Culture & Criticism Since 2003
This novel keeps you transfixed as you live Bailey Carpenter’s nightmare. In the story, Carpenter sustains a horrible attack. And in its aftermath, she flounders, unable to come to terms with what just happened. Thus, she confines herself to her apartment and begins scanning the landscape with her old binoculars. And in the apartment across the street, she comes to ‘know’ a handsome man whose life consumes her, pushing this troubled woman her to confront her own dark reality. Fielding’s work here is truly laudable: Not only has the author modernized Hitchcock’s masterfully frightening Rear Window, but she has also created a piece of fiction that uses the all-too-real affliction of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as the guts of the plot. Read by Christina Traister, whose loping voice nails you to the edge of the seat and doesn’t let go. Unabridged; running time: 13 hours.
THE STRANGER. Harlan Coben. Brilliance Audio. In The Stranger, Coben takes a theme that has reappeared in literature in various forms for centuries and puts his own indelible stamp on it, leaving the reader to question the depth and truthfulness of his own life. If you’re paying attention, you’ll finish the story and naturally ask: “Who among us has a clean heart?”
Jeffrey Archer’s As The Crow Flies is an ambitious story that does not disappoint on any level. The novel, which takes place over a sixty year span, is set in the slums of London circa World War I; it chronicles the life and times of Charlie Trumper. At the onset of the story, Trumper is a simple man with simple dreams: All he wants is to take over his grandfather’s fruit and vegetable barrow to toil as “The Honest Trader.” But the war changes that dream, and Charlie Trumper, for good. Quite simply, this is a movie in audio book form that will grip you start-to-finish. Released in digital audio March 2015. Unabridged; running time: 30:30.