Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Review: The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories

I was sent this book from the author complimentary to review. May contain affiliate links.

I am really behind on doing this review! The Hero of Blind Pig Island and other Island stories, is written by Jimmy Olsen. I connected with him on LinkedIn and he asked me to do a review.

Here is some info about the book and the author: (taken from back cover)

This collection of island stories carries the reader form daring adventures beneath the Caribbean Sea to tense conflict on a deserted island near the Canadian border. Love stories and private eyes, hurricanes and heroes, a boy living on a lonely salt cay and a girls' dream of freedom at sea - all told with humor and the insight that comes from firsthand experience.

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.

My thoughts on the book:

I am not usually a short story reader. I actually can not remember the last time I read a collection of short stories, before this. Maybe because I never felt compelled to read a book of short stories. But just having finished this book, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed these stories.

The stories in this book are all unique in their own right. But all of them revolve around a story on an island, many really showcasing  an ocean, and some a big lake. A few of them also intertwine some aspect of snorkeling or scuba diving. I have never done either one, but always wanted to and found this very interesting.

I don't want too give to much away about the book or the stories, but two of them in particular really stood out (to me anyway). One is called, "Reservado." I really liked this one. It kind of was a story, within a story maybe even within a story. It is about a woman looking back at her past, and one really interesting part was her and her boyfriend end up having to swim 12 miles in the ocean back to shore. I don't want to tell you too much, so you can read it for yourself, but it was really good.

Another one that I really liked is, "Revenge of the Schoolmasters." It is about a feud of sorts from between some of the faculty wanting higher up positions and even students getting in on it. It displays a conflict and how two teachers in particular get revenge and stop it. It is very interesting and I really enjoyed this story.

A lot of these stories I noticed also involved teachers/English Teachers and some take place in Dominican Republic. So reading about the author, and his background, I am left wondering if these are taken from his real life, or probably inspired by it anyway, which is cool.

I would recommend this book to you, it is very different from what I usually read, which is great to broaden your horizons. If you would like to read this for yourself - look for it here:

Purchase: you can buy The Hero of Blind Pig Island and Other Island Stories, on in paperback or for your kindle. Kindle price showing now as $6.99

Jimmy Olsen is the author of several other books, which can be found on Amazon also.