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Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
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Olive Kitteridge (2008)

by Elizabeth Strout

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,715428743 (3.92)331
  1. 50
    Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (gust, ainsleytewce)
    gust: Ook een verhalenbundel met terugkerende personages in de verschillende verhalen
  2. 61
    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (2810michael)
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  5. 30
    Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (chrisharpe)
  6. 10
    The Edge of Darkness by Mary Ellen Chase (CurrerBell)
    CurrerBell: Maine regionalism can often be at its best when written as a collection of short stories, character studies, or vignettes all united around a single character, as in the case of Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge, Mary Ellen Chase's The Edge of Darkness, and Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs.… (more)
  7. 10
    The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks (jbvm)
  8. 10
    Moral Disorder and Other Stories by Margaret Atwood (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both tell the life story of a woman in short story form, with compassion and an unflinching eye.
  9. 10
    Tunu by Kim Leine (2810michael)
    2810michael: Mest pga opbygningen med novelleagtige kapitler, der portrætterer en by og dens personer
  10. 10
    Cool Water by Dianne Warren (lkernagh, mymia)
  11. 10
    The Way to the Cats by Yehoshua Kenaz (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: another crotchety old woman - about whom it's fun to read
  12. 00
    Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro (ainsleytewce)
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    Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters (ainsleytewce)
  14. 00
    The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld (thelittlematchgirl)
    thelittlematchgirl: both are stories about women some people will find unlikeable and some will want to be friends with.
  15. 00
    The Civilized World by Susi Wyss (ShortStoryLover)
    ShortStoryLover: While the settings in these books are very different, both are collections of linked stories in which the main characters are revealed through a kind of multi-faceted prism, as the reader experiences them not just through the main characters' points view but also through the points of view of the other characters.… (more)
  16. 00
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  18. 23
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» See also 331 mentions

English (419)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (425)
Showing 1-5 of 419 (next | show all)
Another book that made me exceedingly cranky. My first thought was: Here is an author who doesn't trust her material. I want to send her back to read her Chekhov again, to learn that a good short story does NOT need a character who commits suicide, runs off, endures a tragic stroke, commits disconcerting adulteries, falls off a cliff, is held hostage while nearly naked, or dies of starvation. I have forgotten some. I was numb trying to figure out who and how many people had shot their brains out or otherwise killed themselves with abnormal aplomb. Every one of these stories has some sort of a ridiculous, spiteful, implausibly violent event in it.

My second thought was that the author seems to have never been to Maine. The down-east caricatures in this novel-in-stories became more and more confusingly drawn and unpleasant as the book progressed. ( )
  poingu | Jan 29, 2015 |
I know this won the Pulitzer Prize, but it left me kind of flat at the end. ( )
  NHNick | Jan 21, 2015 |
Meh. Just...meh. Is that insightful enough for you?

As individual stories, some of these are wonderful. As a book, requiring all of the stories to somehow relate to Olive Kitteridge, it feels forced. Instead of shedding light on a character from multiple internal and external angles, all this manages to do is make Olive chameleon-like. Is she abrasive? Is she anxious? Is she inspirational and no-nonsense? Is she frustrating and disconnected? She's all of these things, and more, apparently.

She's also drawn in the barest of outlines with no deeper insight into much of anything. And she's certainly not enough to hold together a loose connection of stories.

Meh.

( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
Both book and miniseries are excellent and unique storytelling experiences. ( )
  Noa.Tamir | Dec 28, 2014 |
Both book and miniseries are excellent and unique storytelling experiences. ( )
  Noa.Tamir | Dec 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 419 (next | show all)
Each of the 13 tales serves as an individual microcosm of small-town life, with its gossip, small kindnesses, and everyday tragedies. Not all the minor characters stand out the way Henry and Olive do, and there are a pile of them to keep straight by the end. I also couldn’t quite place how one story, “Ship in a Bottle,” meshed with the rest. But those are small flaws far outweighed by the book’s compassion and intelligence.
 
The pleasure in reading “Olive Kitteridge” comes from an intense identification with complicated, not always admirable, characters. And there are moments in which slipping into a character’s viewpoint seems to involve the revelation of an emotion more powerful and interesting than simple fellow feeling—a complex, sometimes dark, sometimes life-sustaining dependency on others.
 

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Stroutprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burr, SandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my mother who can make life magical and is the best storyteller I know.
First words
For many years Henry Kitteridge was a pharmacist in the next town over, driving every morning on snowy roads, or rainy roads, or summertime roads, when the wild raspberries shot their new growth in brambles along the last section of town before he turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy.
Quotations
Olive had sat in her bedroom and wept like a baby, not so much for this country but for the city itself, which had seemed to her to become suddenly no longer a foreign, hardened place, but as fragile as a class of kindergarten children, brave in their terror.
She showed him the library built the year before Henry's stroke, with its cathedral ceilng and skylights. He looked at the books, and she wanted to say, "Stop that," as though he were reading her diary.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Stories:
Pharmacy
Incoming Tide
The Piano Player
A Little Burst
Starving
A Different Road
Winter Concert
Tulips
Basket of Trips
Ship in a Bottle
Security
Criminal
River
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

At the edge of the continent, in the small town of Crosby, Maine, lives Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher who deplores the changes in her town and in the world at large but doesn't always recognize the changes in those around her.

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