A.B. Gayle's Reviews > Ollie Always

Ollie Always by John  Wiltshire
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favourites

I had heard that a lot of this book drew on the author's own experiences, so at times I was distracted by wondering which bits were autobiographical and which just drew on thoughts and experiences.

In the end, I relaxed and took the story as it came. And there were many things to like about this book. First off, the scene where he manipulated the "meeting" was hilarious as were the books titles that followed.

Then there is Ollie. I felt for him trying to find a place for himself given the overwhelming (even if loving) presence of his mother. It's like I imagine many children of celebrities feel and why so many of them have troubles finding their own paths in life.

I loved how Ollie eventually found a way to come to terms with his Oliver namesake via Freddy.

And of course there is a dog. And a loveable one at that. I loved the way he leaned on people and how Ollie unabashedly used him to further his goals.

Don't expect lots of hot sex scenes, this is more two men finding a way to be together. Tom/Skint is a proud man. I loved the scene in the shearing shed he'd been living in, and the way Ollie reacted.

There were definitely echoes of Nik in Ollie and Ben in Tom, but these were more real and hence, more fragile versions.

This was the narrator discovering that "Once the me, me, me of life had ceased, hearing other people's pain became a great deal easier."

There were lovely digs at the reality of living in picture postcard New Zealand's remoteness. The temperature of the water, the cost of living.

I highlighted a couple of sections, but will probably see more when I re-read it as it is definitely worth it.
Tom did release Ollie's hand then, but only apparently to pat the dog. Ollie began to see a pattern here-stressful question...dog. He foresaw Bartleby being very well patted for a few more days and nights yet.
And this: As he says "He hadn't proved himself entirely reliable since he'd met Tom over shit, and parted over vomit."

It's lovely to have another stand alone from John even though I am waiting with bated breath for Book 8 of More Heat than the Sun.

This is not the gut wrenching high octane emotions or dramatic events. This is life. I absolutely loved the way Ollie fantasized about a "rose-cottage, sugar-coated fantasy" where he could "Cook them both breakfast and slip into Tom's room, be welcomed into bed with a grumpy but secretly very-pleased-to-see-him pat of encouragement on the sheets to crawl in alongside Tom and they could sit there eating, perhaps reading the papers..." OR... and you'll have to read it to discover the alternative.

And if JW is wondering what book to write next, those children's books sounded good. Kids books without the moral message or at least have it very well hidden. We need more books with heroes like Miles/Freddy. Raoul Dahl made a fortune with books bucking the "system" perhaps there is room for more. Or maybe we need a series of adventures with three legged Bartleby and his pedigree-in-disguise mutt partner. Gay dogs. Yep, I'd buy that!

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Quotes A.B. Liked

John  Wiltshire
“Dear God. This is what happens when you allow reading to the masses.”
John Wiltshire, Ollie Always


Reading Progress

January 14, 2016 – Started Reading
January 14, 2016 – Shelved
January 15, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Nikki Hardin Very different from Nik and Ben but utterly wonderful in its own right. It's so refreshing to read about two adults! Its witty and funny and romantic too. I galloped through it and wish I could have slowed down some, but it was just too good.


A.B. Gayle Yes, I am re-reading it more slowly. I hear you on the two adults bit. So true.


A.B. Gayle But Ollie has a bit of Nik's manipulative tendencies and Tom has some of Ben's ability to do primitive and austere and stiff necked pride.


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