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HATING OLIVIA's Reviews

Hating Olivia's Mark SaFranko Mark SaFranko Hating Olivia's Full Cover Hating Olivia's Reviews Download a PDF sample of Hating Olivia Hating Olivia Hating Olivia on Amazon Buy our Books on our Paypal Shop Return to MurderSlim.com

"I know why I write. I write because I must. I cannot stop. I'm driven by rage and insanity and crushing ambition. Mark SaFranko scares people like me. I believe the guy would rather write than breathe. I envy his talent and commitment."
"It is a story of love and human addiction. Here the scenes between Max and his lady love are open heart surgery done with an axe. If you're a Henry Miller or Bukowski fan then Hating Olivia is fresh meat, a gift tied together with a blood-stained bow."
--- Dan Fante (extracts from the introduction to Hating Olivia)

"Most books I read that are about lust, drugs, sex and women make me cringe and hate the idiots who wrote them for not realising they haven't got half the talent their heroes -- invariably Bukowski, Miller, Fante -- had. Mark SaFranko's Hating Olivia is a refreshing exception. The words 'raw,' 'brutal,' 'addictive' and 'brilliant' are so overused they have almost lost their meaning, but they are fitting descriptions of a memoir from a very, very talented author."
--- James Doorne (Bizarre Magazine - Issue 105)

"In a larger context, SaFranko's first-person narratives, particularly his two brilliant "Max Zajack" novels, Hating Olivia and Lounge Lizard, likely find their earliest antecedents in the rambling, unnamed narrator of Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground... That being said, SaFranko's prose, though blunt and unadorned, is superbly crafted and moves with cinematic velocity toward its bleak (but often comic) conclusions."
"Hating Olivia charts Zajack's obsessive relationship with a woman - as unstable and toxic as him - named Olivia Aphrodite. Weeks after meeting Olivia the passion disintegrates into madness and betrayal. And sexual obsession, or sexual madness, works as the obvious narrative engine for this story, one that hooks you from the beginning and doesn't let up for a moment."
--- Salvatore Difalco (Toro Magazine)

"Hating Olivia... instills its susceptible characters with a well-crafted sense of empathy.... [it] wavers constantly on the verge of falling to a juvenile tale of romantic idealism and angst against the Corporate Machine, but SaFranko navigates those cliffs beautifully, always artfully rescuing and re-establishing the book to its deeper, emotional heart."
--- Caleb J. Ross (Outsider Writers Collective)

"Funny like a fat kid running for a bus, and pretty like a razor wound, Hating Olivia is both darkly humorous and beautifully twisted... In his introduction, Fante describes Hating Olivia as being like "Open heart surgery performed with an axe". His writing is often compared to that of Charles Bukowski, and whilst I believe that both are great writers, I think that this is where the similarity ends. He has an individual style that simply must be read."
--- Ben Jordan (O.I.B. Magazine #4)

"SaFranko's prose is enthusiastically profane...as a narrator Max is engaging, funny and full of straight-talk...SaFranko has a talent for two-fisted, Bukowski-esque prose...."
--- Kirkus Reviews

"Hating Olivia is a novel about youth, passion and irresponsibility....If your literary taste runs to writers like Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski, Celine and Anais Nin, Hating Olivia is a novel you'll like."
--- BlogCritics.org

"SaFranko attaches a powerful message to an often painfully familiar story, about the individual versus the collective, the struggle to maintain the dream, and the importance of getting back up no matter how many times you fall."
--- Booklist

"...radiates with an identifiable heartbreaking nostalgia that renders its affect timeless... Hating Olivia is a swift kick in the balls to modern fiction."
--- BookFetish.org

"Released in April 2009, Mark SaFranko's Putain d'Olivia tells the 1970's tale of Max Zajack: loser, American outsider, aspiring writer and more. [The book charts] his inability to integrate into the crowd and his stubbornness in not following the ambitions of his partner - Olivia - who is fuelled by the American Dream (nice clothes, nice car, nice apartment). Through the story of the construction and destruction of their passionate love, SaFranko delivers a bitter satire on the decline of American society and its tendency to submerge individuality in a wave of prefabricated ideals."
--- Arkady Knight (Le Cafard Cosmique)

"The tale is one of decline, but for a reader it is an escalator into greater heights of the human mind and moral corruption. This novel features an introduction by Dan Fante and from the very first chapter you dive head on into the intriguing world of Zajack and the people he encounters.
"If you thought there is nothing that challenges your mind and spirit through modern fiction, just grab this one and it will hold you 'til you thumb through the last page. Money, passion, madness, drugs, pity, penury and self-preservation - the novel Hating Olivia is a tale that would be relevant no matter where you are or which era you come from, because human traits and faults are ultimately universal and SaFranko's words will dig deep into you."
--- Ujjwal Dey (Freedom Fiction Journal, Vol. 2, Issue 1)

