Shedding Skin

by Nick Marsden | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0143020277 Global Overview for this book
Registered by futurecat of Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on 5/25/2009
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Monday, May 25, 2009
From the Regent booksale.

A generally light-hearted story about snakes (including the two-legged kind) and immigration, and the difficulties and prejudices new immigrants face when coming to New Zealand. I'm not sure the author was entirely clear whether he was trying to write humour or social commentary (I suspect it was supposed to be satire, combining both, but the humour isn't clever enough for that), so the narrative stumbles at times trying to achieve both aims.

My biggest stumbling block with the book as social commentary is that (spoiler follows, highlight to read) almost all the immigrants end up successfully carving out a niche for themselves and making money. I'm guessing the reason he did that is to forcefully illustrate that so many of the immigrants we see in low-end jobs are intelligent, well-educated people whose only barrier to success is language, but the fact remains that in real life it's not so easy, and many of the surgeons and accountants who come to New Zealand do end up stuck as factory workers or cleaners for the rest of their lives because they can't overcome that barrier. And those who have come as refugees from war-torn countries can have huge psychological problems caused by the trauma they've experienced, which they need to overcome (a task made more difficult when the only therapy available is in English) before they have any chance of getting on with life. By making it look so easy for the characters in his story, to my mind he's belittling the immigrants who don't find it that easy. (spoiler ends)

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Released 10 yrs ago (5/30/2009 UTC) at The Coffee House, Montreal St in Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Left on the mantelpiece above the fire.

Happy bookcrossing to the finder!

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