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Kiwis Might Fly [Kindle Edition]

Polly Evans
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $3.01 (23%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description


Polly Evans was a woman with a mission. Before the traditional New Zealand male hung up his sheep shears for good, Polly wanted to see this vanishing species with her own eyes. Venturing into the land of giant kauri trees and smaller kiwi birds, she explores the country once inhabited by fierce Maori who carved their enemies’ bones into cutlery, bushwhacking pioneers, and gold miners who lit their pipes with banknotes—and comes face-to-face with their surprisingly tame descendants. So what had become of the mighty Kiwi warrior?

As Polly tears through the countryside at seventy-five miles an hour, she attempts to solve this mystery while pub-crawling in Hokitika, scaling the Southern Alps, and enduring a hair-raising stay in a mining town where the earth has been known to swallow houses whole. And as she chronicles the thrills and travails of her extraordinary odyssey, Polly’s search for the elusive Kiwi comes full circle—teaching her some hilarious and surprising lessons about motorcycles, modern civilization, and men.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


"The perfect read of those seeking thrills, spills and the uber-male" -- GLAMOUR "Great fun" -- CHOICE "A humorous, entertaining and absorbing read" -- WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY "An unusual premise, but one that provides an amusing thread to her travels round one of the most beautiful countries in the world" -- WANDERLUST

About the Author

POLLY EVANS studied modern languages at Cambridge University before working for a London publisher. After four years she moved to Hong Kong to become a journalist on the city's biggest weekly, before embarking on her epic journey around Spain - the subject of her first book, IT'S NOT ABOUT THE TAPAS.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1678 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Delta (December 10, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,010 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining ramble... September 24, 2005
It's difficult to write travel books with a "twist" but Polly Evans has a pretty good try here in a book that has two on the go at the same time. First, a lady with no previous motorbiking experience passes her test in the UK and, only a couple of weeks later, hires a 500cc road bike to circumnavigate the whole of New Zealand. Brave or stupid, her gradual mastery of this "monster" provides an engaging backdrop to the journey and results in a series of hilarious problems. Second, she sets out not only to see the country but to discover whether the traditional Kiwi male - the pioneer who could mend a clapped out tractor with a rubber band - still exists. A quest which allows her to include some fascinating facts about New Zealand's development, takes her to places that most tourists miss, and gives her the opportunity to ruminate on the issues facing a traditionally male dominated society in the process of change.

All good stuff but the problem is that, as with many "I'm off to see the country in a few weeks" travel books, she can only scratch the surface of the place. For example, in Christchurch she takes an immediate dislike to its "faux" Englishness, with its boatered punters and its school children in 1950's uniform, without having the time or inclination to get behind why these things exist. As a result, her conclusion that the city is in some form of ridiculously nostalgic time warp completely misses the point that this need to replicate the safety & security of "home" was an integral part of the male "pioneering spirit" she is in fact seeking, and that Christchurch with its strong links to rural farming communities still embodies, more than any other of New Zealand's major cities, this particular aspect of its history and life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book October 16, 2007
By Paul
I was given this book from a friend as a vague taster of NZ before I headed down there for a year and they seriously recommended reading it. I didnt know much about New Zealand and didnt really feel like I needed to know much about its history or landscape. But as I started reading this book I was suddenly fuelled with intregue and curiosity about the beauty of NZ and how it came to be. Based on a personal perspective of Polly Evans who decided one day that she's bored of Rainy England and feels it a good idea to ride around NZ on a 600cc on a mission to find out if the modern Kiwi bloke really is on the verge of extinction, this extremely funny book boasts educational references, drama, personal reflection and a fairly decent overview of NZ as a whole. Despite the strange theme, the book delves into personal experiences of many of the sights and attractions around NZ, clear and detailed references to the history different places and events, lots of good clean British humour and an engrosing writing style of adventure. I really enjoyed this book and found it to be inspiring and and exteremly interesting. Plus there arent many books that make me laugh out loud, and this one did, a lot! I've also used this book as a good reference to many trips out so far, handy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Most Travel Books on New Zealand November 18, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author does a pretty fair job of evoking the spirit of New Zealand. She gets around most of the country and is able to fill you in with tidbits of regional interest. However, it must be noted that her opinion of Queenstown-Glenorchy-Paradise is completely off-base (in my opinion). I can't agree with her assessment of everything being Texas style big,either.She doesn't spend much time in any area so her book doesn't reflect a strong 'feel' of place like a Bill Bryson or Paul Theroux book would. The author spends more print time on her rental motorcycle than I care to know about. Even with these disclaimers she does a better job than most others, thus making it a worthy read.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit slapped together April 24, 2007
This book is less about The Kiwi Man (its ostensible theme) than it is about Polly Evans and her newfound love of motorcycling. If you want a sometimes entertining overview of things to do and see in New Zealand, this isn't a bad choice, but a cursory overview is all it is. I read it in an afternoon. Deep, it's not: some of the background info sounds as if she pulled it off of a tourist brochure. And it could use a good editor (why, or why, does she get paid to write books when she doesn't know the difference between further and farther?) I got none of that Bill Bryson I-love-these guys feeling for the people of New Zealand, nor did I get that (often entertaining) sense of grumpy irritation that so many travel writers affect (though she sometmes seems to attempt it, it just comes off as mean and off-point, as with the minister's wife and the potato peeler...very odd). Come to think of it, I learned very little about New Zealand at all, other than it's very pretty, has a wide range of weather and topography, offers some nice roads for motorcycling, and is filled with mostly nice people who are happy to help tourists. I knew all of this. Oh, I did learn that it's frighteningly easy for a novice to rent an oversized motorcycle there.

Ms. Evans has to reach way too hard to incorporate her "theme" through most of the book (her attempt to tie it all together in the last pages is laughable). She occasionally tries out an overly arch tone that is intensely irritating -- I found myself skimming those parts -- and she sometimes falls into the "and then I went here and turned around and went there" style of a boring blog. Perhaps this would have been better if she'd been honest about her real subjects -- her motorcycle and herself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A nice read
Published 1 month ago by Hallie Greenberg
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Superficial and narcissistic.
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth Phillips
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read and a good travel book
This is a book that delves into real Kiwi life and thier natural treasures. I wish I had read it before I went to New Zealand. Read more
Published 2 months ago by MzMiami
3.0 out of 5 stars not terrific. Seems to just skim the surface
Ok, not terrific. Seems to just skim the surface, probably won't finish it, or at least other books of greater interest will have my attention for now.
Published 2 months ago by Mary K. Asma
4.0 out of 5 stars told with a great sense of humor and more than a little British ...
Ms. Evans has written an entertaining account of her motorcycle exploration of New Zealand, told with a great sense of humor and more than a little British reserve. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars ... am a Kiwi and thought the book was so funny and enjoyable
I am a Kiwi and thought the book was so funny and enjoyable. I felt like I was on the journey with Polly as she journeyed. She has great style and humor. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Fay Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
An interesting book, but it did not hold my attention very long at a time.
Published 2 months ago by Maxine Gersh
4.0 out of 5 stars fun read
Fun and interesting read
Published 3 months ago by L. A. West
5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end and was glad to ...
I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end and was glad to know she wasn't the only one of her kind. Read more
Published 3 months ago by SELINA H WERNER
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