Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: Wolverine Cirque by Joseph Olshan

Wolverine CirqueWolverine Cirque by Joseph Olshan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Expected Publication Date   Jul 9 2013

At the end of the story, I found my mind blanked out but for one thought: This was such an amazing book.

Wolverine Cirque, one of the steepest and most dangerous ski runs in North America, looms over this original short—a taut, gripping tale of male athleticism and love—by Joseph Olshan
Sam and Mike, top-notch skiers, hike miles off piste to face a harrowing headwall of snow, a sheer descent that challenges their skill, their endurance, and ultimately, their ability to survive.
At the center of the story is Sam’s painful and poignant reminiscence of a complicated and doomed love affair with Luc, a Division I soccer player who struggles with his identity and the surprising power of desire finally unleashed. As both men grapple with the intensity of their affection for one another, Sam is forced to reckon that his attempt to master Wolverine Cirque is really a futile effort to stay the arguably more difficult course of his declining youth.

I was quite disappointed when I saw how many pages were in the offering but I am definitely not disappointed in its contents.

I read somewhere that Joseph Olshan's words were like prose and was quite prepared for it. I was caught unprepared instead for the strength of his descriptive words were both hypnotic and lyrical all at the same time. It did not take me more than three pages to find myself caught, surely and securely trapped in his tale of romance and lost love.

Sam is delirious most of the time here and the reader can get caught up in this dream state or delirious state of mind. The interweaving of the present, past and fantasy were so seamlessly written, it was difficult to find where they actually delineated from each other. This is, for me, the strongest point of this short story.

I usually would request an author for the probability of a longer story. In this case, this is perfect just the way it is.


About The Author

Joseph Olshan is an award-winning American novelist whose works include Cloudland, The Conversion, Nightswimmer, and The Sound of Heaven. His critically acclaimed first novel, Clara's Heart, was the winner of the Times/Jonathan Cape Young Writers’ Competition and subsequently the basis for a motion picture starring Academy Award–winner Whoopi Goldberg. A former book reviewer for the Wall Street Journal, Olshan has written extensively for numerous publications including the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the Times (London), the Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, People magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. Once a professor of creative writing at New York University, Olshan currently lives in Vermont. His work has been translated into sixteen languages.

Review  based on an ARC sent by Netgalley

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