Duncan Fallowell chose New Zealand, ‘so that I need never travel again’. By voyaging as far from his British homeland as possible, he hoped to have in some way ‘cracked the planet’. Sensing perhaps that this, as a leitmotif for a book, was, er, thin, he conjured a quest – to shadow an Old Vic tour of New Zealand in 1948, the year of his birth. By truffling for memories of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh as they battled through Richard III, he hoped ‘to revisit the lost world of my boyhood on the opposite side of the Earth’.
An established journalist and author whose previous travel books featured Russia and Sicily, for this jolly new volume Fallowell headed from Auckland to Invercargill and back, covering more than 9,000 kilometres in a rented Toyota. Finding much to dislike, he rages in particular at the destruction wreaked on New Zealand’s