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The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories by [Olsen, Jimmy ]
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The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Length: 247 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jimmy Olsen is a native of Hoffman, Minnesota. He's worked as an English teacher, newspaper reporter, editor and photographer. He is an active scuba diver and instructor, living five years in the Dominican Republic. His stories have appeared in magazines in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.

Product Details

  • File Size: 854 KB
  • Print Length: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Hoffman House Press (December 21, 2012)
  • Publication Date: December 21, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AROMSUO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,592,071 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Short story collections rarely seem to receive attention, let alone accolades, in the literary community these days. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that many readers remember being force-fed short stories (Hawthorne, Poe, Chandler, all of whom wrote or write brilliantly) during grade school English classes and just can't bring themselves to pick up another now, as adults.

That's a tremendous shame, because such readers will assuredly miss excellent contemporary works by talented authors.

A fantastic story collection by an equally gifted author is <i>The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories</i> by Jimmy Olsen.

Olsen offers twelve short stories, including the award-winning "Wormwood," each with some connection to water or ocean or the Caribbean islands threading them together in a well-planned compilation. Genres represented range from romance to suspense, many with well-researched cultural contexts, such as "Sea Salt," about a young boy whose elderly mentor works to prize salt crystals from evaporated ocean water.

The stories also represent a wide continuum of tones and voices, some more serious and weighty than others, but most with either outright humor or an undercurrent of wry wit. "Party Girl," for instance, the first short in the collection, takes a tone of dry wit toward its contents but ends more poignantly than might be expected, according to Olsen's masterful writing style.

On the other hand, "Wet Passage," one of the weightier stories, has glances of humor, but its tone is decidedly opposite that of "Party Girl" --- far more focused, serious, and even darkly ironic.
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Format: Kindle Edition
As a native of the Great Lakes region of the United States, I was slightly uninterested when Jimmy Olsen asked me to read his anthology, The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories. My first reactions was to think, “Island stories? This has to be all about the Caribbean and tropical islands and I don’t know anything about that.” But, as I started to read the stories I found that Jimmy had a few very interested tricks (ie. Tales) up his writer’s sleeve. The anthology takes the reader through the Caribbean, by land and by sea, and to the Great Lakes of Canada and the US. The descriptions of the environments, both above and below water, highlights Jimmy’s vast experience as a scuba diver and instructor. This accompanied by interesting and emotional characters makes for a variety of engaging reading. While all of Jimmy’s stories are worthy of discussion, this reviewer found three to be of exceptional quality: Party Girl, Denise, and The Hero of Blind Pig Island.
Party Girl invites the reader to attend a party for teachers working in a tropical paradise. While the veteran teachers take bets on how long the new hires will last before being overwhelmed by the stress of the job, all in attendance drink an alcoholic punch with the main ingredient being pear juice because it hides the alcohol. Being a teacher myself and knowing what happens when groups of teachers overindulge I was greatly amused as the main character and his wife are forced to look out for a young woman who dove a little too deep into the punch bowl. What follows is a funny, yet realistic, night of partying where the main character makes his way around town with the passed out girl over his shoulders, keeping her safe from the relentless hordes of intoxicated men looking for an easy score.
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Format: Paperback
The Hero of Blind Pig Island by Jimmy Olsen is a sun-splashed trip to the Caribbean without having to leave your seat. This compilation of short stories deftly brings you into the soul of island life through the eyes of characters both native and non, and leaves you wondering how you got sand in your shoes from just reading. It would not be fair to compare Jimmy Olsen to either Hemingway or Irving. His ability to weave a tale is much richer and more vibrant. The Hero of Blind Pig Island is one volume I will enjoy reading over and over for years to come. It is a must for any serious library.
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Format: Paperback
The Hero of Blind Pig Island by Jimmy Olsen
Have you ever visited an island community? People are different on an island. They're more laid back, don't rush things and enjoy taking your tourist dollars. For the most part, though, they'd prefer you didn't live there. These are insulated communities.

Mr. Olsen sent me a copy of his book to read for review (thank you). You can find a copy on Amazon now.

I've visited the San Juan Islands, the Hawaiian Islands, and the Bahamas. Given the descriptions of the land and people in the Caribbean, I'd say the Bahamas has a similar flavor. I have to admit island life appeals to me but it'd be hard to get all the books I read there. And the internet might be a bit iffie. However, being secluded and quiet offers some charm to me.

These stores are almost vignettes of island life. He lived in the Caribbean and it shows in his stories. The stories ares short, focus on a person or two, and tell of people, events, and changes in island life.

The story that touched me most is titled: "Denise". A young woman wants to learn to scuba dive. This one is set in Lake Superior and it's a cold and nasty day. She almost gives up, but she soldiers on. She also finds that she loves scuba diving. She begins working it part-time, then finds a full-time position where she'll be on a boat at sea. She's thrilled. I was pleased to see someone following her dreams and being happy with her life choices.

Here's an opportunity to sit in your arm chair and visit the Caribbean. Each tale is different, so you have lots of "flavors" to taste as you read this book. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and travel...
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