"The details of the relationship, based on lust rather than communication or empathy, are horrendously familiar when you've been in similar situations yourself. From a starting point of hot sex and mutual flattery, the couple over time fail to overcome the mundane challenges of living together, turning each problematic situation into a damaging assault upon each other. I don't think SaFranko portrays himself as a victim, his unrelenting honesty achieves quite the opposite effect of making us question his actions as much as hers, though his disdain for Olivia's craving for a bourgois existence is searing. Ultimately, the couple use the very things which bound them together in the first place as weapons - sex becomes a power game and flattery turns to spite. The overall effect is compelling. Highly recommended."
--- Epmax (Amazon.com)

"It is a book of quiet horrors and beautifully expressed longing. Whether describing the attempted extraction of a still wriggling cockroach from the ear cavity of a screaming fellow lodger, or the endless, burning rage of an abused and abusive lover, SaFranko's prose is precise, flawless and the work of a man who truly loves and understands great writing. To be a fan of Mark SaFranko is to belong to an exclusive club: to appreciate the work of a man who is a truly great American writer, yet who has not been commodified, exploited and repackaged for the masses. Yet, that is."
"[Hating Olivia] stands proudly alongside the giants: a book so packed with blood, poetry, heart and pain that I could barely believe, after I put it down, that the author wasn't a household name already."
--- Tony O'Neill (Scarecrow)

"It's easy to spot the Hamsun, Bukowski and Fante on SaFranko's bookshelves, but to say Hating Olivia is just a facsimile of these writers is way off the mark. SaFranko writes from the heart, and the balls, crafting a furious and passionate piece of work that is entirely his own, with some scenes that would make even Bukowski blush."
"[SaFranko's] style is something not crafted in any school; it is that pure feeling that cannot be taught. Sure, great writers work at their craft - SaFranko will freely admit this himself - but how do you bottle lightning? Only SaFranko can tell you that."
--- Susan Tomaselli (Dogmatika)

"Hating Olivia... has gained a dedicated cult following, and gained an almost mythic status amongst the literary underground intelligentsia. I read Hating Olivia... and it blew me away."
--- Joseph Ridgwell (Bookmunch)

"Mark SaFranko's Hating Olivia is a book Front & Centre readers will love. It has all the necessary elements: grit, pace, sex, violence, despair, shitty jobs, betrayal, abuse and lust."
"SaFranko writes in the tradition of Bukowski, Henry Miller, Hubert Selby and others who have plotted the down and out of America. But by no means is this a derivative literary effort. SaFranko has a voice and style all his own. Using poetic but forceful language, he resists cliche, nostalgia and sentiment to deliver a bare bones portrait of what it means to fall in and out of love while existing on the fringes of the American dream. It's ugly and bleak but then so too is life, especially when you're on the losing end. Hating Olivia is a first-rate novel and a true underground literary nugget."
--- Matthew Firth (Front & Centre #17)

"This book is a page turner. SaFranko litters his story with his hopes and dreams and nightmares... This is a book that might have been created in the 1950s, with Maurice Girodias, publisher of the famed Olympia Press in Paris."
--- Colin Cooper (Beat Scene Issue 49)

"Hating Olivia is a remarkable tale of obsession and lust, a stunning portrait of a dangerously alienated hero masterfully told. You will not be able to put it down."

--- Mary Dearborn (Mailer - A Biography; The Happiest Man Alive, A Biography of Henry Miller)

"With only experience and heart to guide him, he descends into a murky basement to do a kind of battle amongst unknown elements with little light and a monumental task before him... He does the hardest trick best, seamlessly. Throughout Hating Olivia, SaFranko shows his versatility and skill as a writer by making something supremely difficult look easy as hell."
--- Mike Ferraro (www.laurahird.com)

"Like many of the great iconoclast writers... such as John Fante, Henry Miller, and Bukowski, SaFranko's fiction has its roots in painfully lived experience. Here is a writer who has held every kind of job and lived every kind of pain -- and yet like the great writers who transmute their life and suffering into art, SaFranko has, in Hating Olivia, achieved a rare form of catharsis that is elevated to the level of art."
--- Karl Orend (Alyscamps Press, Paris)

"The book itself is beautifully written. The prose is hard and vivid, never lapsing into cliches or flowery language. You can almost hear the rattle of a typewriter as SaFranko wrestles each word onto the page. He has a great skill for creating characters that are tangibly real in their brilliance and their fatal flaws, and Max's great love and destroyer, Olivia, is a living, breathing terribly vivid creation."
"In his introduction, Fante describes the scenes between Max and Olivia as being like 'open heart surgery performed with an axe' and it's hard to think of a better description. Mark SaFranko is a major discovery for me. This book is one of the most exciting new novels I have read in a long time... Go on, track down a copy, and discover this book for yourself."
--- Tony O'Neill (3am Magazine)

"STOP: Put down your Grisham and Stephen King. Hating Olivia is the real deal. An addiction of the heart. I read it in one day. I recommend it one hundred percent."
--- Dan Fante (Mooch, Chump Change, Corksucker, Savage Kick #1)