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Random House, NZ. 2013


Named in The Listener Top 100 Books, 2013

Named in the Christchurch Press Top 5
New Zealand Fiction, 2013

Named in the Dominion Post Top 5
New Zealand Fiction, 2013

This novel is wonderfully accomplished, beautifully told and a delight to engage with.

Michael Larsen, NZ Listener

If I read a better novel this year, I will eat my socks. Although I am fairly certain it won't come to that. It would be hard to top this marvellous tale... This is an extraordinary story . . . woven exquisitely together by Nixon. Elegantly crafted, gripping and heart-warming. Five stars.

Peta Stavelli, New Zealand Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations

Weidle Verlag, Germany. 2015

This story is about battles of wills and ideologies as well as the healing power of love. Yet Nixon's novel is also, and equally, about the healing properties of storytelling itself... Above all, those who can listen to a story and hear the surface and subtexts are upheld over those whose minds are not open to the riches and alternative ways of thinking that stories can bring. Nixon brings home to us why literature is highly placed among the humanities.

Peter Stupples, Otago Daily Times

It is a story which is powerful, yet gentle. It is evocative and poignant. But most of all it is beautifully written and clever and kept me hooked to the last.

Wendy A Mill, Timaru Herald

I was literally hooked from the first eight words... It was just wonderful, storytelling at its most sublime... I’m going to do the unheard of for me and turn around and read it again.

Vanda Symon, Afternoons on Radio New Zealand

Places him firmly as one of our leading writers …. Complex narrative, beautiful prose and compelling characters make this book absolutely sing.

Radio New Zealand

(The book) offers us fragmentary insights into the way our national memory constructs our national identity. With all that self-consciousness going on, The Virgin and the Whale is an ambitious project. But Nixon is no mere fashion victim. This is and intelligently constructed novel and, best of all, a beautifully told story.

Weekend Herald

All lovers of Christchurch should read this book. It is as gripping and well written as Carl Nixon’s first two novels.

The Christchurch Press

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