In My Father's Den

In My Father s Den When Celia Inverarity aged seventeen is found brutally murdered in a secluded West Auckland park one Sunday afternoon Paul Prior her English teacher and mentor is suspected of being her murderer

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When Celia Inverarity, aged seventeen, is found brutally murdered in a secluded West Auckland park one Sunday afternoon, Paul Prior, her English teacher and mentor, is suspected of being her murderer Celia s death and the violence which follows send Prior back to examine the past which proves as secret as his father s den in the old poison shed Eventually the murdererWhen Celia Inverarity, aged seventeen, is found brutally murdered in a secluded West Auckland park one Sunday afternoon, Paul Prior, her English teacher and mentor, is suspected of being her murderer Celia s death and the violence which follows send Prior back to examine the past which proves as secret as his father s den in the old poison shed Eventually the murderer is exposed, but not before a family has been split apart and old wounds revealed In My Father s Den is Maurice Gee s third novel and was first published in 1972 It is now an international feature film of the same name In My Father s Den is directed by Brad McGann and Produced by Trevor Haysom and Dixie Linder, and stars Matthew Macfayden, Miranda Otto and Emily Barclay.

One thought on “In My Father's Den”

  1. Maurice Gee is one of these NZ authors that have been floating around my reading consciousness since I could read. I think many New Zealanders would first encounter him in school as he writes great childrens fiction. In fact I have a very old edition ofThe world around the cornerthat I am pretty sure I was given when I was 5 or 6. He is such a fundamental part of the New Zealand literary landscape. Somehow despite this my only experience of his adult fiction wasGoing Westsomething I enjoyed but [...]

  2. The film In My Father's Den was so remarkable that immediately after watching it, I wanted to read the novel upon which it was based. It took nearly four years to get my hands on it, as it was out of print until recently and to my knowledge is only being published again in New Zealand. I read it in two evenings. Read? Devoured? Whatever. Darker than the film by orders of magnitude, the novel is an intensely intimate and unflinching look at a deeply flawed man and the equally flawed system which [...]

  3. I chose to read this book as my mother recommended it to me as a great read as well as Maurice Gee is a highly recommended New Zealand author so I was quite interested to read one of his novels. As "In my fathers den" is written by a New Zealand author it ticks off this category.This novel is about a seventeen year old girl called Celia Inverarity who is brutally murdered while walking home. Paul Prior who narrates the story is Celia's teacher who was the last person to see her alive therefore h [...]

  4. I don’t usually borrow library books tagged with the ‘mystery’ icon on the spine but I picked this one up for the daily commute because it was by distinguished New Zealand author Maurice Gee, and the blurb persuaded me that it was going to be more than the usual for this genre. It turned out to be most interesting.Seventeen-year-old Celia Inverarity is found brutally murdered in Cascade Park Auckland, and it’s hardly surprising that the teacher who’s been tutoring her privately at his [...]

  5. This book was okay. I just wasn't convinced by the story and the ending wasn't satisfying. There's also a lot of back and forth between the main character's present timeline and his childhood which is something I'm generally never a fan of. It was good in terms of writing and characterisation and setting and all that (especially cool to get a glimpse of West Auckland from the 30s to the 70s) but it just didn't captivate me personally.

  6. What a gripping story. It starts off very direct, with a newspaper article about the discovery of a murdered teenager, Celia Inverarity. In the article: 'Mr Paul Prior, the dead girl's English teacher, said that he had been asked by the police not to discuss his interview with Celia yesterday afternoon.' And the story then takes us into a first-person account by said Paul Prior, moving from his childhood up to the present, with a couple of forays into the ongoing investigation in the present-day [...]

  7. In My Father's Den is one of the best books I've read this year. To be honest, I started it warily. The opening with the newspaper articles was so poorly written, unrealistic, and didn't really grab my attention. Luckily, things only went up from there. The storytelling was easy to follow even as it switched between the past and present day. Thanks to the parts dedicated to the main character's childhood, I felt like I understood his family's motives. I liked the way Maurice Gee dealt with Paul [...]

  8. Maurice Gee - how I love your writing. Everything about this story is pure Gee - beautifully written with carefully chosen, effective, intelligent language - every word has to be read. The characters are flawed but likeable and the West of Auckland is evoked perfectly. Allusions galore and references to schools of thinking. I couldn't put the book down, but then with about 15% to be read I couldn't bring myself to read it because I didn't want it to end. Now to see the movie version, she says wi [...]

  9. This was a great listen and had me on the edge of my seat figuratively speaking (I was driving while listening). The narrator was great. I never saw the movie but would like to do so now to see how the adaptation went.

