A memoir that begins with Phil Gifford's personal story, followed by portraits of (mostly) sportspeople Phil had a genuinely close connection with, to the point where he can tell stories that go far beyond the public perception, many screamingly funny. The list, in no special order, is: Sir Peter Snell, Billy T James, Peter FitzSimons, Sir Fred Allen, Sir Peter Leitch, Todd Blackadder, Andrew Mehrtens, Joe Stanley, Sir John Kirwan, Valerie Adams, Louis Luyt, Andy Haden. As well, Phil will enlighten readers on the impact his alter ego, Loosehead Len Lacey, had on his career.
The career of Robbie Deans is without parallel in the annals of New Zealand rugby. He was an All Black, the pin-up boy of the Canterbury team of his generation and a rebel with the Cavaliers during a 12-year playing career. Even greater acclaim has followed as one of the best coaches of the modern era. After 17 years coaching professionally, Robbie still boasts a 70 percent success rate. He remains Super Rugby"s most successful coach, six seasons after his departure from the Crusaders. His influence on the All Blacks when the current era of Bledisloe Cup supremacy began was such that Richie McCaw and Leon MacDonald both say he should have been in charge rather than John Mitchell"s assistant. Then he was lost to New Zealand, appointed as Australia"s first foreign-born coach after his homeland controversially turned its back on him. Yet, beyond the imagery we see on television and the guarded statements recycled through the press, Robbie remains a personality we don"t really know. That"s until now. For the first time, Robbie opens up on his career: from the triumphs of his formative years where he was nearly lost to a first-class cricketing career, through Canterbury"s glory days in the early 1980s and the experiences that shaped the man and the coach. With the same honesty he brings to his coaching, Robbie reveals the old-fashioned values that have underpinned the Crusaders dynasty. He offers an insight into his All Black association with Mitchell and the background, as he saw it, in his failure to land the top job himself. He also breaks the silence on his removal from the Wallabies coaching job, examining in depth five turbulent years where the systemic and cultural challenges off the field were every bit as daunting and unrelenting as was confronting the best team on the planet. But this is not simply a book by Robbie about Robbie. From the opening accounts, which are provided by All Black Dan Carter and Wallaby David Pocock, the story is also told by those who know Robbie best. It is a fascinating story of a truly great era in rugby with detailed and frank observations at almost every turn from the players, coaches and administrators he was most closely associated with. They know the real Robbie.
German immigrants, Gerda and Ilse Klein, live sedate lives of seclusion and routine in Alexandra, a small Central Otago town in New Zealand. Both mother and daughter are affected by their memories of Leipzig, the city the family escaped from in the early 1980s while it was still under the rule of the Stasi. For Ilse, these memories are of a home and friends she loved and still longs for. For Gerda the memories bring the desperate depression which overwhelms her in the dark months of winter. But for now the women look forward to summer, with the promise of peace and rest as Ilse, now a teacher at the local high school, begins her weeks of holiday. This expectation of peace is fractured when Ilse, while swimming as she regularly does in the evenings in the local river, discovers Serena, one of the few students she has allowed herself to grow close to, alone, terrified and in the process of giving birth. Suspecting that Serena is a victim of abuse, Ilse and Gerda take her and her child into their home, a decision which becomes the catalyst for change, but when Serena and her child come under threat, the women unite to protect them
Match-fixing is one of the biggest issues surrounding sport at this time. John Daniell, a former professional rugby player, has written the fascinating novel about Mark Stevens, a former All Black playing professional rugby in Paris. Moving toward the end of his career Mark is drawn, through his relationship with a beautiful journalist, first into betting on matches and then into match-fixing. From on his own experience, Daniell shows how an innocent player can be drawn into an illegal world, one where your actions place your family, half a world away, in danger.
