Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wolverine Cirque by Joseph Olshan

Reviewer: Alan Chin
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media
Pages: 24

Sam and Mike are hikers and skiers. They don’t just ski, the hike to the top of mountains with their skis strapped to their shoulders, so they can experience the thrill of skiing the most dangerous, almost vertical runs, in the world. Wolverine Cirque is such a mountain, set in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.

Sam is forty-five years old; Mike is forty.  They’ve skied some of the scariest terrain on the planet. Wolverine Cirque will be a stretch, even for their advanced level of experience. It will challenge their skill, courage, and their ability to survive.

Enmeshed within their struggle with the mountain is Sam’s reminiscence of his doomed relationship with Luc, a professional soccer player. Though the flashbacks of their love affair, the reader realizes that Sam’s battle with the mountain is really a futile effort to hold back the course of his declining youth.

This story is both poignant and unforgettable. The characters are real and emotionally flawed. The sparse prose is nothing short of masterful; ambrosia from the gods could not be so delectable. This is an enthralling reflection on ageing and love.

After reading Wolverine Cirque a second time, I will read all Joseph Olshan other works. Bravo.

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