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Olive Kitteridge

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Olive Kitteridge Cover

 

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Average customer rating based on 25 comments:

bess, January 3, 2012 (view all comments by bess)
I love the way this book, a collection of short stories, brings together many aspects of the main character's life. It is not a summation of her life, but it gradually illuminates and reveals her nature. I think it is so true that many of us are not just one idea or one personality, but we are complex and the result of a whole lifetime of past experiences. No person can be easily characterized.
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(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
amy alice, September 21, 2011 (view all comments by amy alice)
I just read a book I am going to recommend for you to read ~ WITH a caveat or two!

It is so well and beautifully written, and the premise is interesting: it is a series of short stories that are all connected by having the character of Olive Kitteridge included in each of the stories. She is either mentioned or she is actively involved in each of the scenarios. The writing is clever and well crafted, and I can highly recommend it for the clear and lovely words chosen, her sensitivity, and her creative writing talents.

Here comes the "but" for this recommendation ~ before you pick up and read this winner of the Pulitzer Prize by Elizabeth Strout:

the book is a series of extremely complex people and shattering life stories, and it's tough to read since the people involved are disappointed with life or have sorrows they must overcome; their choices and the stories about them and their lives are often difficult to read. Very rarely are you presented with a story that makes you smile or feel "good" when you get to the end of the chapter.

Now, I don't mean to say that one must be always be happy with reading a book, but...this book presents a difficult bunch of sorrows to encounter. Luckily, it is presented with a short story format that allows you to read one, move away from the book to contemplate what you've read, and then pick it up again for a completely new story...with Olive woven into the snippet. There are some overlapping themes, but generally ~ you can read and then "rest" before taking on the next story.

I know ~ this sounds like a luke warm recommendation, but...quite the contrary. I would highly suggest that you read this book, but I want you to be aware of the difficulty you might have with the content of the stories, too. It reminds me of the feeling I had with reading White Oleander ~ an incredible story that is like watching a car wreck in slow motion...but a wreck that is written with such beautiful words that you are drawn to read further, and you are "changed" by reading it.

You will be changed by reading Olive Kitteridge.

Happy Reading!

- amy alice -

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(4 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
gooser114, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by gooser114)
A collection of short stories that all intertwine around Olive Kitteridge in some way. She may be directly involved in the story or is simply mentioned as a past teacher of the narrator. This stories focus on different characters with very different experiences and anecdotes. However the common thread between these stories is Olive Kitteridge. Olive Kitteridge is a character that really takes hold of you. Possibly because Olive is so realistic ��" her flaws, fears, doubts, happiness are all real for any person. A great read that will get you thinking about how an individual impacts another’s life even if for simple reasons.
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Anne Radford, January 28, 2011 (view all comments by Anne Radford)
I really enjoyed the way Ms. Strout wrote this book, in a series of short stories. The way she developed the personalities of those in the community, the common thread which wove the stories together. A very comfortable read. I actually obtained her first two novels, Amy and Isabelle and Abide With Me. Her manner of writing makes her books feel like an old friend who has come to visit.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Amy Alice Hammond, January 4, 2011 (view all comments by Amy Alice Hammond)
Good morning!

I just read a book I am going to recommend for you to read ~ WITH a caveat or two!

It is so well and beautifully written, and the premise is interesting: it is a series of short stories that are all connected by having the character of Olive Kitteridge included in each of the stories. She is either mentioned or she is actively involved in each of the scenarios. The writing is clever and well crafted, and I can highly recommend it for the clear and lovely words chosen, her sensitivity, and her creative writing talents.

Here comes the "but" for this recommendation before you pick up and read this winner of the Pulitzer Prize by Elizabeth Strout:

the book is a series of extremely complex people and shattering life stories, and it's tough to read since the people involved are disappointed with life or have sorrows they must overcome; their choices and the stories about them and their lives are often difficult to read. Very rarely are you presented with a story that makes you smile or feel "good" when you get to the end of the chapter.

Now, I don't mean to say that one must be always be happy with reading a book, but...this book presents a difficult bunch of sorrows to encounter. Luckily, it is presented with a short story format that allows you to read one, move away from the book and contemplate what you've read, and then pick it up again for a completely new story...with Olive woven into the snippet. There are some overlapping themes, but generally ~ you can read and then "rest" before taking on the next story.

I know ~ this sounds like a luke warm recommendation, but...quite the contrary. I would highly suggest that you read this book, but I want you to be aware of the difficulty you might have with the content of the stories, too. It reminds me of the feeling I had with reading White Oleander ~ an incredible story that is like watching a car wreck in slow motion...but a wreck that is written with such beautiful and thoughtful words that you are drawn to read further, and you are "changed" by reading it.

You will be changed by reading Olive Kitteridge; I would love to talk with you about it after you read this fine book.

Happy Reading!

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780812971835
Author:
Strout, Elizabeth
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Subject:
General
Subject:
Maine
Subject:
City and town life -- Maine.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.01x5.22x.67 in. .47 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Award Winners
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Pulitzer Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Epic
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Short Stories

Olive Kitteridge Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812971835 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Set on the coast of Maine, this fantastic Pulitzer Prize winner (2009) is a terrific character study.  Olive is an irascible, crabby old lady who is difficult to like.  Yet, as her life, marriage, and story play out, her character changes in ways that are wholly believable.  This novel runs the gamut of human emotion and delicately exposes the secret inner workings of the human condition.  Beautifully written, Olive Kitteridge is a book I didn't much expect to like — but how wrong I was.

"Review" by , "Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition — its conflicts, tragedies, and joys. Strout constructs her stories with rich irony and moments of genuine surprise and intense emotion."
"Review" by , "A perfectly balanced portrait of the human condition, encompassing plenty of anger, cruelty and loss without ever losing sight of the equally powerful presences of tenderness, shared pursuits and lifelong loyalty."
"Review" by , "With the deft, piercing shorthand that is her short storytelling trademark, [Strout] takes readers below the surface of deceptive small-town ordinariness to expose the human condition in all its suffering and sadness."
"Review" by , "Perceptive, deeply empathetic...Olive is the axis around which these thirteen complex, relentlessly human narratives spin themselves into Elizabeth Strout's unforgettable novel in stories."
"Review" by , "Fiction lovers, remember this name: Olive Kitteridge. . . . You'll never forget her. . . . [Elizabeth Strout] constructs her stories with rich irony and moments of genuine surprise and intense emotion. . . . Glorious, powerful stuff."
"Review" by , "Funny, wicked and remorseful, Mrs. Kitteridge is a compelling life force, a red-blooded original. When shes not onstage, we look forward to her return. The book is a page-turner because of her."
"Review" by , "Olive Kitteridge still lingers in memory like a treasured photograph."
"Review" by , "Rarely does a story collection pack such a gutsy emotional punch."
"Review" by , "Strout animates the ordinary with astonishing force....[She] makes us experience not only the terrors of change but also the terrifying hope that change can bring: she plunges us into these churning waters and we come up gasping for air."
"Synopsis" by , At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.

As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life — sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition — its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

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