Once Were Warriors

Once Were Warriors

by Alan Duff

Paperback(1st Vintage International ed)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679761815
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/1995
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: 1st Vintage International ed
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 271,720
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.45(d)

About the Author

Alan Duff was born in 1950 and lives with his wife and four children in Havelock North, New Zealand. He has published the novels Once Were Warriors and One Night Out Stealing; a novella, State Ward; and a work of nonfiction, Maori: The Crisis and the Challenge. His novel Once Were Warriors won the PEN Best First Book for Fiction Award and was made into an internationally acclaimed film, for which Duff wrote the original screenplay.

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Once Were Warriors 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once Were Warriors is an urban drama published in the 90's by author Alan Duff. The major theme is that nothing is more powerful than a mother's love. Significant charcters in Once Were Warriors are Jake Heke and his family. Jake is an abusive who abuses his wife and children in and out of drunk rages. Although it would not seem,he greatly love his family. Jake is the one who brings home the bacon.His wife Beth Heke loves her children more than anything which is exactly why she puts up with Jake and remains at home.The Children that are significant to the story are Grace, Nig, and Boogie 'Mark'. Boogie is continuously getting into trouble with the law. Nig is tired of living at home so he leaves and joins a street gang and looks to them as though they were his family. Grace is their oldest daughter who has the most problems. The only peice of setting that is needed in this story is the time era it is in. The book could take place anywhere in the world but not anytime in history. Major conflicts include Jake getting fired from his job eaving them with no income. Boogie getting arrested for breaking into a car, going to court, and being taken to a foster home. At a party, one night, everyone is drinking and Nig finally comes home but unexpectedly to an unpleasant scene. Drunk: his mother slaps him, so he leaves to his 'family' at the pub'bar. Upset with herself she screams at he brother-in-law, so Jake beats her up. And most disgustingly somewhere within this time Grace is being raped by a mystery person.In time Grace realizes she is through putting up with her family and so she hang herself. The element that Duff uses is not showing the strong, independent side of Beth. He also uses the diary Grace writes in to show secret truth. Jake thinks he is the rapist so he leaves to live at a park and reflect. He couldn't remember because he was too drunkat the time. The story definitely shows suspense and hard-hitting realism. One important quote frome the book no one said, I just found it while reading. It was more of a tagline. It reads, 'Her only chance at her future is to embrace the power of her past... Nothing is more powerful than a mother's love.' The story is read in a third. The narrator was reliable in most parts of the story. The only part was not revealing who the rapist was. The story needed a third person point of view much would've changed or not been known if it wasn't. Once Were Warriors was an excellent and strong piece of literature. Alan Duff really outdid himself. The book was great. The only thing that bothers is not knowing who the rapist was but otherwise, perfect. I recommend this book to people with likes of suspense and drama. This book has an excellent story line. Marvelous plot. People who like books with good plot this book is a must.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kia ora, I saw the movie when it was first released in NZ and since arriving in Plymouth, United Kingdom have reccommended both the first and second film as well as the books. A reality hit from a Maori perspective rather than a Pakeha trying to see through the eyes of a Maori person. Kia kaha NZ
Guest More than 1 year ago
A book that breaks down what really happens in a soicaty hidden from public view, Allan Duff allows you to fall into this world of alcohol and abuse and to come out with a true understanding of life in a proverished sociaty. The story of the 'Hekes' is both gripping and saddening to see life through the eyes of the poor, and espeically those of a different race who live in the shadow of the pakeha ( white person ). This book is a credit to all New Zealanders, with my self being one i feel a sense of pride and self betrayel as i read this gripping novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alan Duff is a real storyteller. The language he uses is coarse and dark yet melodious at the same time, in perfect tune with the events he's telling you about. The words are almost a singsong in your head, giving a view of a society, you hear almost nothing about.
bastardmoon on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Reading this book was such a colossal chore, which is why I didn¿t finish it. Don¿t quote me but I believe F. Scott Fitzgerald once dismissed Jack Kerouac¿s novels as an example of ¿typing, not writing.¿ I believe the same sentiment applies here.Once Were Warriors focuses on the Hekes, a Maori family living (if it can be called that) in the slum of Pine Block; the Hekes¿ home is directly adjacent to the palatial mansion of the pakeha (meaning white, and therefore much loathed, apparently) Tramberts. Way to kick a brother when he¿s down, right? Beth and Jake are both too drunk and disillusioned to care much for their kids: Nig, who has joined the local gang; Boogie, who was sentenced to a juvenile correctional facility (his parents were unable to attend the sentencing as they were both too hungover and Jake had beaten Beth to a pulp the night before); and Grace, who is the fragile, sensitive girl and, in keeping with Alan Duff¿s cliched characterizations, is doomed by her situation.There are several things that make this novel hard to read. Alan Duff does not write in the conventional way; his sentences lack punctuation and are often grammatically and syntactically incorrect (hence the comparison to Jack Kerouac). The characters are bogged down by Mr. Duff¿s persistently morbid vision and simplistic moralizing; Mr. Duff then does a 180 and resorts to cheap sappiness for the ending (which I won¿t reveal here). That¿s not to say that the book wasn¿t emotionally stirring. Given the state of race relations here in the US, I¿m sure that many American readers would be able to relate or would at least be familiar with the Hekes¿ situation. But the author¿s aggressively dismal tone throughout the book ruins the reading experience; the characters never emerge from their roles as the bitter outcasts, and Mr. Duff¿s (misguided) political and social grandstanding show that he has no sympathy for his own characters. Mr. Duff¿s self-important moralizing screams of arrogance and self-satisfaction.So, yes, Once Were Warriors is thought-provoking (although that¿s not necessarily meant in a positive way), but is it good writing? I¿m inclined to say, no, absolutely not.
justablondemoment on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Very hard book to read. I actually had to stop reading ..watch movie...then started reading it again just to get an idea of what was going on. The story is an excellent one but the style of writing was horrid for me. It really put a halt on the whole enjoyment of it. I'm really wanting to read the second one but am really hesitating to do so. FYI--the movie is really good to but different from the book.
gmillar on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is scary good even if you are not a New Zealander. So is the movie but this is a better way of telling the story and it sticks. I read it a long time ago and it still comes back to me at night.
wordygirl39 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book broke my heart. It is beautifully written, every word carefully chosen, and the story itself is the story of Colonization and slavery all over the world. It is also the story of a people--of a woman--who survives.