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This Just in - Dunedin's Own Battle Magazine Issue #2 - 5th Oct 2020

This Just in - Dunedin's Own Battle Magazine Issue #2 We are lucky enough to be a stockist of Dunedin's very own Battle Magazine! 
Battle is a collaboration showcase of some of the great alternative artists Ōtepoti has to offer. 
It features work by:
Justin Young @jyoung_artist
Jeremy Potts 
Abe Hunt
Veronica Brett @secret_eggs
Charlie Davis @satans.barber
James Collins
Lucy Hunter @wetspeci
Spencer Hall @spenserhallnz
Motohiro Hayakawa @moto583motohiro
Saskia Rushton @saskiarg
Joshua Bloodbarron @bloodbaron.tattoo
Jack Davies
Nicola Jane @nicolajanetattoo
Andy McCready @andy_mccready_art
Tony Rat Scarer @rattscarer66tattoo

Check out their instagram pages and support local art!

This is a limited run so do not miss out. They are available in store for NZ$25

First Edition Friday AND Banned Books Week: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - 2nd Oct 2020

“There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” 

I have spoken about this wonderful book earlier in the year ... but it's a great read, and it's a banned book , so I very am happy to talk about it again!
The theme at the heart of this book is censorship - which makes its banning all the more ironic!
It has been challenged and banned in schools across the US several times. The most recent was an attempt in 2006 when during Banned Book Week (!) a student was assigned 451 to read. The Student got only a few pages in, was disgusted by the language and the depiction of the burning of the bible, so her and her parents then tried to ban the book from the curriculum.

However there is something even more ironic than banning a book about censorship DURING Banned Books Week.
If the student had continued reading, they would have seen that the reason the protagonist begins to question his life of book burning is becasue he finds, steals and reads the bible - which ends up changing his life....

We have several different First Edition copies of Fahrenheit 451 available:

In order pictured:
The 1953 Ballantine Books paperback. This is the true first edition and came out earlier than the hardcovers. NZD$150.00

The 1954 Hart-Davies edition in its dust wrapper. I believe this is the UK first edition. NZD$200.00

We do have with several other copies available on our online catalogue


Banned Books Week 2020! - 28th Sep 2020

Banned Books Week 2020! It is Banned Book Week!
This week is recognised by the book world globally as a celebration of the freedom to read. It brings attention to books which have been banned and/or challenged in countries, libraries and schools around the world.
One of the most interesting parts of Banned Book Week is seeing the list of the top 100 challenged/banned books from the American Libraries Association. This list is always very telling of the issues which are "plagueing" our society year by year. Harry Potter and A Handmaid's Tale have made the list for several years in a row. As for 2019 - every single other book on the list was challenged for reasons relating to characters/themes of the LGBTQIA+ community. 
If we have a look at the list below of past banned books, we can see how culture changes and how ridiculous it all seems when looking back. This trend of anti-queer literary sentiment will end soon and future generations will have a chuckle at just how out-of-touch we were. 
So let's take a look at some of the most prevalent books which have been banned and why!

The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
- Banned in the UAE in 2007 & various schools and libraries across the globe
- Is the Most Challenged Book of the 20th Century!
- Reason: Witchcraft, Occultism, Satanism, Values in opposition to religious institutions

A Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Banned in Several Schools and Libraries
- Reason: Sexual Content, Prostitution, Offensive

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Banned in Huana Province of China (1931)
- Reason: Anthropormorphised animals with the same level of complexity as humans. Leaders where fearful of children treating animals as equal to people - which would be 'disastrous'

1984, Animal Farm & Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
- 1984: banned in Russia & several schools/libaries for explicit sexual content. Stalin also believed this was a criticism of his regime.
- Animal Farm: banned in Russia & Vietnam for being critical of communisim, and the UAE (2002) for depicting an anthromophic pig being unaligned with Islamic beliefs
- Homage to Catalonia: banned in Spain because of its alignment against fascist dictator Francisco Franco 

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
- Banned in Bangladesh, Thailand, Egypt, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Senegal, Kuwait, Singapore, Liberia, Sri Lanka, and more!
- Reason: Blasphemy against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad
- In 1989 the leader of Iran called a Fatwa against Rushdie and the publishers. This resulted in 2 deaths, 3 attempted murders and 37 people dying in an arson targeting the Turkish translator. 
- There is an incredibly interesting BBC4 Podcast called 'Fatwa' if you would like more information

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H Lawrence
- Banned in Australia (1929-65), China (1936), UK (1960), USA (1959) and Japan (1952-57)
- Reason: Obsene Sexual Content & Frequent use of certain 4-letter-words
- This book was the subject of several trials claiming it was breaking the obsenity act.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Banned in apartheid South Africa (1955)
- The racist government deemed it contained 'obscene' or 'indecent' material

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Banned in Australia (1932-7) & Ireland (1932)
- Reason: References of sexual promiscuity - "it makes casual sex look fun"

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
- Banned in Argentina, Canada, France, New Zealand, South Africa, UK
- Reason: Obsenity, child sexual abuse
- It is still considered one of the greatest books of the 20th Century despite its content

Ulysses by James Joyce
- Banned in USA, Ireland Canada and England
- Reason: Obsenity
- Original Manuscripts where BURNT by authorities to stop its distribution
- When this failed, a trial was held for the anti-obsenities act and the book was banned
- Many first editions of this book come with the cover ripped off. This was so people would not get arrested when smuggling the book!

