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Jeffrey Dunn
Radio Free Olympia
Jeffrey Dunn, author

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

In Radio Free Olympia, Washington’s wild Olympic Peninsula is embodied through a captivating circle of visionaries and characters. Embark on a riveting journey into this untamed region, where folkloric legends and historical icons come to life as Jeffrey Dunn weaves the threads of many voices into a complex ecological tapestry.

Follow the enigmatic Petr, who armed with nothing but a pirate radio transmitter, fearlessly broadcasts the forgotten and untamed voices that echo through the wilderness. Venture deeper and encounter Baie, the founder of Wildsisters, a women’s roadhouse and sisterhood infused with the essence of cranberries. When a newborn is kidnapped from this safe haven, Baie and her community must unite and summon the strength to recover what has been stolen. Yet, their quest for justice extends beyond the realm of human characters—it must also be served for the fragile flora, the diverse fauna, and the very essence of the rugged terrain.

Marrying prose and poetry, fiction and history, the hard-boiled and the transcendent, Radio Free Olympia invites you to explore the profound interconnectedness between humanity and the natural world, immersing yourself in a land that transcends conventional boundaries.

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.75 out of 10


Plot/Idea: Radio Free Olympia is an enigmatic, place-driven novel that integrates lyrical vignettes with poetry and mythology. 

Prose: The writing style and tone of this novel is varied, alternately whimsical, brash, and sometimes even abrupt. Dunn alternates between these styles in a kaleidoscopic fashion that can border on chaotic. Readers of poetry who savor writing on a sentence-by-sentence level, will relish in the unique storytelling.

Originality: Radio Free Olympia possesses a unique versatility that is grounded more in a sense of place than in a steady progression of plot points.

Character/Execution: The many characters, human and otherwise, serve as near archetypes within the narrative. Dunn beautifully captures the spirit of the Pacific Northwest, both in terms of its rugged history, indigenous cultures, and dense wilderness. Though Dunn does not necessarily delve too deeply into any one character's psyche or show a significant amount of personal or collective development, readers will be left with an understanding of where they've come from and where they stand by the conclusion of the novel.

Date Submitted: April 05, 2024