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Olympic Games: Zeus, Hera, and the Archetypal Battle of the Sexes Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892391104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892391100
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,698,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Take a playboy Zeus with issues; a New-Age Hera; an idiot boy: another who’s half-bug, half-bat; an artist who walks backwards; and a woman who lived inside a door for 2000 years.... You’d think, with this mélange, no one but Eudora Welty could have made a moving and magical novel. You’d be wrong. Leslie What has.”
—Howard Waldrop

“Hera and Zeus...mythology’s feistiest dysfunctional couple, are back and feuding in the twenty-first century. With gods like these, who needs a devil? Leslie What has filled this lush book with immortals acting badly and wonderfully realized men and women coping with life’s absurdity and tragedy. Prepare yourself for a wild ride that is often hilarious, sometimes achingly sad, but never dull. Olympic Games is not only the first novel by one of our most gifted fantasists, it’s a revelation.”
—James Patrick Kelly, author of Burn

“The gods haven’t learned a thing through the millennia. Still lustful, vengeful, vain, childish, still wreaking havoc among innocent mortals. But mortals have their own strong magic: love. And the battle is on. It’s a romp, a love story, a tragi-comedy, and altogether great fun.”
—Kate Wilhelm

“If anybody can write about gods and goddesses, it’s Leslie What. She’s had more close encounters with them than anybody else I know. In fact, I suspect she’s actually a goddess-in-hiding. Read on for a tantalizing and tasty serving of divine madness.”
—Nina Kiriki Hoffman, author of Catalyst

“In Leslie What’s hands, everyday life is revealed in all its weird implausibility. And oddly enough, the things that should be strange—gods and goddesses with marital problems—feel as real as our friends and neighbors and maybe, at moments, ourselves.”
—Maureen McHugh

“This novel is so much fun. From the woman in the door to bug bangs (not the haircut) and beyond, the story is deeply imagined and wonderfully realized. Yes, the book is a romp with the gods being the gods, but it is also full of people you will come to care about, like Penelope and Possum, who is used to moody women, and Eddie, who is destined for bigger things—people who will linger in your mind long after you’ve turned the last page.”
—Ray Vukcevich

About the Author

Leslie What is an award-winning author of critically acclaimed fantasy fiction. She received the Nebula Award for her story “The Cost of Doing Business.” She has been published more than one hundred times in a variety of media, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting. Ms. What’s stories and essays have been published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, Parabola, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. Her story “Finger Talk” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and she was the recipient of the Oregon Writer’s Colony award for nonfiction in 2002 for her essay “Why We Wash the Dead.”

More About the Author

Leslie What is an Oregon writer, writing teacher, and editor. She received a Nebula Award for short story and is the author of the story collection, "Crazy Love" (Wordcraft of Oregon), a finalist for the 2009 Oregon Book Award for fiction. Her writing has been published in numerous anthologies, including "Witpunk", "Bending the Landscape", "Logorrhea", "Interfictions", "The Mammoth book of Tales from the Road", "Best New Horror", and in journals, including "Lilith", "Calyx", "The Los Angeles Review", "Asimov's", "Parabola", "Midstream", "Utne Reader", and "True Love".

"Crazy Love" received PW and Booklist starred reviews, and was listed by Booklist as one of the Top Ten SF Books of 2008. The story collection also won a gold medal in the Next Generation Indie Awards.

Leslie is the fiction editor of the journal "Phantom Drift: New Fabulism" and nonfiction co-editor with R.A. Rycraft of "Winter Tales: Women on the Art of Aging" from Servinghouse Books. She has been a nurse and caregiver and has sat on the boards of directors for Hadassah, The Clarion Foundation, and the Young Writers Association.

She admires transgressive characters in literature and admits to feeling wrongful pride that her Parson Russel Terrier was banished from doggy daycare for tyrannizing the Rotties.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Savona Cook on May 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a terrific first novel by a wonderful writer! I was charmed & thrilled by her cast of characters. She makes you laugh with them and sometimes at them! The plot gets thick as a greek myth & the pages practically turn themselves. I can't wait for her next book!!!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a rare find, indeed, to enjoy good writing in the world of fantasy. Leslie What's book sang to me start to finish. I loved the way she turned the greek gods on their heads and made them thoroughly unlikeable. What fun! Her character development was sharp and just perfect. And what characters! I'm always searching for that laugh-out loud experience in text form and Leslie's work was no disappointment. I've read her short stories with the same reaction - completely fun and sometimes even thought-provoking. Kiss sterotypes goodbye when you read Leslie What's work. And how grateful I am to find an author with enough courage to be quirky. Thank you, Leslie, for bringing us such an enjoyable read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Olympic Games is an enthralling debut novel following the games of ancient Greek Gods in modern-day New York City. Zeus still can't keep his lust in check after thousands of years, and Hera is eternally on a jealous rampage, while an unlikely band of mortals and a determined water nymph with little to lose must challenge the reigning deities at their own games. A witty, dazzling work of fantasy with a twist, that paints cosmic powers as all too fallable and human.
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