Olimpix is not only an inspiring story of great deeds done by young men and women, in its second half it is a story of one of those young men grown to a man. It is a novel that even those who don’t know the first thing about sport can enjoy for the rich language of its narrative, the complexity of its multi-faceted characters, the exotic locales of its settings, and the sweep of a story that ranges from California in the 1970’s to the postwar landscapes of old Yugoslavia in the present day. This is a deeply satisfying read for fans of the Olympics, and for those who simply love great novels.
The novel begins in Louisiana with the story of Zachary Goodin and his football legend father. From here it shifts to California where soon a swim team is born and young talent begin to climb the rankings of age group swimming. The best of these
swimmers soon make it all the way to the Games. The experience of competing in an Olympic Games final is described in great detail – it is vibrantly, unforgettably rendered. The first half of the novel ends with the disastrous consequences brought about by the intrusion of politics into the Olympics.
The second half of the story is in present day. We are in New York, and one of those Olympic hopefuls is now forty, quitting his job and moving to Europe. He will encounter the next generation of athlete there, and he will be forced to face up to his responsibilities both to them and to himself and his loved ones. In the second half of the book the scenery along the breathtaking Dalmatian coast of Croatia, the characters and drama are rendered with a rare beauty and power. This novel does not coast to the end; like an athlete in an Olympic Games final, it is stronger in the second half and stays strong all the way to the finish.