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The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories (English Edition) di [Olsen, Jimmy ]
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Lunghezza: 247 pagine Word Wise: Abilitato Miglioramenti tipografici: Abilitato
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This collection of island stories carries the reader from daring adventures beneath the Caribbean Sea to tense conflict on a deserted island near the Canadian border. Love stories and private eyes, a boy living on a lonely salt cay and a girl's dream of freedom at sea, hurricanes and heroes -- all told with humor ad the insight that comes from firsthand experience.

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  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 854 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 247
  • Editore: Hoffman House Press (21 dicembre 2012)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) HASH(0x9ab0b890) su 5 stelle 19 recensioni
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x9a410144) su 5 stelle A must for any serious library 16 gennaio 2014
Di Jay T Harding - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
The Hero of Blind Pig Island by Jimmy Olsen is a sun-splashed trip to the Caribbean without having to leave your seat. This compilation of short stories deftly brings you into the soul of island life through the eyes of characters both native and non, and leaves you wondering how you got sand in your shoes from just reading. It would not be fair to compare Jimmy Olsen to either Hemingway or Irving. His ability to weave a tale is much richer and more vibrant. The Hero of Blind Pig Island is one volume I will enjoy reading over and over for years to come. It is a must for any serious library.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x9a8b351c) su 5 stelle Book Review: "The Hero of Blind Pig Island ..." (Jimmy Olsen) 29 ottobre 2014
Di Eleanore T. - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
Short story collections rarely seem to receive attention, let alone accolades, in the literary community these days. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that many readers remember being force-fed short stories (Hawthorne, Poe, Chandler, all of whom wrote or write brilliantly) during grade school English classes and just can't bring themselves to pick up another now, as adults.

That's a tremendous shame, because such readers will assuredly miss excellent contemporary works by talented authors.

A fantastic story collection by an equally gifted author is <i>The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories</i> by Jimmy Olsen.

Olsen offers twelve short stories, including the award-winning "Wormwood," each with some connection to water or ocean or the Caribbean islands threading them together in a well-planned compilation. Genres represented range from romance to suspense, many with well-researched cultural contexts, such as "Sea Salt," about a young boy whose elderly mentor works to prize salt crystals from evaporated ocean water.

The stories also represent a wide continuum of tones and voices, some more serious and weighty than others, but most with either outright humor or an undercurrent of wry wit. "Party Girl," for instance, the first short in the collection, takes a tone of dry wit toward its contents but ends more poignantly than might be expected, according to Olsen's masterful writing style.

On the other hand, "Wet Passage," one of the weightier stories, has glances of humor, but its tone is decidedly opposite that of "Party Girl" --- far more focused, serious, and even darkly ironic.

Olsen's style vacillates from simple and straightforward, as in the short story "Denise," about a young woman told from the perspective of her first dive master, to almost literary, especially in its descriptions of the island settings, described with such detailed care that it's obvious Olsen has experienced each setting personally.

One sample of the evocative descriptions comes from "The Hero of Blind Pig Island," the short story that gives the collection its name: "Dark heavy mountains f cloud rose from the far end of the lake, towering into the summer sky, white tops swelling against the blue. Below, in their dark bellies, flashes of lightening [sic] brought them to life, storybook dragons born in a treacherous sky" (117).

Olsen writes with such straightforward honesty and precision that it's no surprise he's had a long career in the writing industry. I turned pages with delighted expectation, eager to see what new twist or unexpected characters would come next.

It takes a great deal to write a masterful short story, to fit all the traditional standards of long fiction (plot, tone, diction, voice, character development, setting, theme) into a few thousand words. Jimmy Olsen's collection is a gem among its peers, published in the last ten years, and I am both gratified and honored to have been able to read and review the compilation.

I cannot recommend <i>The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories</i> highly enough, for its unique premises, lush and exotic (in every sense of the word) cast of characters, and compelling style. Olsen offers a truly worthwhile escape into an island-themed other world peopled with missionaries, party-goers, children, lovers, teachers, dive masters, and more.

# # #

Title: <i>The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories</i>
Author: Jimmy Olsen
ISBN: 978-0-9801835-6-6
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this collection free from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinion I have expressed are my own.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x9a611174) su 5 stelle Excellent Anthology 22 settembre 2014
Di Phil Bolos - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle
As a native of the Great Lakes region of the United States, I was slightly uninterested when Jimmy Olsen asked me to read his anthology, The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories. My first reactions was to think, “Island stories? This has to be all about the Caribbean and tropical islands and I don’t know anything about that.” But, as I started to read the stories I found that Jimmy had a few very interested tricks (ie. Tales) up his writer’s sleeve. The anthology takes the reader through the Caribbean, by land and by sea, and to the Great Lakes of Canada and the US. The descriptions of the environments, both above and below water, highlights Jimmy’s vast experience as a scuba diver and instructor. This accompanied by interesting and emotional characters makes for a variety of engaging reading. While all of Jimmy’s stories are worthy of discussion, this reviewer found three to be of exceptional quality: Party Girl, Denise, and The Hero of Blind Pig Island.
Party Girl invites the reader to attend a party for teachers working in a tropical paradise. While the veteran teachers take bets on how long the new hires will last before being overwhelmed by the stress of the job, all in attendance drink an alcoholic punch with the main ingredient being pear juice because it hides the alcohol. Being a teacher myself and knowing what happens when groups of teachers overindulge I was greatly amused as the main character and his wife are forced to look out for a young woman who dove a little too deep into the punch bowl. What follows is a funny, yet realistic, night of partying where the main character makes his way around town with the passed out girl over his shoulders, keeping her safe from the relentless hordes of intoxicated men looking for an easy score.
While Party Girl is lighthearted and fun the next story, Denise, lands on the opposite side of the spectrum. Denise is a college girl when we first meet her, working her way through an introductory scuba class. Told in first person, Jimmy shows us how Denise comes in and out of his life, slowly progressive from a novice to expert and eventually surpassing Jimmy as a diver. The reader grows to love Denise and cheer her on when she leaves Minnesota and begins diving in Florida. But, just when the story appears to be reaching its highpoint, we learn the tragic ending. While the story is short, it is emotional and possibly the most powerful in the book.
Falling in the middle of these two tales is The Hero of Blind Pig Island. A grandpa has taken his grandson on a fishing and snorkeling trip to Blind Pig Island. It seems like a fun day of relaxation until a charter boat comes nearby and demands the old man and boy give up their small bay for the larger houseboat. While the boy is nervous, the old man is steel and proceeds to teach the intruders and his grandson a lesson in patience and dignity. In the end, the boy would learn how to be a courageous and good man by following his grandfather’s example.
As I stated earlier, I thought I would be unable to connect to these unique water based tales. I found I couldn’t have been more wrong. Jimmy writes with passion and clarity, humor and emotion. I highly recommend this anthology to lovers of short stories and anyone willing to take a chance on a new writer. Well done, Jimmy. I look forward to your next offering.
- Phil Bolos, Author of Fiend The Manifestation
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x9a3a8a20) su 5 stelle Very Interesting Short Story Compilation 16 gennaio 2014
Di Sue C - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
I am not usually a short story reader. I actually can not remember the last time I read a collection of short stories, before this. Maybe because I never felt compelled to read a book of short stories. But just having finished this book, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed these stories.

