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Celine Audiobook

Celine: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars and The Painter, a luminous, masterful novel of suspense - the story of Celine, an elegant, aristocratic private eye who specializes in reuniting families, trying to make amends for a loss in her own past.

Working out of her jewel box of an apartment at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, Celine has made a career of tracking down missing persons, and she has a better record at it than the FBI. But when a young woman, Gabriela, asks for her help, a world of mystery and sorrow opens up. Gabriela's father was a photographer who went missing on the border of Montana and Wyoming. He was assumed to have died from a grizzly mauling, but his body was never found. Now, as Celine and her partner head to Yellowstone National Park, investigating a trail gone cold, it becomes clear that they are being followed - that this is a case someone desperately wants to keep closed. Combining the exquisite plotting and gorgeous evocation of nature that have become his hallmark, with a wildly engrossing story of family, privilege, and childhood loss, Peter Heller gives us his finest work to date.

©2017 Peter Heller (P)2017 Random House Audio

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3.9 (84 )
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  •  
    Mel USA 03-16-17
    Mel USA 03-16-17 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Murder HE Wrote"


    Peter Heller wrote my sentimental favorite, The Dog Stars, with the precious ol' Jasper; devoted to Hig, flying the fuel restricted circumference day after day perched in the co-pilot's seat on a stack of handmade quilts. (I always think of that joke when I think of Dog Stars...*the dyslexic pilot whose co-pilot was DOG.*) Besides the sure sell of a furry character, the poetic styling, rugged outdoorsiness, the touch of philosophical pensiveness had me carrying a burning torch for Heller's zen-like edginess. And so, I devoured his next novel, The Painter, with nearly the same enthusiasm and dreamy reverie. I think Heller can thank me for selling probably a hundred copies at least of Dog Stars.

    Margaret Atwood reflected on failure in an article for The Guardian: "Who set the bar so high that most of our attempts to sail gracefully over it on the viewless wings of Poesy end in an undignified scramble or a nasty fall into the mud?" After the disappointment of Celine: A Novel, I thought about Atwood's remarks, and about my disappointment with Heller's new direction -- because this felt like a set up for a series.

    Celine still has some of the hallmarks of Heller's talents, his landscapes are just as vivid, and at times he hits some of the poetic prose, but overall it falls immensely short if you're comparing it to his previous works that *sailed so gracefully on the wings of Poesy.* He is in his element talking about the awe-inspiring landscapes of Yellowstone, Montana, and Wyoming. He is also in his element when he describes women -- and if you've read Heller's journalistic treatment of *grapefruit breasted* women you'll understand that concerning the female gender, the guy is leaden rather than golden. Here let's talk about the elephant in the pages...the old, wrinkly, wizened, graying senior citizen, emphysemic, "old woman" Celine. The 'ol gal is all of 67. (Hope Heller never intends on asking Christie Brinkley for a date.) Celine is the "Prada P.I," not your ordinary, uh, private dick. A haute couture doyenne sleuth that rubs elbows with international dignitaries, quotes all kinds of literature and poetry, shoots with the precision of a military marksman, drives like Mario Andretti, and has to regularly turn down the FBI...she punks Bond.

    Even writing this now, I have to pause a minute and let this sink in. From The Dog Stars to this. It was almost easier to suspend belief and accept the apocalyptic world of The Dog Stars than it is to suspend belief and even fathom Heller's 67 yr. old ass-kicker with the other foot in the grave, that has to remove her oxygen mask to chase a motorcycle gang out of a pool hall. No problem for Celine -- she seems to know a secret phrase that has them all holstering their switchblades, backing down and booking out of town as fast as their hogs can carry them. (From his pen to God's ears...yoga twice a week kicks my a$$.)

    "Who set the bar so high" that a fun little romp like this feels like a bit of a sell-out? Guess cynical ol' Me did. Wouldn't exactly call it a "nasty fall into the mud," I just expected so much more. Can't quite shake the feeling that Heller, seeing that Jessica Fletcher has been retired to re-runs of re-runs sees a niche. This will take some adjustment for me IF I continue to be a fan of Heller's. In retrospect, I think I'm possibly more a fan of The Dog Stars than I am of Heller's.




