The Tears of Harry Wakatipu By Jack Lasenby

February 12, 2007 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Fiction, New Zealand | Leave a comment


Jack Lasenby draws the reader in with his conversational style. Our anonymous hero is a young lad experiencing the worst first day of school ever. Facing a personal identity crisis he packs his bags and runs off, seeking the mythical kiwi dream of becoming a real man. “I was going to find my father, become a real joker, and never wear a dress again.”
That’s where all semblance of normality ends and we’re all up the Unknown River, swept away by the quirky tall tale that follows, living in the bush as a deer culler, where No. eight wire is spun into giant spider webs, our hero learns to walk on water and is pestered by a talking packhorse addicted to Highland condensed milk.

This rambling yarn is an interesting blend of iconic NZ characters and kiwiana of days gone by, merged with the folk legend of Paul Bunyan, and humour reminiscent of Spike Milligan.

But The Tears of Harry Wakatipu isn’t for reading alone. It’s for sharing. So roll up Grandparents, go find your Grandsons, and after giving them a clip around the ear and unplugging their game console, settle down to read aloud. Silly voices are definitely going to be required.

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