Queenstown aviation adventurer's book maintains interest

MEMORIES NOT DREAMS: An Aviation Adventurer's Tales <br><b> R. Jules Tapper<br></b><i> Aurora Publications, Queenstown
MEMORIES NOT DREAMS: An Aviation Adventurer's Tales <br><b> R. Jules Tapper<br></b><i> Aurora Publications, Queenstown
When an elderly Australian who, in the 1990s, flew a 1930s vintage aircraft from Australia to Haast, was asked by a television reporter why he did it, the ageing adventurer responded "I want to have memories not dreams".

The aviator's response inspired Queenstown aviation and tourism identity Jules Tapper to put pen to paper and tell his stories.

The result, in 2010, was a self-published book of 202 pages, including photographs. It is now in its second edition and was re-released this month.

The self-published genre offers many people a chance to reflect on adventure, achievements, or history, whether of family, business or the community, and Tapper fits all these prescriptions.

For various reasons, self-published books may be produced with little editorial or production oversight and the results, while useful to interested readers, can vary widely.

Some successful self-published books are by writers with the ability to run with a 200 page narrative from beginning to end.

But this may be a challenge for people who are often worthy of a book but whose first calling is not to make a habit of writing them.

I think writing each chapter as a short story, such as in Memories not Dreams, is an excellent compromise.

Here, the technique hits the mark in grabbing and retaining reader interest and in my so-far limited experience of reading self-published books, Memories not Dreams is one of the better ones to land on my desk.

Tapper has a distinct, honest, coherent and consistent voice, employs humour and includes interesting details. The book is cleanly produced on good quality paper and there are no jarring stylistic lurches.

His account of pushing his injured eye back into his socket after an accident is readably gruesome.

The book is well done and my only complaint is it does not contain enough dates.

 - Marjorie Cook is an ODT reporter.




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