Barney Kettle knew he would be a very famous film director one day, he just didn’t know when that day would arrive. He was already an actual director – he’d made four fifteen-minute films – but so far only his schoolmates and the residents of the High Street had viewed them. Global fame was a little way off.
So begins the manuscript written from the hospital bed of an unnamed man. He has written it over many months as he recovers from serious injuries sustained in a city-wide catastrophe. He has written it so he can remember the street where he lived, home to a cavalcade of interesting people, singular shops, and curious stories. He has written so he can remember the summer before he was injured, the last days of a vanished world.
Above all, he has written so he can remember the inimitable Barney Kettle: film maker, part-time dictator, questing brain, theatrical friend; a boy who loved to invent stories but found a real one under his nose; a boy who explored his neighbourhood with camera inhand and stumbled on a mystery that changed everything…
The Cutting Room is fascinated by the bounteous variety and unpredictability of people. One of De Goldi's skills has always been in building pre-adult characters complex and credible enough to engage adult readers, and she does that again here.
David Hill, NZ Herald
One thing you can be sure of when you open a Kate De Goldi book is that it’ll be good . . . Great control of tone; a protagonist who will haunt you for days afterwards; breadth of skill and generosity of spirit. An author who’s a national asset.
The Weekend Herald
It’s heart-warming and it’s heartbreaking, it’s original and clever . . . and it’s one to put on your must-read lists.
Herald on Sunday
From the Cutting Room is also a story about the creation of stories – the headlong excitement of the creative process, the euphoric feeling that comes with a great idea . . . One suspects De Goldi had a similar feeling as she wrote the brave and beautiful end to her High St story.
[The] story will appeal to all ages . . . [I] just let De Goldi's language carry me forward . . . inexorably moving towards the devastating February 2011 event. The fallout and aftermath are poignant . . . Everyone was touched by that disaster, and De Goldi's High St community are no exception, but solutions are found, questions answered, and the ending is molto moving and memorable.
Otago Daily Times