed at the sea and said no exit. We parked at the bottom of the road and saw a small path leading down to the ocean. We started walking and found ourselves in a forest of giant pohutukawa trees. They were, I soon learned, possibly a thousand years old, and they were then in bloom with bright red flowers. We passed a tiny monument with a plaque, and stopped to read it. It said something about an 1840 treaty having been signed in this bay, which was called Karaka Bay. I had been browsing through our Rough Guide, and I suddenly realized that the plaque was referring to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the founding document that established New Zealand as a country, a treaty between the indigenous Maori and the recently arrived Europeans. It was the equivalent of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. How could that be? The monument was small, just a rusting tiny spire with names engraved of sixteen local chieftains who had signed the treaty on this spot. In America armed guards would staff this sacred site. Here it looked abandoned.

We walked on. All at once the view opened up and we stared at a vast expanse of ocean with many little green islands just a mile or so offshore. There was a sandy beach with rocks and shells, and a strip of healthy grass along the path. On the other side of the path were ten small houses; such a home is called a bach in New Zealand (from "suitable for a bachelor"?). The movie set was in full flower: A few families were picnicking on the beach, children splashed in the shallow water, and a bright yellow kayak was in the ocean, too. "Leila," I said, "this is it."

"Well, actually," she replied, "if we could live here, on this beach, I would move to New Zealand."

This is where we now live, on the beach in Karaka Bay. As I recount it now, it still feels like a dream. And it is true: Had we not driven through Auckland, had we not wandered down the hidden path to the beach, had I not left my card with the neighbors, had I not agreed to buy the house over the phone, et cetera, I could very easily imagine the dream fading. Instead, here we are, in real time: Leila and I and our two children, living, breathing in New Zealand. About to become New Zealanders. Strange. Beyond strange. It could so easily have been otherwise!

Did this really happen? Of course. But how and why? Why do people move their whole family to a completely new place? Sometimes they must. They are sent or they seek an opportunity, a teaching position, some are even banished from their own country. But on a whim? Because they have a fantasy? How many people have ever sat down in a vast travel library and said: "Right, let's choose the perfect country"? I had not done that. I had stumbled on New Zealand, though I remember when I told somebody in London that I was going there she said, "Ah, the world's best-kept secret." Yet I was totally unprepared for the magnitude of the coup de foudre. It was like falling in love, when something in the other person appeals to something you cannot name or define or even know exists. Some kind of affinity obviously links people.

I had a similar experience with Leila. She had come to visit a fellow German, an artist who was living with me in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco. The three of us went for a walk on a deserted beach just down the highway from the house where we lived. I listened to Leila for a few moments, then I said to her: "Look, the Arabs have a word for it, it's called beshert, 'it is written.' We are destined for each other." She had such an open look. I liked that she was training to be a pediatrician. I liked her manner, the way she laughed with, not at. Only half an hour into our walk and I felt smitten. I continued: "We both speak lots of languages-we have lived in lots of countries. We are both, miraculously, vegetarians, and for similar reasons. We are both passionately interested in the Holocaust. We could travel the world together, live a year in each country for the next twenty years. I know I am twenty-five years older than you, but I know this was meant to be. I think we are going to get married."

Leila laughed in a good-natured way. "Yeah, right. One problem, though."

"Oh? And what might that be?"

"I wouldn't even have lunch with you, let alone marry you. Older is a euphemism. You are ancient. I don't even know anybody as old as you."

I was crushed. Served me right for making such a foolish proposal. Besides, she had a point. Leila was twenty-eight. I was fifty-three. She wanted children and I already had an adult daughter.

But I am getting carried away. I could go on for the next twenty pages telling you how I eventually succeeded in winning Leila over to my side. That is another story. This is about New Zealand. I just wanted to make the point that, yes, I am impulsive, and yes, I act on fantasies, but also that I have, sometimes, a deep intuition when something is right. I was sure about Leila, and I was sure about New Zealand. Something in me responded to the scent of paradise.

I wasn't wrong about Leila. I got it exactly right, and we have been together now for almost ten years. I have found my soul mate, my best friend, the woman in whose arms I will one day die. I know that. Perhaps there is, though, a fantasy element in my love for New Zealand. After all, my life has been dominated by the search for utopias. I have driven across the United States many times, each time taking a different route. And each time there is a hopeless longing, a fantasy really. It overcomes me at certain moments, usually in the early evening. The sun is about to set. My companion and I have stopped talking, lost in our thoughts. There is a sense of autumn, of leaves turning, of days becoming shorter, of the arrival, soon, of winter. As we drive along there is a signpost for a small town I have never heard of, somewhere in Utah, or Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Northern California, upstate Oregon, or near Seattle. We climb a hill, and then, just before the little town is visible-wham, I am hit with my fantasy.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2005

    LOVE this book and I know you will too

    I personally LOVE this book....just brings back memories of home....I would recommend this book to anyone who has always wanted to travel to New Zealand, but couldn't afford it.....this book will take you there...trust me....this book made me feel sooooooo home sick.....Good memories and the beauty of the country......when you read this book....the author isn't BS about the breath taking environment.....New Zealand is truly a ' TREASURE ISLAND!!'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2005

    Slipped...and Missed

    I agree with Chris who reviewed in Oct. Overall disappointing, and not enough in the vein of the various 'Tuscany' books. I also expected to experience his view of the people; how the author integrated into his neghborhood; and delt with the different systems. As an ex-patriot Kiwi, I was expecting alot more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2004

    Somewhat disappointing

    I think the book is mis-marketed. It's a good overview on some of the known facts about history, botony etc. Interesting. I was hoping for more about the people and feelings someone might experience moving to NZ. This was touched on throughout, but I came away thinking that I was missing something.

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