The stories in this book are all unique in their own right. But all of them revolve around a story on an island, many really showcasing an ocean, and some a big lake. A few of them also intertwine some aspect of snorkeling or scuba diving. I have never done either one, but always wanted to and found this very interesting.

I don't want too give to much away about the book or the stories, but two of them in particular really stood out (to me anyway). One is called, "Reservado." I really liked this one. It kind of was a story, within a story maybe even within a story. It is about a woman looking back at her past, and one really interesting part was her and her boyfriend end up having to swim 12 miles in the ocean back to shore. I don't want to tell you too much, so you can read it for yourself, but it was really good.

Another one that I really liked is, "Revenge of the Schoolmasters." It is about a feud of sorts from between some of the faculty wanting higher up positions and even students getting in on it. It displays a conflict and how two teachers in particular get revenge and stop it. It is very interesting and I really enjoyed this story.

A lot of these stories I noticed also involved teachers/English Teachers and some take place in Dominican Republic. So reading about the author, and his background, I am left wondering if these are taken from his real life, or probably inspired by it anyway, which is cool.

I would recommend this book to you, it is very different from what I usually read, which is great to broaden your horizons
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x9a423d44) su 5 stelle Makes You Want to Visit the Islands! 8 agosto 2013
Di Glenda - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
Reviewing an anthology is different that a novel. There are 12 stories in this particular one, all of which deserve mention. But that's forcing a very short synopsis for each story. What I do instead is pick out my favorites to share with readers... The author lived in the location of all the stories and has obviously loved the Islands--it shows in his writing. Some are about his work while he was there; others talked about the people.

When a man wants to be a hero, there isn't anybody better to have think of him that way, than a grandson... Dusty loved going fishing with his grandfather and they were all set, having stopped for lunch to roast hot dogs! But they had gotten to a beautiful spot on Blind Pig Island and were concerned when they saw a group of boats heading their way. Now, there was no way that Dusty was ready to leave, so he looked to his Grandpa and, for sure he knew just what to do... That husky young man who had tried to bully them out of their location didn't know what he was getting into when Dusty's hero set out to keep this favorite spot!

Then there are others, such as "Wormwood" or should I say, worms in the wood found inside a cabinet in the kitchen of an apartment where the building owners sneaked in to steal the coffee grounds each day...which you really have to experience to understand... LOL. Let's just say that living in a different climate must be just like my living in the woods, where new bugs visit me inside every day... It gives a new meaning to those who become landlords...

When Albert and Harold Gustafson came to visit, he was expecting somebody like the gentleman in the video [check out my blog for pics and excerpts]-- missionaries are always doing something and needing financial support to do it, so he was willing to listen at least. Still when these two "old school" men came in, looking thin, almost fragile, with an unhealthy pallor, he was surprised... He was also surprised when they indicated they wanted nothing more than to talk to somebody from near home--he was from Minnesota, they were from North Dakota and hoped he might be Scandinavia.

He had prepared food and drink, which they ate thankfully and quickly. Albert was very gracious; Harold not. At one point, he thought they were playing "good missionary and bad missionary..."

He lied and told him that he had an appointment, so he drove them home. He asked more about their work--they had no church, they worked on the streets, and then they invited him in to see where they lived...

There is life, death, joy, sadness in this book, told by one who faced each of them often. The ending story was fitting, I thought, for those that loved to dive, to explore... "Wet Passage" tells of the last excursion for two men. One was Lester, a man in this 70s, but still involved and diving. Carl Boe was taking a group out and would dive in various places, but the last dive would be near a deep drop-off and the depth they would be permitted very controlled, with a buddy system mandated.

Soon, Lester's partner let Carl know that Lester had dived deeper than allowed. Carl set out after him, but when he caught up with Lester, his fingers were held tight to the deflator...Carl pulled on Lester's grip but he wouldn't let go... I wondered at that time whether Lester wanted to forever be underwater and had chosen his own end... Instead...

Other stories include a tale of a party girl that made the tour of locations--while out cold! LOL

There there were the teachers who were tired of being bullied--yes, I said that right! And they had their revenge!

These short stories will make you laugh, cry, and learn much about those that live and work near islands, enjoying their bounty! Highly recommended...

Book received for Review
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