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Oliver Loving

by Stefan Merrill Block

Books of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on Oliver Loving

Oh, what a truly beautiful read this is, though do prepare for your heart to ache, weep, and possibly even break. For the last ten years, Oliver Loving has been lying in a hospital bed, paralysed and non-communicative, is he trapped in his own mind, can a new test release him? Everyone wants answers, they also want to know what happened ten years ago, on the night of the school dance in Bliss, Texas… and what caused the tragedy that took place there. The story focusses on Oliver, his mother Eve, and brother Charlie, and how one event has trapped them, has maimed them all. Stefan Merrill Block writes so thoughtfully, an almost gentle lyrical quality caresses the pages, yet he encourages searching questions, for you to travel deeper, to look further. This is an emotional read, the writing touched me, deep inside my heart, and a part of Oliver Loving will remain there. Almost otherworldly, yet raw and true and full of heart, Oliver Loving is profoundly moving, and captivating, I highly recommend stepping inside the pages, and becoming one with the story. Oliver Loving is one of my picks of the month.

Liz Robinson

Oliver Loving Synopsis

An exquisitely moving novel of sorrow, love, and the miracle of human connections. - Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire For ten years, a secret has slept with Oliver Loving. One moonless November night, Oliver shyly joined his classmates at Bliss County Day School's annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music played in the gymnasium, a troubled young man snuck in through the school's back door with a gun. It was all over in a few terrible minutes; the dire decisions this man made that night, and the unspoken story he carried, forever transformed Oliver's world and tore the town of Bliss, Texas apart. Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Meanwhile, his parents and his brother try to cope in their own disparate self-destructive ways, whilst Rebekkah, who left Texas long ago, still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night. Oliver Loving is a brilliant and beautifully told story of family, as heart-breaking as it is profound. It is a novel of the myths we make; the ties that bind us and the forces that keep us apart.

Oliver Loving Press Reviews

Psychologically astute. - Esquire

At once timely and timeless. - Booklist, Starred Review

A beautifully rendered meditation on the nature of forgiveness, mercy, and healing. - Library Journal, Starred Review

Book poses big questions about what constitutes a life worth living. - Publishers Weekly

Brilliantly illuminates the enduring bonds of family and offers one of literature's best explorations of the limits of communication we all grapple with. - Matthew Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of 'We Are Not Ourselves'

A captivating, powerful novel. - Teddy Wayne, author of 'The Love Song of Jonny Valentine'

A moving novel of love, family, and loss, Stefan Merrill Block's Oliver Loving pulls on every heart string. - PopSugar

In elegant and beautiful prose, Block describes how Oliver's family splits apart after his shooting. - Psychologies

A haunting, imaginative, and deeply poignant story by one of America's great wordsmiths. I love this wise, probing and beautiful novel. - Steve Toltz, author of the Man Booker shortlisted 'A Fraction of the Whole'

The last book that made me cry: Stefan Merrill Block's Oliver Loving. Its subject matter - a young man in a coma after a school shooting, and the repercussions for his family - lends itself to tears, but the novel's real accomplishment is to avoid pulling heartstrings. - Guardian

Oliver Loving is an extraordinary novel about family and community, told with real heart and humour and style. Stefan Merrill Block has the rare ability to capture, in his literature, the secrets we store in silence - the pages of a life that are rarely read aloud. - Jonathan Lee, author of 'High Dive'

Haunting, bittersweet, addictive. - J. Courtney Sullivan, author of 'Maine'

Stefan Block's profound novel, Oliver Loving, is intricately constructed and rich with devastating, gorgeous prose. - Jami Attenberg, New York Times bestselling author of 'The Middlesteins'

A dazzling, psychologically astute, scientifically engaged novel about love, loss, and the mysteries of the mind... Block dares to ask some of the most profound questions of what it means to be alive. - David Ebershoff, author of 'The Danish Girl'

An exquisitely moving novel of sorrow, love, and the miracle of human connections. - Kamila Shamsie, author of 'Home Fire'

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781786492104
Publication date: 03/01/2019
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781786492081
Publication date: 01/03/2018
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781786492104
Publication date: 3rd January 2019
Author: Stefan Merrill Block
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Stefan Merrill Block

Stefan Merrill Block grew up in Plano, Texas. His first book, The Story of Forgetting, was an international bestseller and the winner of Best First Fiction at the Rome International Festival of Literature. Stefan's stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR's Radiolab, GRANTA, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. Stefan lives in Brooklyn.

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