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Olive Kitteridge

Fiction
Written by: Elizabeth Strout
Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
Series: Olive Kitteridge, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (48 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • The beloved first novel featuring Olive Kitteridge, from the number one New York Times best-selling author of the Oprah’s Book Club pick Olive, Again

“Fiction lovers, remember this name: Olive Kitteridge.... You’ll never forget her.” (USA Today)

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post Book World USA Today San Francisco Chronicle Chicago Tribune Seattle Post-Intelligencer People Entertainment Weekly The Christian Science Monitor The Plain Dealer The Atlantic Rocky Mountain News Library Journal

At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.

As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life - sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition - its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

The inspiration for the Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries starring Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, and Bill Murray 

©2008 Elizabeth Strout (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

Olive Kitteridge still lingers in memory like a treasured photograph.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

“Rarely does a story collection pack such a gutsy emotional punch.” (Entertainment Weekly

“Strout animates the ordinary with astonishing force.... [She] makes us experience not only the terrors of change but also the terrifying hope that change can bring: she plunges us into these churning waters and we come up gasping for air.” (The New Yorker

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • KF
  • 2020-01-29

Boring

I'm having a hard time to enjoy this book to be honest. I'm not sure if is the voice or everything. Is very depressing. I'm reading Olive again at the same time...so far same thing. :/

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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America get your **** together

A country that has everything and continues to wallow in angst and treat others like dirt. Shake your head!

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Excellent book!!!

A book that makes you laugh and cry and gives you a deeper understanding and a new perspective of life. What else could you want from a book!! I loved it and can’t wait to listen to the sequel. The narrator is awesome!! Perfect for the material and not irritating in any way!!

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It could not hold my attention

I tried really hard to listen to this book. I just didn’t see the connection between all of the stories. Each chapter introduced a whole bunch of unrelated characters to keep track of. Every time I listened, my mind was not engaged, so it wandered off. I really did try, but t I just didn’t see the point. I did not end up finishing the book. I did try many times, but eventually stopped because I had to keep rewinding and restarting chapters I had missed out of boredom.

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A modern Peyton Place

The author was able to make me fall in love with the main character through excellent character development and storytelling.

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Excellent just excellent

I loved this book the reader was just fine it's a really good book I found it downright funny in places and sad but very very real

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WHAT?<br />

I have no idea how this won a Pulitzer. No idea what it was about. Just adding a person's name in each chapter doe not
t pull it all together. That would have been nice


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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kerr506
  • 2019-12-08

It's a Short Story Collection

I decided to read this since there is now a sequel. I didn't realize that it is actually a set of short stories in which Olive always seems to show up and may or may not play a significant part. I most enjoyed the stories that were directly about her with her husband and son. I would have rated this higher except I didn't really like all the "short story characters," many of whom were not really all that significant to the story, or at least to the parts of the story that interested me the most. I hope that the sequel is not written this way.

I look forward to the sequel and to watching the movie. I think that Frances McDormand is the perfect actress to play Olive and pictured her the whole time I was reading this. I liked the audible book narrator as her tone seemed to capture Olive's personality.

Sure this book is depressing -- about aging, death and kids who walk out of your life. But I like Olive's matter-of-fact look at things.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Janine M.
  • 2019-12-19

Olive is a complex soul

I often have difficulty with books that don’t have a clear, positive protagonist. Olive is painfully oblivious to her own cold rudeness but occasionally rises to great compassion. A frustrating gal to be our protagonist.
I recommend the book to those with patience for complex souls who are not always easy to be around.

4 people found this helpful

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  • George D. Geddes
  • 2019-10-18

Touching story about the imperfect nature of life.

I was touched by Olive and definitely understood her. Loved the narration as well. Looking forward to my next read by this author.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-10-28

Depressing! Watse of a credit!

Multiple short 'stories?' Episodes in unfunny, detatched woman's life. No real beginning or end. Just overwhelmingly depressing life clips! I kept listening, thinking that there must be a story somewhere that might tie it all together. But - NO!

28 people found this helpful

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  • Sherman's Mom
  • 2019-06-20

Wonderful in all ways

The story and narration were fantastic and I did not want the audiobook to end!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Monkey-sue
  • 2019-10-08

extremely talented writer...BUT

it was hard to follow.... the story was tremendously well written but so convoluted and filled with completely off topic characters....I had to keep going back and rereading thinking ahead miss something... like who are these people... over and over

12 people found this helpful

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  • book reader
  • 2019-06-28

Standing ovation.

Such a wonderful book. The narrator was perfect! I will be recommending this as a wonderful read.

7 people found this helpful

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  • D. D. Newman
  • 2019-10-06

<br />Read it and nod in recognition, weep, and laugh.

Novel or short story collection?
No need to decide. Olive, bless her or damn her, is always there, more or less.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Isabella Piestrzynska
  • 2019-12-26

Fabulously wise and rich

A profound and beautifully written exploration of frailty, forgiveness, yearning, cruelty, rage, madness, and, mostly, love. Just astounding,

1 person found this helpful

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  • Christie Chaudry
  • 2019-11-26

Excellent!

The performance was almost as wonderful as the story itself. Excellent all around! Highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful