28 April 2014

Hibernate by Elizabeth Eslami, Book review

Cover of 'Hibernate' by Elizabeth Eslami

  • Series: Ohio State Univ Prize in Short Fiction
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Ohio State University Press (March 28, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814251881


Hibernate is a big-hearted and brutal story collection. In these globe-spanning stories, Elizabeth Eslami follows ordinary men and women who slowly awaken to hard choices. A fishing trip forces two Montana brothers to grow up in ways they never could have imagined. A Sudanese immigrant begins a new life with his girlfriend in America, only to find himself pulled toward his mother’s past transgressions. A group of tourists visits an Indian pueblo and realizes their tour guide isn’t at all who they expected. A shipwrecked captain and his men cling to the company of narwhals and Eskimos. And in the unforgettable title story, two lovers trade life as they’ve known it for an escape into the extraordinary.
A masterful storyteller as likely to draw blood as to heal, Eslami moves her restless, resilient characters across an uneven landscape toward a hard earned place of peace.

My thoughts:

This book was out of the realm of comfort for me Folks. It is not to say it was not well written but the concept was just a little far out for me!

Winner of the Ohio State University Prize in Short Fiction, HIBERNATE is a collection of eleven stories each featuring an intensity in situation and feelings, reflecting human resilience in the face of complex circumstances as far as I can tell.
The synopsis enticed me as the cover did not, and I struggled to appreciate the writer's outpourings.

The author clearly has a personal way to express herself, and the skills to convey her emotions.
Entertaining it was not, different definitively and perhaps readers might well appreciate the angle.

And that Folks, is the very best I can do.

Note: Due to thematic contents including violence and strong words, suitable only for mature readers.

Rating: I recommend readers to check out other reviews.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Eslami, author of 'Hibernate' and 'Bone Worship'

Elizabeth Eslami is the author of the forthcoming story collection, Hibernate, for which she was awarded the 2013 Ohio State University Prize in Short Fiction, as well as the novel Bone Worship (Pegasus, 2010).
Her essays, short stories, and travel writing have appeared most recently in The Rumpus, The Literary Review,Michigan Quarterly Review and The Sun, and her work is featured in the anthologies Tremors: New Fiction By Iranian American WritersThe Weeklings: Revolution 1, and Writing Off Script: Writers on the Influence of Cinema.  She also serves as senior prose editor for Tupelo Quarterly.
 Elizabeth Eslami currently teaches in the MFA Program at Manhattanville College.
Visit her website (HERE)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book courtesy of SPARKPOINT STUDIO as part of this book promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 


  1. You always give an honest and fair review. I don't read books that are out of my comfort zone very often. Thanks my friend! Hugs, Diane

    1. I have eclectic tastes or so I thought until then. I will be interested in finding out what others think!
      All the best,

  2. hmmm, sounds interesting actually. I think it's one I'd have to read a sample of first - I don't like books that are deliberately obscure but there is no way of telling without reading is there? thanks for the review.

    1. Jenny, it is always interesting to find out what reaction others have when reading a book so let me know!

  3. Due to perhaps the controversial nature of the review it has at the very least piqued my interest to learn a bit more about the stories.

  4. Thanks for your honest review. I think I will not be checking this one out. I have not been online much these days but wanted to stop by and say hi. Hope all is well.

    1. Definitively not your cup of tea Kayla and glad to see you here!
      Hugs to Ella and Emma and a big hello to Casey,


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