Audition, by Pip Adam (Te Herenga Waka University Press July 2023)

Neil's picture

This must be one of the strangest books I've ever read. Audition is a gigantic space ship, travelling through space. There are three giants inside; if they talk they stop growing and the spaceship keeps moving, if they are silent, they grow again, and are in danger of being crushed or the spaceship breaking apart. Much of the book is dialogue, and the giants are vague in their memory of how this all came about, and are not all that bright. They repeat themselves, and this gives the book an incantatory feel, which propels the reader through some very strange events. The reader does gradually learn something about the characters pasts, and the book then becomes a different thing - a powerful look at power, violence and injustice. It's very thought provoking, and stays long in the memory.