Posts Tagged ‘NZ social history’

Teddy One-Eye. The autobiography of a Teddy Bear by Gavin Bishop.

September 30, 2014 Comments off

teddy one-eyeTeddy One-Eye. The autobiography of a Teddy Bear by Gavin Bishop. Pub. Random House, 2014.

When you pick up this solid little book you know Gavin Bishop is saying ” come on in. make yourselves at home”. We had a hint that Gavin could write a book like this after Piano Rock but in this novel he has taken it to a new level. It is quite simply superb!

Teddy One -Eye starts off as a bear to Boy in 1950. Given to Boy by his grandmother in Invercargill he shares Boy’s early years in Kingston and later becomes companion to BB, Boy’s younger brother. Teddy becomes tattered and torn as a result of his adventures with both boys, loses an eye and is stitched together numerous times.

He is discarded between 1957 -1972 in the Wardrobe years but resurfaces as a girl bear to Boy’s three little girls. Then again is put in the Back Bedroom between 1986-1996 and again imprisoned in the Basement until 2011 before making a glorious and revealing comeback.

Each of these eras has its own culture and ways of dealing with life and Gavin Bishop tells it superbly. Baby Boomers will love the 1957-1972 period and the values, environment and life styles that were created by their parents. I was awoken by the use of the word “piece” which my parents and I often used to described a small snack usually a sandwich.

As an excellent artist Gavin Bishop illustrates the passage of time with  simple colourful drawings of transportation and houses in which are implanted dates of significance to a changing world and of Bishops own life. Did you know when the first supermarket opened in New Zealand? Read the book and find out.

Naturally the book is autobiographical. The title tells you that and what a fantastic way to tell it.

This novel is for everyone. Grand parents should read it to their grand children and parents read it because it is wonderful. If you can get it off your children.

The ending may seem a bit surreal but believe me their is a surprise for you and for Teddy One -Eye. Do yourself a favour and read it.