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Daughters of Erebus

By Paul Holmes | Paperback | 14 Review(s)

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The technical side of what happened on Mt Erebus on that fateful November day back in 1979 has been brilliantly explained by Justice Mahon, the Royal Commissioner appointed to investigate the crash of the Air New Zealand DC-10. His magnificent investigation and conclusions were rubbished by a Prime... read more

Format
Paperback
Release Date
05 Sep 2011
Author(s)
Paul Holmes
Publisher
Hachette New Zealand Ltd
ISBN-13
9781869712501
Dimensions
152mm x 234mm x 35mm
Pages
456
Format
Paperback
Release Date
05 Sep 2011
Author(s)
Paul Holmes
Publisher
Hachette New Zealand Ltd
ISBN-13
9781869712501
Dimensions
152mm x 234mm x 35mm
Pages
456

Freight Free
Ships in 7-11 days
Local Version

View variations of this book >

$29.99
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Reviews

Reviews

Those of us of a certain age will always remember the first reports of a missing Air New Zealand plane on a sight seeing trip over Antarctica. The wait for news was agonising - especially for the families of those on board. The subsequent enquiries into what went wrong were lengthy, acrimonious and inconclusive - at least in the eyes of many New Zealanders. Whose fault was it? Had Air New Zealand told ‘an orchestrated litany of lies’? Were the pilots responsible for flying into the mountain? Now, in his latest book, Paul Holmes mounts a furious defence of the pilot and first officer in charge of the ill-fated plane. He makes no pretence at impartiality - as far as he’s concerned, there was a cover up at the highest level and the crew should be cleared of all blame by parliament so their innocence is recorded in New Zealand history. Holmes has the trust of the pilot’s wife and four daughters and their own personal tragedy is told for the first time. Holmes is a great story teller. His style is conversational, making it easy to follow his arguments. Whether you agree with his position or not is up to you, but this is a compelling and important book.

Review comments:


Whilst this tragedy was huge for New Zealand, I do question the sensibility of regurgitating the story, especially in light of the fact there are so many families who lost loved ones that fateful day. How has Paul gained his information, other than by interviews with the pilots' families (and our sympathies have always been with these people), to argue the decisions now is surely just to sell books?
19 Sep 2011 17:08:08 | Claire Walkinshaw

It's great that the whole story is finally being told from a family point of view. I am very keen to read this story. The event had such a huge impact on everyone at the time. Such a strong family to deal with all the &^%$# they must have had to deal with.
21 Sep 2011 15:38:38 | Robyn Thomas

I have to agree with Claire, and can just imagine My Holmes thinking to himself 'What can I do to bring a few dollars in?' And as far as the 'Product description' goes... it says: 'one of the great New Zealand storytellers' Yeah, right. Kerre says 'He makes no pretence at impartiality' and that sums it up nicely.
21 Sep 2011 15:45:55 | Bob Curwood

Those of us who have read both Ron Chippendale's accident report and Peter Mahon's Commission of Enquiry report will have no doubts that the latter is correct: the accident was not caused by pilot error. There is irony in the claim that Holmes is mounting a "furious defence" of the two pilots -- it suggests they need defending. Actually, they have already been successfully defended by Peter Mahon. All Holmes can bring to the story is the personal stories of the family. Nothing wrong with that, and it should be promoted as such.
21 Sep 2011 15:51:29 | Adrian Turner

This is certainly a viewpoint that has me intrigued, having not followed so closely in the past.
21 Sep 2011 16:13:11 | Perry Garrick

Good point Claire - where does his information come from? I hope it is based on Justice Mahon's findings. This is a story which can probably should now be told. New Zealanders need to have the opportunity to review significant events in our history.
21 Sep 2011 17:40:03 | Helen Johnstone

Paul Holmes, love him or hate him, he will tell the story that needs to be told. I lost a teacher and family friend in this horrific event, it is part of New Zealand's history that until now, hasn't had a voice from those left behind, I will be reading it with interested, tingled with sadness for the people I lost from my life that night.
21 Sep 2011 19:13:04 | Jo Caldwell

There has been so much misrepresentation in the media of this tragedy - I am so pleased this book has finally hit the shelves. I plan to start it this weekend - I have a feeling it will be all done and dusted by Sunday morning!
21 Sep 2011 19:24:36 | Millie Thomas

Sounds fascinating... and written by Paul Holmes, just gets better. (I know this sounds like sarcasm but it really isn't... I have what could only be described as an enormous crush on ol' Paul).
21 Sep 2011 21:05:27 | Tamzen Rillstone

