Richard Kramer's Reviews > The Whip

The Whip by Karen Kondazian
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it was amazing

Karen Kondazian gave three of the most exciting performances I’ve seen in decades of LA theatre-going. Her Serafina in THE ROSE TATTOO revealed that play for me. Her Alexandra del Lago in SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH was terrifying, for her portraying of the ruthless hunger of Williams’ movie star for fame, youth, and beauty. And her Maria Callas in MASTER CLASS let me see that was a great play; her earthiness and operatic grief trumped Zoe Caldwell’s, at least for me.

And now she’s written a book! THE WHIP has to be described as a “Western” novel, which is a marketing tool that is or isn’t useful to attract readers. It’s actually just a novel, and a fine one, told with the urgency and intensity Kondazian found in her stage work. It’s based on the true story of Charley Pankhurst; a story I didn’t know but am happy to know now. Parkhurst was a quasi-legendary stagecoach driver who was not, actually, a man. She was a Charlotte, an orphan, a person whose subsequent life seems to have been invented and captured by an American Robert Louis Stevenson. Whips, vigilantes, cross-dressing, revenge …. all my favorite hobbies! The Whip whips by in a blur of narrative, expertly managed by the driver of the stage, the novelist, herself. Highly recommended.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 30, 2015 – Shelved

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