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Synopsis

Returning to the biting and hilarious satire of contemporary New Zealand conveyed so well in the prize-winning The Shag Incident, this is a daring, astute and rollicking novel. John Tomb saw more of the world than most Englishmen of the early nineteenth century. From England to Australia to New Zealand, he led a life of adventure and romance. Two hundred years after his death, his tattooed head is discovered in an American museum. His spirit reawakened, John Tomb wryly observes those who would lay claim to his relic. Among others, there's the New Zealand delegation headed by the Prime Minister and including Tomb's Maori descendants, a leading historian, a prominent carver, the Diplomatic Protection Squad and the Prime Minister's fifteen-year-old daughter. From England come Tomb's English descendants and supporters, eager to take the head back to the land of his birth and their family museum. There is also a wealthy private collector and his clever wife .

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