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book review:

The Olive and the Dawn

The Olive and the Dawn is a book of stories where the title characters “the Olive” and “the Dawn” show up sporadically. With music, tennis, dogs, bikes, God, amputa­tion and lost love intertwined throughout these stories, Orti is very conscious of the art of the narrative as a story–pointing out that one should “never trust in one whose profession it is to make up stories.” He weaves the story of the Olive and the Dawn throughout allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions about what the true story of these two lovers is. Starting and ending with a riddle, Orti’s stories are like poetry in motion as he pushes the love story of these two star-crossed lovers together and then draws them apart again. A book of stories that are very conscious of the fact that they are indeed stories, the narrator teases the reader by giving us the “geographi­cal opportunity to pinpoint [the Olive’s] location,” but then pointing out that he’s not homeless but placeless. In case you missed something, there are also instanc­es of Deus Ex-Machina, and for a close reader, an interesting play on words is sprinkled throughout these short stories prompting you to go back and re-read to see if there was a clue that you might have missed on first read. Orti intrigues and engages through his brief snapshots into the lives and personalities of his char­acters prompting you to want more de­tails or insight into who they are and the things that matter to them. The Olive and the Dawn is an engaging read that entices more questions than it answers on one read. A re-read of this book may be nec­essary to truly devise what really happens between The Olive, The Dawn, God and the Dog. (Sara Ritchie)

by Ian Orti, $12, 91 pgs., Snare Books, 4832A Parc Ave., Montreal QC, H2V 4E6,

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