Gods and little fishes. A Boy and a Beach by Bruce Ansley
i have read few memoirs that recreate the world in which I remember as a boy that are as good or as accurate as this one.
It creates the world of 50’s and 60’s New Brighton when it was the hub of Christchurch city on Saturday at least. It was a tough place with the rest of the city giving it a rough reputation and the locals believing it. Ansley describes Seaview Road shop by shop and knew the owners and inhabitants as though they were family.
He tells of his own family life, friendships, school life which were not unlike mine. The changes to Brighton’s fate is well documented with a sense that it is a waste of such a brilliant area.
Ansley not only tells his own story and a history of surfing in the region but has a fine wit and a superb command of the language. This is the sort of local history that is precious to the community it describes.