Toa by Vaughan Rapatahana
“BEHIND THE TATTOOED FACE, A STRANGER STANDS. HE OWNS THE EARTH. HE IS WHITE.”
Vaughan Rapatahana’s first novel is a rollicking road trip through the ‘skinny country’ where a guerilla war is raging between Indigenous rebels and a Pakeha government controlled by foreign interests.
Redneck assassins, secret-agents, biker gangs and feminist groups all cross paths as Mahon, an ex-university philosophy lecturer, and his gun ‘Molly’ blast their way across the country in a black Mark IV.
While homage is paid to Vaughan Rapatahana’s existential and postmodern heroes, the voice is indubitably his own: sardonic, hectic, eclectic, at times laugh-out-loud funny and always deliciously subversive. – James Norcliffe