Carnival Sky

Marshall, Owen

  3 Reviews

It's time for old school journalist Sheff Davies to stop harping on about giving readers hard news instead of tabloid titillation, and move on. Alexandra beckons and it's in Central, a long way from the hustle of the big smoke that he must face up to the irrevocable changes that life has, and is, foisting on him. His father is dying and in the rallying of family, Sheff contemplates his place in the world.

A satisfying and sensitive meditation on the experience of middle-age, presented in evocative Central Otago landscapes and revealed through well-realised characters.

Comments from Groups

Enjoyable and thought provoking. A far-ranging discussion. Geraldine 002

Although we enjoy Owen Marshall's writing, we agreed his forte is the short story rather than the novel. It felt as though he was trying to avoid 'over-writing', and ended up 'under-writing', so that it was all a bit nebulous. Lower Hutt 002

All of our group enjoyed reading 'Carnival Sky'. As we read on, the 'italic' pieces helped flesh out the characters. We found Owen Marshall's writing gentle, at times humorous, and we liked the positive ending. Ashburton 003

'Carnival Sky' proved to be an interesting read for all of us, as it explored the slow healing of the central character Sheff - emotionally wounded, and emotionally suppressed, struggling to make sense of life and death... The novel is set in beautiful Central Otago, depicted with the skill we expect from this experienced and very able author. Providing thoughtful discussion on topics which affect us all, in our view it was a rewarding read. Whitby 005

Most of the group enjoyed the book. It was slow to start with, but got more absorbing once the story developed. Not a 'wow' book, but definitely an enjoyable read. Whangarei 002

All enjoyed this book - thinking it was a good study of a man going through a mid life crisis... It was an 'ok' read, some thought it was too long. Havelock North 005

A very well structured book, well written with beautifully balanced sentences from a true 'wordsmith'. Easy reading and very 'true-to-life'. Enjoyable New Zealand/ Central Otago theme with humour that appealed. A very interesting study of the life of the main character as he tried to come to grips with the death of his child and the pending death of his father. Subtle drama with good/interesting interaction and portrayal of characters. Some felt a lack of action and kept waiting for something to happen, but it didn't. This kept readers guessing and waiting. Christchurch 240



AUCK 188
A well-written account of a man who, when faced with much sadness in his life, finds solace.
ASHB 016
We all enjoyed this book - well described characters and a good story about life in general. He was just a middle aged man having a mid life crisis. Enjoyed all the characters and could easily picture what they were like. It was good to read a story about countryside that we could all relate to, and all agreed we quite like reading books either written in or set in NZ. We were all pleased the sister did what she did but with the brother's blessing.
Although many enjoyed the beautiful descriptive writing and the local setting of the story, they were also disappointed by the slow pace of the book and a dissatisfying conclusion.