From one of New Zealand's most thoughtful writers, not just a finely crafted novel but a whole country, complete with dark undertones. Kit Wallace has spent his whole life running away. Through luck and lack of purpose he has finally washed up in the Pacific nation of Ventiak. Here, on the top floor of the Royal Albert Hotel, he avoids his past by drinking whisky and writing poetry he fully intends no one should ever read. Yet, despite himself, he has been drawn into the lives of the people around him. When he is invited to join a scam in the phosphate industry, which will defraud the Ventiakans of millions of dollars, he is torn between disbelief, self-serving cynicism and a loyalty that takes him by surprise. His life begins to unravel and his is forced into action. Meanwhile, in the upland forest, the Rage is beginning: a periodic rampage of millions of ants that will sweep over the island, carrying all before it. In this, his fifth novel, Chris Else has created an utterly convincing Polynesian setting with its own brilliantly realised language, culture, flora and fauna. His humour and wisdom are at once merciless and forgiving as he uses language to explore man's - and woman's - deep-seated need to be both an individual and to belong.