My mother was killed on this flight, and I remember exactly where/what I was doing at the time it came over the radio that the flight was overdue. I was with my father driving to the dump. I have it on reliable source that Air NZ knew at midday plane was missing, and they then realised the mistake in changing the flight course without telling the pilots, shredders started immediately. I have read Ron Chippendale's report, and he was under pressure from Muldoon to make it right. Justice Mahon then got it right, and I admire him for standing up and doing 'the right thing', and telling the truth. I know how the Collins family were treated, and I still find it horrid, that papers etc were stolen from their home. Perhaps Paul Holmes has been asked to write the book from the Collins side of things, and is in no way doing it for his own glory. The incident will always be brought up every year, as it is a major part of New Zealand's history. I would however like to commend the prime minister, John Key and Rob Fyfe from Air NZ for organising the flight down there. My brother was one of the chosen ones to go, and I was very pleased that he was able to go down on our behalf, and perhaps in part say goodbye to part of my Mum's spirit which I'm sure remains there. Due to the flight occuring, I saw and heard of the major comfort it brought to all that went, and that they were able to see the other side of Antartica and Mt Erebus, and see the beauty of it which my mother saw, and was the reason for her wishing to go. Both pilots reputations were blackened by the initial report, and I am pleased that their family can now have their say. I wonder if Paul Holmes also got to speak to Lady Hillary about her thoughts on the subject.
21 Sep 2011 22:21:09 | Robyn Copas

An extremely readable book - couldn't leave it down. It certainly lays out the chain of events in a very precise way. Enjoyed it tremendously.
22 Sep 2011 07:53:11 | Carole Crawford

Louise Wainman says nice to get a popular person giving his view on a tragedy most of us are aware of
22 Sep 2011 08:42:24 | Louise Wainman

I remember this tragedy so well and would be very interested to read this book by Paul Holmes. Kathleen Emmerson
22 Sep 2011 09:54:44 | Kathleen Emmerson

This is a night I will always remember. I heard the news that the Air New Zealand plane was missing around 10pm, and I still remember saying "it will be alright. It's Air NZ!" How I wish I had been right. A good review Kerre. I would love to read the book. My heart goes out to the families of all who lost loved ones in this terrible accident.
22 Sep 2011 10:24:02 | Inez Beardsley

The tragic flight over Erubus is firmly etched in the minds of those as Kerry says of a certain age. So many unanswered questions which will always leave doubts and would have added to the pain of the pilot and co pilot's families. If Paul Homes' book is to serve any useful purpose these people may now feel a certain vindication that it was not pilot error. Let old wounds heal making closure to The Daughters of Erebus. Elsa Collecutt
22 Sep 2011 12:01:02 | Elsa Collecutt

This accident was a very tragic day for New Zealand and it is firmly etched in my mind too. I do think some of the comments here are rather harsh on the pilots. I went along to the Rotorua Public Library on Tuesday 20 September to hear Paul Holmes speak about his book and I learned some interesting facts I never knew before. Paul said he wanted to put the record right, and I am convinced that was the only reason for writing the book, and he put so much time into the research. I was so interested I bought the book and am in the process of reading it. What strikes me, and makes me feel so sad at the same time, is that the flight ordinances were changed the night before the flight left, and yet the pilots were not advised of the changes. To allow that plane to take off without the correct ordinances was a disaster waiting to happen, and I am absolutely convinced that when the mistake was found then a lot of shredding and covering up took place. Thank God for Justice Mahon, and for people as brave as Paul Holmes, who are prepared to step out and stand up for the truth. I agree with you Kerre - this is a must read for all New Zealanders and I hope and pray that the Government will take the awesome step of laying the blame correctly where it should be - and definitely not with the pilots.
22 Sep 2011 14:51:26 | Pamela Kerr

I remember the Erebus tragedy, and knew someone from university days who was on this ill-fated flight. I look forward to reading the book, and hearing the personal account of one family.
28 Sep 2011 16:02:27 | Vicki Olsen

This ill-fated flight ranks in the same importance as "where were you when: JFK died/ Princess Diana died/the Erebus flight crashed???" Paul Holmes is to be congratulated for sifting thru all the blind alleys and red herrings and validating Justice Mahon's famous quote - " an orchestrated litany of lies" KiaKaha Whanau Collins!!!
29 Sep 2011 09:45:07 | Julie Lawson

I too remember this day as if it was yesterday. Like Kerre said I can remember exactly where I was when the news break. I lost some good friends on this flight. I am always interested in learning more about that fateful day. I am sure Paul Holmes would create a good read and give us inside from amother angle.
26 Dec 2011 19:07:23 | Brenda George

I would really love to read this book, an important part of our history.
14 Mar 2012 13:35:43 | Linda Gordon

Comment on Kerre's review

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14 Aug 2013
By Marie McNaught
Comment
Daughters of Erebus

Great reviews, studied this in depth in HS many moons ago for a speech board exam. Will defo be heading in to purchase this and gain the other perspective.

