In 1905 a motley group of young New Zealand rugby players sets out by steamer on a journey to the other side of the world. A year later most of them are back. Bearing scars of illness and injury they are accorded a hero's welcome the like of which has never been seen in their country before.Their fame has spread before them across three continents. They are the headlines of the day. Only gradually do they understand how, and why, they should thus be chosen.In this hugely affecting account of innocence abroad, Lloyd Jones uses his characters' collective voice to trace their rise from obscurity to kingly fame. Told in prose that excites and challenges at every turn, Jones' new novel offers a meditation on the curious workings of fame as well as an exploration into the national myth of the first celebrated New Zealanders.