MLA Platinum Award Press Release

BookBrowse Reviews Valentines by Olaf Olafsson

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Valentines

by Olaf Olafsson

Valentines by Olaf Olafsson X
Valentines by Olaf Olafsson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2008, 224 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A haunting collection of thematically linked stories encompassing the twelve months of a year

Olafsson's lean and compelling short stories are quite addictively good and, on the face of it, a shoo-in for Valentines. But a note of warning before you rush out to buy Valentines for a loved one - the title is ironic, Olafsson's stories are not of warm and nurturing relationships but of angst-ridden emotionally damaged people brought down by a moment of poor judgment in the past or present. His style is dry, stripped of verbiage but nevertheless rich in nuance.

Most of the stories hinge on a single misstep in an otherwise healthy marriage, but that misstep is like a flaw in a slab of marble that can lie hidden for years, waiting for the moment when the stone is tapped at the wrong angle causing the entire sheet to fracture. Sometimes we witness this fracture taking root, knowing that it is just a matter of time until the crack becomes visible, other times the flaw is revealed as the final twist to the story. The outcomes are not universally dismal for Olafsson's protagonists; some receive their just desserts, sometimes there is a tragic reversal of fortune, but occasionally, just to keep us on our toes, a story ends on a potentially happy note with disaster possibly averted, or at least delayed, and happiness not inconceivably around the corner (but never quite in sight).

Olafsson's Bibliography

Absolution (1994) Spanning a boyhood in Iceland to the Nazi occupation of Denmark to modern-day Manhattan, Absolution plumbs the darkest corners of a sinister mind and a wounded heart.

Journey Home
(2000): Disa, a character reminiscent of the butler in Kazua Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day, is a successful, attentive restaurateur and proprietress at an English country hotel. When she learns she has but a year to live, the news serves as the catalyst for a final trip home to Iceland -- a journey she has postponed for 20 years.

Walking Into The Night (2003): The life story of William Randolph Hearst’s fictional butler.

Valentines (2007, stories)


Interesting to note: According to the Iceland Review, the movie of Journey Home is back on track with filming expected to start in Iceland in April 2008.  An earlier project, directed by Liv Ullman, was shelved in 2006 due to disagreements over the screenplay.

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in February 2007, and has been updated for the February 2008 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: When We Were Vikings
    When We Were Vikings
    by Andrew David MacDonald
    In When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald, readers are first introduced to Zelda on her ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Build a Heart
    How to Build a Heart
    by Maria Padian
    Maria Padian is well-known for her motif of exploring teen reactions to social issues. Her novel ...
  • Book Jacket: Follow Me to Ground
    Follow Me to Ground
    by Sue Rainsford
    Ada and her father are human-like beings who age slowly and possess the power to heal all illness. ...
  • Book Jacket: Children of the Land
    Children of the Land
    by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
    In this exquisitely crafted memoir, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo describes coming of age as a young ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl in White Gloves
    by Kerri Maher

    A fascinating and deeply researched novel of the extraordinary Grace Kelly.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Red Letter Days
    by Sarah-Jane Stratford

    A striking novel about two daring women who escape McCarthy-era Hollywood for London.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Remembrance
by Rita Woods

A breakout debut with modern resonance, perfect for fans of The Underground Railroad and Orphan Train.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Lost Family

The Lost Family
by Libby Copeland

A deeply reported look at the rise of home genetic testing and the seismic shock it has had on individual lives.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A F I Need I A F I

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.