BookBrowse Reviews Valentines by Olaf Olafsson

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by Olaf Olafsson

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

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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...

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 ...

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