13 Apr 2020

Victor Rodger: Blokes Vs Books

From Easter Monday, 9:46 am on 13 April 2020

There's never been a better time to get into reading so the new online campaign Blokes vs Books had a very timely launch last week.

In a series of short, light-hearted interviews, playwright Victor Rodger talks to well-known Kiwi men about how books and reading have shaped their lives.

Victor was supposed to be in New York right now for an off-Broadway run of Tusiata Avia's play Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, which he executive-produced.

He's disappointed that hasn't gone ahead but glad to be in Christchurch hunkering down with his parents and catching up on reading.

So far, he's read the Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend (which the 2007 Will Smith film is based on) is based on, Trust Exercise by Susan Choi and Ronan Farrow's #Metoo expose Catch and Kill: "I just was in the conservatory the whole weekend, reading page after page…"

Although Victor grew up with books – his mum was reading War and Peace when she was pregnant with him – not everyone is so lucky to get that early exposure to reading, he says.

His stepfather really only reads the bible or related books and his little brother has only ever read one book of his own free will – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Victor hopes Blokes vs Books will inspire a range of New Zealand guys to explore what reading has to offer.

Blokes vs Books is a joint initiative between Read NZ Te Pou Muramura (formerly the Book Council) and the NZ Society of Authors.

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