If you want more information on Banned Books Week - Head over to https://bannedbooksweek.org/

We have many of these books both in store and online (don't worry - it is legal!) so have a wee look and see what you can discover!

First Edition Friday: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe - 25th Sep 2020

First Edition Friday presents: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

"You're either on the bus, or off the bus"

While we are talking about Ken Kesey, I would be remissed not to talk about his life as a Merry Prankster. During the mid-60's, Kesey and his band of Pranksters where an integral and infamous part of the counter coulture revolution. The toured the United States in a rainbow painted bus, causing light-hearted trouble, all the while consuming and sharing copious amounts of LSD.
'The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test' is a chronical of this journey. While Kesey & Co. where becoming landmarks of American History - Wolfe was making a waves of his own with this book. This is one of the earliest (and the most popular) example of a new literary style - New Journalism. 
Featuring characters like Alan Ginsberg, The Grateful Dead, Timothy Leary and the Hells Angels - this is a monumental book in the history of the hippie movement which writing style echoes the chaos of the times.
This First Edition just came in today and will be online this evening
It can be yours for $300NZD

First Edition Friday: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides - 11th Sep 2020

“In the end we had the pieces of the puzzle, but no matter how we put them together, gaps remained, oddly shaped emptinesses mapped by what surrounded them, like countries we couldn't name.”

Looking back on their adolescence in suburbian America, a Greek chorus of unnamed men reminisce on a time when one by one, 5 local sisters ended their lives. This however is not just a story of death, but also speaks to love, loss, memory and tragedy all while reminding us of the horror that can be found in the mundane.

This book has gained a huge cult following over the 17 years since it was published (thanks, in part to Sophia Coppola's 1999 film); it's general feeling of eerie nostalgia seems to speak to people in a way which is almost hypnotic.
Pictured is a FIRST EDITION, UNCORRECTED PROOF COPY which is available online for NZ$125.00


First Edition Friday: Isis Unveilled Vol.II - Madame Helena P. Blavatsky - 4th Sep 2020

First Edition Friday: Isis Unveilled Vol.II - Madame Helena P. Blavatsky “REALITY in an illusionary universe of ever-passing forms.”

H. P Blavatsky was a Russian Occultist in the early 19th Century whose works where the inspiration of the forming of the Theosophical society. She was highly controversial but remains to this day the one of the most revered figures of western esotericism.

Published in 1877, Isis Unveilled was Blavatsky's magnum opus. In it she discusses the similarity of Christian scripture to several Eastern religions and uses this to argue the notion of prisca theologia: that all religions descend from a common source; the ancient "Wisdom-Religion.
This book is a very important piece of literature and it changed the face of society as we know it.

And we have a First Edition!

This is a hugely important book to have in a first edition and will set you back NZ$1275.00
As you can see from the photos - the binding is a bit worn and stained... but it is almost 150 years old so I think we can give her a break!

Spring & Summer Hours! - 31st Aug 2020

Spring & Summer Hours! WE ARE BACK!
Spring is ready to spring into action and so are we!
As of the 1st of September we are back to being open everyday.
Come in and pay us a visit!

First Edition Friday: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - 28th Aug 2020

“Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour."

Well.. where do we start with this one!?
This one is extremely polarising - some say it is a avant garde tour-de-force which will challenge you, scare you and leave you questioning the world you live in. Others however think it a work which will have you uttering profanities under your breath and wishing you weren't against the idea of burning books.
The general premise is that a family move into a house they soon nightmarishly discover to be bigger on the inside. Now complicate that plot summary by x800000 and you might be getting close to what is going on.

Originally distributed in parts, the author shared printed copies to friends and family and local establishments throughout Los Angeles, mostly tattoo parlors and such, had copies floating around in the mid-to-late 90's. It wasn't until 2000 that it was published in its entirety.
The book plays with font, narrative structure and footnotes(...upon footnotes...upon footnotes), which has been said to create an agoraphobic and claustrobic experience for the reader.
It is disturbing, innovative, wierd and intimidating. It is a book your conquer before it conquers you.

Somehow, we have ended up with several different First Edition copies of this book.
We have:

- The very scarce UK hardcover (one of only 50 copies) with the golden 'Z' embossed on the front. It is SIGNED 'Z' and dated by the author and in MINT condition! $309.83NZD (pictured)

- Another scarce UK hardcover (one of 200). This has no letter embossed to the front. $125.00NZD

- First Edition, First Impression Trade Paperback. This is SIGNED and dated from the authors trip to NZ. $100.00NZD

- First UK Edition Trade Paperback, also SIGNED and dated from his trip to NZ. $90.00NZD

This book has a huge cult following and once people know they are here, they generally rush out the door!


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