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About the book
  • Published: 2 August 2013
  • ISBN: 9781775532989
  • Imprint: Random House New Zealand
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

Frederick's Coat




From the author of the best-selling Once Were Warriors, a powerful story of love between father and son, of contrasting ways of looking at the world and of revenge.

From the author of the best-selling Once Were Warriors, a powerful story of love between father and son, of contrasting ways of looking at the world and of revenge.

When Johno comes out of prison, he resolves never to go back again. But his new life is not easy, especially as he soon finds himself in sole charge of his strange young son, Danny. Danny isn't the kind of son he would have chosen, but, in caring for the boy, Johno finds new meaning and new direction.

But what do you do when the world you've so carefully built comes crashing down? Can you ever escape your past?

This is a return to the world of criminals and violence that Alan has written about so effectively in the past, but it is also a touching exploration of the relationship between father and son.

  • Pub date: 2 August 2013
  • ISBN: 9781775532989
  • Imprint: Random House New Zealand
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the Author

Alan Duff

Alan Duff was born in Rotorua in 1950. He has written novels, including Once Were Warriors, One Night Out Stealing and What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?, a novella (State Ward), several children’s books and a number of non-fiction works. Once Were Warriors won the Pen Best First Book of Fiction Award and What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? won the Montana New Zealand Book Award for Fiction. Both novels were made into internationally acclaimed films.

Duff was the driving force behind the Books in Homes scheme, which, with commercial sponsorship and government support, aims to break the cycle of illiteracy, poverty, anger and violence among underprivileged children by providing books for them to own.

The New Zealand Listener claimed that Duff’s debut, Once Were Warriors, ‘bursts upon the literary landscape with all the noise and power of a new volcano’, while acclaimed writer Witi Ihimaera wrote, ‘This is the Haka, the rage of a people who, yes, once were warriors . . . A kick to the guts of New Zealand’s much-vaunted pride in its Maori/Pakeha race relations. A breathless fearless debut.’

The Sydney Morning Herald regarded the sequel, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?, as ‘a masterpiece’: ‘powerful, authentic, moving, brilliantly written . . . a profound and passionate novel . . . a memorable experience’. The Australian praised its ‘universal truths to be savoured for their poetic insight’, while the Canberra Times called it ‘a brilliant work . . . poetic and full of hope’.

The New Zealand Listener wrote that What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? ‘carries the story on with doubled brilliance. The new book is just as dynamic, just as in-your-face as the first one, but less violent, more layered, more fundamentally thoughtful and challenging.’

Also by Alan Duff

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Praise for Frederick's Coat

“Frederick's Coat is a novel about sin, redemption and revenge and Duff brings a lot of power to it. . . .Johno has to make a decision to live or die, to surface or sink, to accept or to deny. And that's the great trademark of Duff's writing - the moral calls that must be made.”

Quentin Johnson, Weekend Press, Christchurch

“Violence is an integral part of the tale, but there is a commendable restraint that gives the writing all the more power. All-in-all, Frederick's Coat is an impressive return to form.”

John McCrystal, Weekend Herald

“Does Frederick's Coat work? Mostly. It's certainly a page-turner. I read it within two days of getting it. I wasn't entirely convinced by the relatively brief account of the process of Danny's downfall, butJohno, Danny and Frederick come across as fairly full, convincing characters and the message that, with extreme discipline, some people at least can escape their backgrounds is uplifting.”

Gavin McLean, Otago Daily Times

“This is a superb novel. It deals with the real questions in life. If Duffy ever went away, this novel proves he is back.”

Dorothy Alexander, Manawatu Standard

“It would make a gripping movie, so compelling are the characters. I loved Frederick’s Coat – here’s the softer side of Alan Duff. . . . The book is well edited, never drags and the ending is explosive.”

Jan Treliving-Brown, Daily News, New Plymouth Taranaki

“unique and sensitive book in style and subject matter . . . terrific writing and great characters”

Judges report, Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel


Awards & Recognition

  • Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel

    Finalist • 2014 • Ngai Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel


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