- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: The book is full of Maori and Christian symbolism. Kerewin is a literal virgin, making her the Virgin Mary to Joe's Joseph and Simon's Christ.
- True Art Is Angsty: This novel has child abuse, stomach cancer, spirtiual and cultural alienation, a pedophile and more.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: The prose at times, though Your Mileage May Vary.
- Values Dissonance: None of the characters see anything wrong with letting the eight-year-old Simon drink and smoke.
YMMV / The Bone People