Paperback: 352pp

Published: Lightning Books (February 2018)

ISBN: 9781785630583

The Antipodeans

Greg McGee


Three generations, two continents, one forgotten secret

2014: Clare and her father travel to Venice from New Zealand. She is fleeing a broken marriage; he is in failing health and wants to return one last time to the place where, as a young man, he spent happy years as a rugby player and coach. While exploring the city, Clare discovers there is more to her father's motives for returning than she realised, and time may be running out for him to put old demons to rest.

1942: Joe and Harry, two Kiwi POWs in Italy, manage to escape their captors, largely due to the help of a sympathetic Italian family show shelter them on their farm. Soon they are fighting alongside the partisans in the mountains, but both men have formed a bond with Donatella, the daughter of the family – a bond that will have dramatic repercussions decades later.

The Antipodeans is a novel of epic proportions in which families from opposite ends of the earth discover a legacy of love, blood and betrayal.





The Antipodeans is a gripping, skilfully constructed novel that knows more than any single novel has a right to know about the hazards of both love and war, loyalty and betrayal, Italian politics over the past eighty years and, oh yes, rugby.”

Charles Lambert, author of The Children’s Home

“Like a Venetian Captain Corelli’s MandolinThe Antipodeans lifts the lid on the violent, messy recent history of a part of Europe which is now a tourist mecca and tells a rich, intense story of decades-old wrongs of the heart. It does it with such humanity, you won’t want to put it down.”

Simon Edge, author of The Hopkins Conundrum

“A truly engrossing and superbly woven tale, The Antipodeans is a spellbinding read. Bravissimo!”

Ian Thornton, author of The Great and Calamitous Tale of Johan Thoms


“Finding out how the past has shaped and informed the present gives this enthralling book the tautness of a thriller ... Remarkable.”

New Zealand Listener

“A big narrative ... The plot is gaunt yet speedy; characters are complex and convincing; setting is evoked deftly.”

New Zealand Herald

“A big powerful, emotional novel, both love story and war story, that will stay with me for a very long time. Stunning. Seldom am I so affected and moved by a work of fiction.”

Beattie's Book Blog

“A captivating and compelling story… A quality mix of history, family bonds, secrets, loves and lies – I can see why it spent almost a year on the bestseller chart in New Zealand. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

Karen Mace, Books and Me

“This is the first UK publication of the epic wartime love story that took New Zealand by storm. It’s now taking me by storm. I can’t put it down.”

Suzanne Marsh, Favourite Novels



Greg McGee

Greg's early success as a playwright launched a career as a successful writer over a wide variety of genres. His work is known for its hard-hitting observations about society in his native New Zealand.

His first play was largely written in London in the late seventies, after he abandoned a novel. Foreskin’s Lament (1980) drew on the rugby culture of the period to comment more broadly on national codes and values. The play had influence far beyond the usual realm of theatre audiences and has become a New Zealand classic.

His television writing has won numerous awards. BBC audiences may remember a four-part series starring Frank Findlay, Erebus: The Aftermath.

He has written crime fiction under the pseudonym Alix Bosco, and won the 2010 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Fiction with Cut & Run.

He has also ghost-written biographies for former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw (published in the UK as The Real McCaw) and for New Zealand cricket captain, Brendon McCullum.

During his university years he played rugby to the highest level, and was a Junior All Black and twice an All Blacks trialist. These days, he plays golf and walks the dog.

His novel The Antipodeans was published in 2015 and long-listed in the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards for fiction. It spent 49 weeks in New Zealand's bestseller charts. It will be published in the UK by Lightning Books in 2018.

The Antipodeans was written during his tenure of the Katherine Mansfield Menton Literary Fellowship in 2013.

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