> Skip to content

`The world's multiplicity is splendidly evoked; characters dart together and flash apart like goldfish.' - David Hill

What happens when an ordinary man becomes a messiah? A witty, prescient and eloquent satire by one of New Zealand’s finest writers.

Far into the twenty-first century, Albous Slaven's life is spectacularly and irrevocably altered after he hangs for an instant from a power line. While recuperating, he senses a new-found gift; the gift of oratory.

Driven to hold rallies throughout New Zealand, Slaven astounds and alarms the ruling politicians. He too is astounded and often bemused by the response of the tens of thousands who flock to hear him. But what is his message? Is he a Messiah, a political saviour, or an idealist who conjures up forces he can neither understand nor control?

Shortlisted for the Montana Book Award for Fiction and described by Vincent O'Sullivan as `Delightfully sardonic; philosophically mischievous', this novel deftly and disconcertingly explores its characters' lives in this lyrical picture of New Zealand.

Reviews

In these richly lyrical passages Marshall is at his most characteristic and at his most brilliant.

Elizabeth Caffin

Delightfully sardonic; philosophically mischievous.

Vincent O'Sullivan

The world's multiplicity is splendidly evoked; characters dart together and flash apart like goldfish.

David Hill

The quiet narrative confidence and Updikian attention to minutiae make this novel as texturally rich and assured as the best of Marshall's stories.

Michael Morrissey

It is a really great novel and may well be seen as a landmark in our national literature.

Ian Dixon

A Many Coated Man is a dark, disconcerting novel, a visionary work well worth the wait. It stalks the imagination of the reader.

Graeme Lay

If there has been any doubt about whether his prowess in the art of the short story could be extended to the longer form, A Many Coated Man is a complete answer to it.

W.J. McEldowney

Read More

Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781775531913

    October 31, 2014

    Random House New Zealand

    280 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by Owen Marshall

Love as a Stranger
Carnival Sky
Sojourn in Arles
The Larnachs
Living As a Moon
Essential New Zealand Short Stories
Drybread
Harlequin Rex

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
The Girl on the Train
The Golden House
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Swing Time
The Mistress
Tiger Men
The Golden Age
Fifty Shades Darker
A Long Way from Home
Uncommon Type
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Light Between Oceans
Line of Fire
Ready Player One