  10. I picked up this slim volume at a book swap not knowing anything about the author except that he is a Kiwi. Having lived in New Zealand for a year in the 1970s, I have a great fondness for this beautiful country and its people and reading this book was something of a nostalgic experience for me, re-awakening memories of the Auckland area.While the central story of this book concerns the brutal murder of a young schoolgirl, the book is more of a family psychological drama than a mystery, although [...]

  11. I'm not sure what to say about this one, so I keep saying nothingThe writing is precise and perfect for the story. The narrator - both the character and the audio book reader - keeps you at a distance, even when revealing the most personal things. The story looks like a mystery on the surface - a girl has been killed and the narrator is a suspect. You wonder for a bit how reliable the narrator is, until you learn to trust his voice and observations. The story goes back into his childhood, to his [...]

  12. I am leading the discussion on this book for my online book club in March and feel strangely responsible. The selection process was based on books from our native country but it did not necessarily correspond with author and country - but in my case it did.So to make a nice change I have done my homework before its due! Not wanting to give too much awayr future discussions. I will say this, it is a wee gem. Like much of the fiction from my small beloved country there is darkness lurking. However [...]

  13. In my father's den is a murder mystery, a tale of family and coming of age. The success of balancing these ingredients is that narrator and story itself feels real. Despite having a murder at the centre, it is not sensational and works hard to keep the murdered girl a real person. Published in 1972 in New Zealand, a country that was conservative and arguably naive it must have been shocking at the time - the but the way the murder is handled and issues tackled means that the book has aged well.F [...]

  14. This was one of our required readings for a class at uni and I have to say that initially I was not excited about it. However, once I got past the prologue (which is a news article), I could not put it down! I read this book in one sitting. This book sparked my interest in Maurice Gee and his work. It also somewhat opened my mind to trying books in this mystery/observational/historical fiction. Living in New Zealand, I was able to picture and recognize a lit of settings in the bookd as a reader, [...]

  15. We're studying the film in our English class and as I have just moved to New Zealand, I wanted to expose myself to its own texts. So I chose to read this acclaimed book. Since I have been so familiar with the film, I admit I started reading the novel with preconceived notions about the story already. However, I realized there is a huge difference as to how the story progress between the film and novel versions. I am glad I decided to read this, and I very much prefer the book over the film. This [...]

  16. I absolutely loved reading this book. The story begins at the periphery of a whodunit murder mystery and ends up at the centre of Paul Prior's life; a man struggling to come to terms with his past and mourning the death of someone significant. It's hard to define Paul and Celia's complex, but strangely beautiful relationship, but I loved how it was constructed through Paul's self reflective narration. This is my all time favourite New Zealand novel. Don't forget to check out Brad McGann's film a [...]

  17. In English, our class watched the film In My Father's Den, and I Loved It! When I heard there was a book that it was based on, I Really wanted to read it! This book was nothing like the movie, and it was like a different story under the same name with various similarities, but I also really loved the book! I give it a 4.5 Star rating, because there were some parts which were boring, but there were other parts that just hooked you in!

  18. Having already scene the film I was intreged to how different the novel was going to be. To my surprise it's actually a lot different to the silver screen adaption, the setting, the characters the story, I guess the themes are the same but really the book and the film are two completely different things. But that's not a bad thing, this book is pretty good. Gripping, fast developing showing a history of a city that I live in made for some very shocking but entertaining reading. I liked it.

  19. I had actually been in an english lesson in the library and had found this novel.I found this book very interesting because, I quite like murder scenes and crime programmes, so it was easy to stay connected to the book.This book is very classic having been written back in the early 1970's. Something I had got out of this book was family comes first, no matter what happens fight to the end which Celias family did but never let anything pull you apart.

  20. I read this book because I was intrigued by the way the plot had unfolded in the film, which I saw about 8 years ago.Unsurprisingly, I found that the book was quite different to the film in many respects - less of a murder mystery and more a tale of family dysfunction and small town prejudice in 1960s New Zealand.An enjoyable and interesting book.

  21. I would have to say this is my all time favourite Gee novel. So rich in character and dark in its twist! I cried so hard! I was pleased that the movie did it justice and I loved the fact it was filmed in Central Otageo with its haunting landscapes to match the haunting secrets of skeletons long hoidden in closets.

  22. This is my first novel by an author from New Zealand. When I was there several years ago, I asked a shopkeeper which book to read by a New Zealand writer. She recommended some books, and I bought this one. The plot was intriguing.

  23. Fantastic book. At last, something which made me resent having to turn off the light and go to sleep; what a great page-turner.Will try to put some thoughts together on this one post-caffeine.

  24. Overall, this fell flat for me - the writing style was very plain and I didn't get very interested in any of the characters. It did get somewhat better towards the end.

  25. See the film too and see how they changed the story but kept the essence - interesting comparison and both excellent in their own way

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