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Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter | [Randy L. Schmidt]

Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter

Little Girl Blue is an intimate profile of Karen Carpenter, a girl from a modest Connecticut upbringing who became a Southern California superstar. Karen was the instantly recognizable lead singer of the Carpenters. The top-selling American musical act of the 1970's, they delivered the love songs that defined a generation. Little Girl Blue reveals Karen's heartbreaking struggles with her mother, brother, and husband; the intimate disclosures she made to her closest friends; and much more.
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Publisher's Summary

Little Girl Blue is an intimate profile of Karen Carpenter, a girl from a modest Connecticut upbringing who became a Southern California superstar.

Karen was the instantly recognizable lead singer of the Carpenters. The top-selling American musical act of the 1970's, they delivered the love songs that defined a generation. Little Girl Blue reveals Karen's heartbreaking struggles with her mother, brother, and husband; the intimate disclosures she made to her closest friends; her love for playing drums and her frustrated quest for solo stardom; and the ups and downs of her treatment for anorexia nervosa. After her shocking death at 32 years of age in 1983, she became the proverbial poster child for that disorder; but the other causes of her decline are laid bare for the first time in this moving account.

Little Girl Blue is Karen Carpenter's definitive biography, based on exclusive interviews with her innermost circle of girlfriends and nearly 100 others, including childhood friends, professional associates, and lovers.

©2010 Randy L. Schmidt (P)2013 Randy L. Schmidt

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  •  
    Pedro Belo Horizonte, Brazil 11-27-13
    Pedro Belo Horizonte, Brazil 11-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Karen Carpenter's real story finally revealed!"

    If you love the Carpenters music, and consider Karen Carpenter's voice one of the most precious ever, you're going to enjoy learning more about her! Even those who don't care for the Carpenters music, this is a beautiful, nice, interesting, musical, but also sad and tragic story! But certainly one that will keep you interested from start to finish, and you will be longing to learn more and understand more about this life which was over way too soon! If you already know a lot about the Carpenters and what ultimately happened with Karen, you are going to learn much more, because this book tells this story in a way it's never been told before, with some of her closest friends thoroughly telling us new information for the first time! The more you read, the closer you get to her and her family! In the end, you feel like you know Karen very well, almost personally!
    From a childhood in Connecticut, filled with records, sports, and dear friends, through an adolescence with a lot of music and the discovery of her great friend, the drum kit, to a youth full of gold records and awards! The personal conflicts, the struggle for true love and self control over her own life! The extensive touring and the attempt at a solo effort! The big admiration for a dear brother she looked up to and who loved her endlessly, and the unhappy, failed marriage! The depth of a beautiful, velvety, hevenly-sent voice, the disease, and the death!
    Karen was a truly beautiful young woman, she was pretty! But, behind the golden voice, there were many layers of a life with which she was happy, but it was not yet close to a life she dreamed of. She could never seem to find true love, despite being the center of attention to the Carpenters audience! The author Randy Schmidt did a wonderful and extensive job of years to make interviews and fill the gaps of this story, in a very well done tribute to this amazingly talented lady who inspired and still inspires the lives of many people, from all ages and different parts of the world.
    Her voice talks straight into my soul, the songs she sang talk straight into my heart, and the connection I feel with her is unaccountably natural, even though we're separated by time and space, so I wanted to get closer to her and learn about her story, and that was when this excellent book came out! And I've read it a bunch of times since then!
    Now we have this amazing audiobook version of this best-seller! It was read beautifully by Cheryl Bentyne, who has this incredible voice, and she was present on the day of Karen's last public appearance in January 1983, less than a month prior to Karen's passing, in the context of a reunion of Grammy-winning artists. She adds her beautiful voice to the telling of this story, with a soft and excellent reading, a great choice! Very good job! I loved both the book and the audiobook version of Little Girl Blue, and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-07-13
    Dawn Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-07-13 Member Since 2010

    cosmocitygirl

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bait and Switch"
    Any additional comments?

    The writer leads you to believe he's got the inside track on Karen and her eating disorder but instead he goes on and on about the parents, and the family, and the family's friends, and their move to California, and Richard, and how he got into the music industry, and how karen started singing, and how the music industry took on the Carpenters, and their accounting practices... I've listened to 11.5hrs of this book, total amount of time that focused on Karen was 1hr. All you learn about Karen is that she was a tomboy, started out playing drums, and fell into her singing career, he doesn't even touch on her eating disorder. 11.5hrs and that's all I get?! Ridiculous! He should have called it THE CARPENTERS AND THEIR RISE TO THE TOP not THE LIFE OF KAREN CARPENTER. This book is a total fraud.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 11-06-13
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 11-06-13 Member Since 2010

    Audio-addict!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    207
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    "Beautifully written. Excellent book."

    I was born in 1979, so I missed out on the phenomenon of the Carpenters. My only real idea of her was of a singer who died of anorexia.

    This book really opened my eyes to the remarkable life and outstanding talent of Karen Carpenter. Many things in this book surprised me: I love that she started out playing the drums! She was one of the first well known female drummers in the genre (probably in any genre.) I respect her complete loyalty to her brother, despite her potential to have a very popular solo career. Most of all, I just love her voice. Because I had little knowledge of the music, I kept pausing this book to look up Carpenters music online. I fell in love with her voice!

    I enjoyed reading about Karen as a young woman: about her early musical career on the drums, her fantastic collaboration with her brother Richard, and the serendipitous discovery that she had the voice of an angel

    I highly recommend for anyone, certainly not just carpenter fans. In fact I think those who are not fans will find this very interesting as well. The author explains issues the Carpenters had with their "goody-goody" image, and how it limited them and their music! There's also a great discussion of other stars like Olivia Newton John, the Jackson Five, and others.

    I was really impressed by this book, and can't praise the narrator enough.

    I was confused by the reviewer who disparaged the book for making "Karen a victim".
    I disagree 100%. There is NO BLAME placed on any one person for Karen's eating disorder. Instead this book succeeds in demonstrating how the illness slowly came about. There's no one thing that caused her condition. She developed a poor body image, meanwhile she was constantly in the public eye, placing incredible pressure on herself to be perfect. It's also a complicated function of many issues like control and self confidence. I never felt like she was victimized!

    An excellent book for everyone. I think music lovers will be surprised by how good this book is. A must buy!

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deborah Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-21-13
    deborah Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-21-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Snooze Fest"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone in need of a very good nap.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Dr. Sleep


    What didn’t you like about Cheryl Bentyne’s performance?

    Very drab....


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I do like Karen Carpenter


    Any additional comments?

    Not worth the read.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Metaphorical 1 Dekalb, Illinois, US 11-01-13
    Metaphorical 1 Dekalb, Illinois, US 11-01-13 Member Since 2010

    metaphorical 1

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Karen as Victim"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I was pleased to see this in audio format. I don't regret listening to it. However it was disappointing. I was hoping to hear a deeper account of Karen's creative process, not just an anecdotal account of her life with excessive detail about her death.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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