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Olympia by Dennis Bock
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Olympia (1998)

by Dennis Bock

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This is a book that actually spoke to me on several levels. Many people have the luxury of having a family history that is filled with pedigrees and noble deeds while a lot of us have family stories that are ambiguous and confusing. Bock has written about somebody whose family history is troubled and whose members are somewhat vague. It is a murky read at times but Bock has documented a reality that many of us have.
http://wp.me/p46Ewj-pk ( )
  steven.buechler | Mar 19, 2014 |
Not an interesting novel. The prose is workmanlike, and there's not a great del of interest going on. I'd call it an earnest attempt. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 20, 2013 |
Olympia is Dennis Bock's first novel, preceding The Ash Garden.

The Ash Garden was my introduction to Bock; it gathered all kinds of buzz because of the significant size of his advance. But it didn't live up to expectations; one had the sense it was deliberately constructed, built upon a scheme, and the underlying scaffolding was sometimes more visible than the story.

I had the same sense here. At times, it seems that Bock's allusions and symbols are more clearly and carefully drawn than his characters. Nonetheless, Olympia suffers less from this fault than did The Ash Garden; although it garnered less attention (and cash up front), this is the better novel.
  ajsomerset | Jul 6, 2009 |
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