Not since the legendary Eric Rush departed the scene have the All Blacks had a jokester/prankster quite like World Cup-winning winger Cory 'CJ' Jane. A Commonwealth Games Sevens gold medallist and frontline All Black since 2008, Jane is one of the funniest men in New Zealand rugby. He was one of the first All Blacks to embrace social media, in particular Twitter, as a means of connecting with his fans and supporters. His stint as host of the All Blacks online behind-the-scene features 'Room Raiders' was extremely popular and he has also starred as a comments man for Sky Sport. In Winging It: Random Tales from the Right Wing Jane takes the mickey out of everything -' and everyone! -' rugby. No player or occasion is spared the sharp-witted Jane tongue. Get all the goss from the usually fortress-like inner All Blacks sanctum and, most of all, find out all the stuff the players did not want you to know.
Liz Roberts is a Kiwi pioneer; the first person to undergo a full surgical sex change in New Zealand. This inspirational memoir tells the story of how, with the help of medical specialists working in previously uncharted territory, she changed her name, her sex and her legal status in the 1970s, freeing her to live a new life as a woman. The little boy born Gary Roberts in 1950s Christchurch knew from his earliest years that he was different to the other boys. Gary overcame a violent childhood to train first as a florist, then a hairdresser. He moved to England and his talent as a couture clothing designer was spotted and encouraged. He released his own collection, which made headlines back in New Zealand. He also became sure that a permanent change of sexual identity was a real possibility and began treatment. It was Liz Roberts who returned to New Zealand. Ground-breaking surgery, two marriages, and much heartbreak punctuated Liz"s official transition from man to woman. Today, she still works as a designer and bespoke dressmaker. Her choices have made her enemies and admirers across the country, but few would doubt her strength and grace in tackling one of the most taboo life changes of all.
Most of the world knows Jerry Grey by his crime-writing pseudonym, Henry Cutter. But now that he has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at the age of forty-nine, Jerry's career is coming to an abrupt end. His 12 books tell stories of brutal murder committed by bad men. As his dementia continues to break down the wall between his real life and the lives of his characters, Jerry confesses that the stories are real. He committed the crimes himself. His family and friends all insist that it's all in his head, just a side effect of the terrible disease - but is it?
Dan Carter - My Story is an up close and personal account of a New Zealand sporting icon; a down home country boy who went on to become a world superstar. Daniel William Carter is acknowledged as the greatest fly-half to have played international rugby. A veteran of more than 100 test matches, he is the world record holder for most test points, has twice been named the IRB"s Player of the Year and twice named New Zealand Player of the Year. Legendary unbeaten All Blacks coach, Sir Fred Allen, who followed international rugby from the 1920s until after the 2011 Rugby World Cup, had no hesitation in naming Carter as the greatest fly-half he ever saw. Carter, though, is renowned for his modesty and unassuming nature, and argues that he has he always "just tried to do the best job I can for the All Blacks". In Dan Carter " My Story the great All Blacks pivot with the model good looks, opens up for the first time about his stellar 13-year career. He looks back on the myriad highs, including that virtuoso performance for the All Blacks against the Lions in the second test of the 2005 series. And, with an equal measure of honesty, he reflects on the lows of his career, speaking frankly of the mental anguish he felt after twice being invalided out of Rugby World Cups. As well, he talks about his unflinching loyalty to the famous black jersey and the reasons why he elected to make a long-term commitment to New Zealand.
Beginning with the return to Venice of an old and sick man determined to confront his past, and accompanied by his daughter who is escaping hers, The Antipodeans spans three generations of a New Zealand family and their interaction with three families of Northern Italy. From Venice to the South Island of New Zealand, from the assassination of a Gestapo commander in the last days of Italian resistance in WWII to contemporary real estate shenanigans in Auckland, from political assassination in the darkest days of the Red Brigade to the vaulting cosmology of particle physics, The Antipodeans is a novel of epic proportions where families from the opposite ends of the earth discover an intergenerational legacy of love and blood and betrayal.
Based on the concept of an advent calendar, this unique book will keep children busy and excited about bedtime reading for a whole month before Christmas. Thirty separate stories - one for each day of the month before the Big Day - tell the "true" story of Santa"s life, from young boy to the world"s most-loved character. Santa"s wife, Hulda, is revealed at last, as the powerhouse behind Santa"s creative genius. Rich, colourful illustrations by internationally published artist Richard Hoit make this the perfect gift for all children. Perfect level for read-to or read-it-myself.