Customer Reviews for

Olive Kitteridge

Average Rating 3.5
( 774 )
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5 Star

(235)

4 Star

(226)

3 Star

(162)

2 Star

(80)

1 Star

(71)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

32 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

Well-written and Moving

Elizabeth Strout has crafted a series of short stories revolving around Olive Kitteridge, a retired math teacher in a small town along Maine's coast. In many of the stories she is barely present, yet is always an influence on the characters. Like her or loathe her, th...
Elizabeth Strout has crafted a series of short stories revolving around Olive Kitteridge, a retired math teacher in a small town along Maine's coast. In many of the stories she is barely present, yet is always an influence on the characters. Like her or loathe her, the reader cannot be indifferent to Olive, or totally unsympathetic. One of the most intense and memorable stories is "A Different Road", about a traumatic experience in which Olive falls briefly in love with a most unlikely character. Olive's dysfunctional relationships with just about everyone, especially her husband and son, are often ineffably sad, but with occasional hints of redemption. Each story is completely absorbing.

posted by emmi331 on January 11, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

17 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

Irritating and dark.

I just don't understand why so many authors are leaning towards creating FICTION books like this. I have boredom and depression in my own life, I don't need to read a fictional story about it, thank you very much. I'm interested in escaping the real world, becoming in...
I just don't understand why so many authors are leaning towards creating FICTION books like this. I have boredom and depression in my own life, I don't need to read a fictional story about it, thank you very much. I'm interested in escaping the real world, becoming inspired, and taking away something meaningful from a book. Not only was this book gloomy, it skipped all around, introducting too many characters who I could care less about in the end, and elaborating on endless irrelevant situations that never seemed to tie together. Save your time and money and read Kristin Hannah's books for feel good stories that change you for the better.

posted by Ronrt1986 on July 8, 2010

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A very good read.

    I have to say, it took me awhile to understand and appreciate Olive. I actually did not like her extremely well throughout the book but I understood her. My book club read this book and it made for a very good discussion. I would not say this is a light-reading, fun book but it is very well written and interesting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2009

    I loved this book!

    A friend recommended this book to me. I am not usually a fan of short stories, but in reading these, I couldn't wait to read the next. Olive Kitterage was the thread who I ended up loving the most. It is obvious as to why this author won the Pulitzer: each character and every setting, was described in such a way that I felt I knew them intimately and could visualize the space and feel the weather and hear the sounds and silences. And all done in so few pages. And yes, there was a plot because I cared about them all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful, touching read!

    All of the stories and characters in this book beautifully intertwine to create a world that the reader is lucky to catch a glimpse of. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    Great stories

    This is a good read. The writing is great. I loved the idea of reading about characters in a small town and how their lives intermingled. I got to know Olive by the end of the book and liked her by then too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    I loved this book!

    The characters are interesting and believable. The writing is wonderful. I loved this book and recommended it to friends who have also really liked it. It was the monthly choice at a bookgroup where I was a guest and we had a great discussion about it. Now my bookgroup is reading it and I look forward to participating in another discussion of it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Really good!

    I heard about this book on NPR and purchased it the same day not knowing it was actually a collection of short stories (which I don't usually like) but I really enjoyed this book. Alot!! Having Olive Kitteredge as the character tying all the stories together was a great touch. Colorful characters and very interesting overall.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A fine work

    In the ¿Pharmacy¿ in a small coastal Maine town, Olive and Henry Kitteridge are opposites. Whereas she is a reserved school teacher, he is an extroverted pharmacist she is attracted to a younger man while he likes ¿The Piano Player¿, but neither so far act on their feelings. Over time they raise a child, Christopher, who becomes a podiatrist, marries Suzanne, and moves to New York in 'A Little Burst' of next generation. He does all this while his ethical mom watches the 'Incoming Tide' chatting with her former student Kevin Coulson about is that all there is. Now a septuagenarian, Olive has financial 'Security', but is lonely so she visits her son, her daughter-in-law and her grandchildren in New York, but is disappointed in the behavior of the children. After she dies, her family and townsfolk think of Olive as a ¿River¿ flows.----------------- Each new tale builds off the previous tale so that the audience obtains thirteen related short stories that enable fans to get deeply inside the soul of Olive. The tales have differing leads, as Olive is the prime player in most of the entries, but also plays a secondary role in a few or serves as a memory of another person like her son relating his fears of his mom. Well written, OLIVE KITTERIDGE is an enjoyable ¿novel in stories¿ that provides a deep character study of the life of a woman told from a 360 degree feedback perspective.---------------- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    Yummy

    this was a very good book. Very interesting set up. Characters were wonderful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    It's true that Olive's character challenges paved the way to her

    It's true that Olive's character challenges paved the way to her own unhappiness - but every path has sideroads!
    Olive's story details the courage required to revise one's life: Olive pries open her eyes and unflinchingly tolerates what is revealed to her about herself, her relationship with her husband, son, students and townspeople. She then makes some astounding inner adjustments - a transformation I found moving and inspiring!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    Ariella

    What ?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    Drew

    My house is forth resukt

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    TO EVERYPONY

    I will not be writing until the day after tomarrow. Sorry :(~ss

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    Rich and rewarding

    If you love great writing, this collection of stories (which read more like a novel due to the plot and character development shared by most of them) - then this wonderful book should be your next read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2013

    Loved this book.

    This goes on my list for one of the best.So creative.Great writing.Highly recommend .Olive is very honest .

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  • Posted August 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book was soooo good. I loved it and recommend it highly.Gre

    This book was soooo good. I loved it and recommend it highly.Great writing. Kept my interest from the start. Great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    Poignant, painful and definitely worth the read

    There were sections in this book that hit home a little too closely, and for me, I noticed that I get older, a little bit of Olive pops up in me, as I think it does in many of us. Though far from perfect in so many ways, this character influences those around her in ways she is unaware, and in every story of the different family situations, her name or her physical person shows up. I don't want to say much more except to say that it is worth the read and the poignant tear or two. Horribly sad, no, but it is a very human story, and I am thankful to my book club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    One of the greatest American novels ever written! I truly believ

    One of the greatest American novels ever written! I truly believe this will eventually become a classic in the tradition of Willa Cather, 
    Harper Lee, Edith Wharton and, just to be fair, Truman Capote. A sensitive, beautiful , touching, Very American
    Novel ....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Enjoyable Read

    I really enjoyed this book. The portrayal of each character was honest and in spite of the harsh light of exposed human flaws; each was likeable and I loved them with genuine affection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2013

    How others see us

    Strout's characters are as real as the neighbor you've known for 20 years and as endlessly surprising.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Mark

    Walks in* whatcha talkin about?

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 235 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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