Review comments:


14 Aug 2013
By Marie McNaught
Comment
19 Jul 2012
By Alistair Campbell
Comment
Daughters of Erebus

I can remember where I was when I first heard of the disaster. I was on holiday in Norfolk Island. I am currently reading this book, and like others I find Paul Holmes style annoying. Why didn't he use a decent editor to sort it out before it was published? Although I have read other books covering this accident, I am glad I also bought this one. Paul has found another slant to the story, and tells it well.

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19 Jul 2012
By Alistair Campbell
Comment
15 Mar 2012
By Karen Moffatt-McLeod
Comment
Don't let the author put you off!

Usually I would avoid anything to do with Paul Holmes, he rambles too much for my liking, but the subject matter of this book is what attracted me. It is one of those "I remember where I was and what I was doing" moments, perhaps more so with my father being involved in the aviation industry. It is good to have a book that tells a more personal side of the tragedy rather than all of the technical, blame game stuff and for one I agree with Paul Holmes about the crew needing to be cleared. A must read for all New Zealander's - this is part of our history.

Review comments:


15 Mar 2012
By Karen Moffatt-McLeod
Comment
25 Jan 2012
By Peggy Fittes
Comment
Daughter of Erebus.

Could have been much improved by better editing. As usual with Paul Holmes writing, too much repetition, particularly of the technical details. However, despite skipping parts that he had repeated, a great read and the last chapter had me in tears.

Review comments:


25 Jan 2012
By Peggy Fittes
Comment
23 Jan 2012
By Niki Bailey
Comment
Paul Holmes writes like he talks

I am enjoying reading this book. It's definitely a story that needs to be told, but I'm finding Paul Holmes' style where he's all over the place and quite repetitive in places make the book harder to read than it should be. I do enjoy his conversational style (and his reassurances that we readers will get the message), but I would have liked much less repetition,and a more structured order. This is an important book and there is no doubt which position Paul Holmes takes (and good on him!)

Review comments:


23 Jan 2012
By Niki Bailey
Comment
24 Sep 2011
By David Gordon
Comment

My wife & I remember that night in November & felt sure at the time that it was only a communication problem and that sooner or later the aircraft would arrive back safely. Sadly that was not to be & the terribly sad news became a reality. We followed the news reports and speculation by "armchair experts " and were left with more questions than answers. We followed the Royal Commission of Inquiry with interest and read Justice McMahon's book. In doing so we were in no doubt about the attempted "cover up & orchestrated litany of lies". All along it was very clear that the Pilot & Co-Pilot were in a situation were by they did not know that they could NOT rely on their navigation equipment because it had been altered & nobody told them. When, due to "white -out " conditions they HAD to depend on their navigational equipment ,it let them down and took them on to DISASTER. I am looking forward to reading "Daughters of Erebus" as no doubt it provides further vindication of the Pilots from those who knew them better than anyone else !!! Yes, these women needed to be able to talk and have THEIR story told--and now is the right time for that to be done. Thank you Paul Holmes for your investigation & research, thank you Kerre for your interesting review.

Review comments:


24 Sep 2011
By David Gordon
Comment
22 Sep 2011
By Louise Collenette
Comment

I think it is about time for a reappraisal of all the events that have occurred around this tragedy and this book has done much to settle in people's minds their thoughts about this question. It just shows you that no pilot can ever be too careful and even then disaster can still occur, through no fault of their own.

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22 Sep 2011
By Louise Collenette
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22 Sep 2011
By Shirley Remnant
Comment

Sadly, I feel that there is the broadcasting aspect coming through into the written word. Two seperate types of structuring and they do not crossover succesfully.

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22 Sep 2011
By Shirley Remnant
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22 Sep 2011
By Kathleen Emmerson
Comment

I remember this tragedy so well, it would be interesting to read another view of the subject to gain a better understanding. Kathleen Emmerson

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22 Sep 2011
By Kathleen Emmerson
Comment
22 Sep 2011
By Ann Hobbs
Comment

Normally I would not go out of my way to read this type of book but after watching the Television review with Paul recently I cannot wait to read this story, I completely agree with all I have read and heard about all this.

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22 Sep 2011
By Ann Hobbs
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22 Sep 2011
By Barrie Taylor
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Kerre's reveiw is as beautiful as she is and that is saying something

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22 Sep 2011
By Barrie Taylor
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21 Sep 2011
By alma johns
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An enveloping, riveting and totally intoxicating read.

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21 Sep 2011
By alma johns
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21 Sep 2011
By Elain Dye
Comment

I have yet to purchase this book and will be. Kerre's reviews are excellent and have made me want to purchase more books than I would normally do.

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21 Sep 2011
By Elain Dye
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