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review 2020-02-01 13:26
Olalla
Olalla - Robert Louis Stevenson

Olalla was my first venture into the literary works of Robert Louis Stevenson and it was not a very good one. I have a lot of friends who keep telling me to get to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde so I had high expectations of this one, but I don't know. I don't think the story was very good, or that much happened for that matter. I know Victorian prose has a tendency to be slow but this is taking it to a new level. No thanks.

 

~Little Black Classics #19~

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review 2016-05-11 18:11
Olalla - Robert Louis Stevenson

I think I would have enjoyed this better if the narrator wasn't such a snob. He really, really is a snob. One of those British long nosed, look down on everyone types. Quite frankly, Poe does this type of thing much better.

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review 2015-04-24 00:00
Olalla (Little Black Classics, #19)
Olalla - Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenston was a 19th Century Scottish writer, most famous for Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Olalla is an early short story about a young English soldier recovering in the Spanish mountains from his war wounds.

"And if they knew you were the handsomest and the most pleasant man that ever came from England (where I am told that handsome men are common, but pleasant ones not so much so), they would doubtless make you welcome with a better grace."

It is a very well-written early take on Vampires, pre-dating Dracula by 12 years. It is of the early Gothic type, where the horrors are narrated only via the narrator himself, and not gone in to much detail. It is majestic in its description, as any first-person story should be, but which all modern-day ones lack completely.

"[Love] should lie no longer under the bonds of silence, a dumb thing, living by the eye only, like the love of beasts; but should now put on the spirit, and enter upon the joys of the compete human intimacy."

A tale of old-kind love, which at its heart is not so different to ours now, but one which speaks so much more deeper than many I have encountered.
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review 2013-08-25 00:00
Olalla
Olalla - Robert Louis Stevenson Olalla is an engaging, well-written work of Gothic horror. We are introduced to a sympathetic narrator, a soldier recovering from a wound, and the exotic setting where he seeks to recover. . Namely, a dilapidated castle set against the Spanish mountains.

There, we meet the equally decaying family line that takes care of the home; a simpleton, amicable son named Felipe, the sensual, idiotic, and child-like mother, and lastly, the mysterious Olalla, who we don't meet until later in the story.

All the ingredients for an exciting yarn are present. Unfortunately, Stevenson takes it absolutely nowhere. It's almost as if he had half of an idea for a great short story, but finished writing without ever coming up with its conclusion. There is an interesting mystery along with a predictable love subplot, but both ultimately go nowhere.

The ending is especially unsatisfying, proving no real punchline, resolution, or point. I don't mind vagueness in a horror work that is up to a reader's interpretation, as long as we are a presented with meaningful events and a significant ending, qualities which something like "The Turn of the Screw" had, and "Olalla" doesn't.

That's unfortunate; the writing is good, the characters and concepts are intriguing, but ultimately, it's a dud.
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review 2012-07-24 00:00
Olalla - Robert Louis Stevenson I've never heard of this story before and randomly found the audiobook (great way to get reading done while walking the dog). I'm glad I found it. Another story from R.L.S. and this time with a little vampire action.
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