    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Minott Cardiff by the Sea, CA United States 04-12-17
    G. Minott Cardiff by the Sea, CA United States 04-12-17 Member Since 2012
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    Setting, characters, better than plot"

    Good outdoorsy material;contrived plot. Narrator made the best of it
    The way-out plot of The Dog Stars was actually more believable. This was entertaining for setting and main characters

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rev. Randy Kittelson Golden, CO 05-16-17
    Rev. Randy Kittelson Golden, CO 05-16-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Boring story, improbable character"

    This is the worst story I've ever heard. It's incredibly boring, hours full of description and history that doesn't develop the story. And Celine is the most unreal and improbable character I've ever encountered in a story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Kimberly K Simoni 04-24-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Long and convoluted ...very disappointing."

    narrator was just fine with difficult material. too bad after Dog Stars and The Painter, both of which I loved.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Martha East Hampton, NY, United States 04-19-17
    Martha East Hampton, NY, United States 04-19-17 Member Since 2009
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    "Love the story, Hate the Maine accent"

    I love Peter Heller's audible books and while I have not yet finished Celine, I am enjoying it (though not quite as much as Dog Stars and The Painter). However, that said, I cannot bear the Maine accent the narrator uses for Peter and it is making the experience much less enjoyable. I will continue listening, but wanted to check out the other reviews to see if anyone else felt the same way. I see some do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Stockholm, NJ, United States 04-05-17
    Gail Stockholm, NJ, United States 04-05-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Horrible Narration"

    Narrator's voice was inexpressive and overly arch. she made everything sound sarcastic. Only the plot kept me going.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Dallas, TX, United States 03-31-17
    Ann Dallas, TX, United States 03-31-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Hooray for Celine - one spunky lady!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Celine to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read it in print but I could not stop listening to it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Moves at a great pace. Writing is very visual and lends itself well to the audible medium. Great characters and GREAT narrator.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    nope - just really liked it.


    Any additional comments?

    Great to see active, engaged characters beyond "a certain age" this was a wonderful book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    szd -seattle Seattle, WA USA 03-21-17
    szd -seattle Seattle, WA USA 03-21-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Narration ruins the book!"
    Would you try another book from Peter Heller and/or Kimberly Farr?

    With apology to the narrator, who is talented, this narration is a total MISS and ruins the book. I am almost halfway in and switching to kindle or paper. The Dog Stars and The Painter are near the top of my favorite book in the last 10 years and I had high hopes for Celine as well. It's not creative or literary in the same ways but a great story and the biographical homage to his mother (a PI with similar qualities as the protagonist) is terrific.
    From the first 15 minutes of the narration it never felt like Heller's 'voice'. While rich in psychology, his characters are somewhat droll in their self confidence. In print, I am certain to interpret Celine that way as well. Kimberly Farr acts out this novel with her own interpretation - the Maine accent for Pete (Celine's husband) is excruciatingly bad and annoying, and the inflection during the narration (outside of the dialog) forces a point of view to the reader best left to interpretation. Celine sounds like a ditzy interlocutor in her dialog - I am sure far from the reality Heller was intending.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    averageconsumer 03-13-17 Member Since 2017
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    "The Steller Peter Heller"
    Where does Celine rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is my favorite audiobook lately. As was The Painter in its time, and The Dogs Stars before that. Who can ever know where his story-telling magic elixir comes from? If anyone knew that, they'd be able to cast deep enchantments in the same way. And no one else does.

    I enjoy many kinds of books and very different writers for their own unique achievements.
    But more than any other, Peter Heller has always had a strange, robustly lyrical and very particular power. It is the ability to evoke and to deeply please both the mind and the heart simultaneously.


    What other book might you compare Celine to and why?

    And here is another aspect of the mysteriously unfathomable nature of Peter Heller. Nothing he writes ever remotely resembles any other work-- not even his own.


    Which character – as performed by Kimberly Farr – was your favorite?

    I don't have favorites in Celine, which is the literary equivalent of a fine orchestral piece. The best music depends on the subtle touches of minor players as well as on the main themes and featured performers. One character without all the others would have no contrast from which to emerge and be fully realized.

    The sign of great creativity is the sense of a completed wholeness.
    In Peter Heller's work, there never seems to be anything missing- or anything superfluous.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Well, I have the extreme reaction of perpetual quiet bliss while listening to it. The kind you experience when reading or listening to a work which fills and overflows every inner pocket of hopeful expectation.


    Any additional comments?

    Yes. Good audiobooks require the narrator to support the writing and the story without dominating it. Kimberly Farr reads this story very well.

    The only problem I have now is a very strong reluctance to finish this book. I know from experience that listening to his work again will have its own deeper and different enjoyments. But still...you know.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spinnaker 03-20-17
    Spinnaker 03-20-17
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    "If you liked his last two, this will disappoint"

    The Dog Stars and The Painter were wonderful. I mistakenly assumed his next book would be great, too. Boy was that assumption wrong. It got off to a good start with interesting characters and superbly crafted dialog - but it never develops a flow, suspense, or action.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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