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Extended Audio Sample The Astral Audiobook, by Kate Christensen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.19 out of 53.19 out of 53.19 out of 53.19 out of 53.19 out of 5 3.19 (27 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kate Christensen Narrator: Donald Corren Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781611201055
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The Astral is a huge rose-colored old pile of an apartment building in the gentrifying neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. For decades it was the happy home (or so he thought) of poet Harry Quirk and his wife, Luz, a nurse, and of their two children: Karina, now a fervent Freegan, and Hector, now in the clutches of a cultish Christian community. But Luz has found (and destroyed) some poems of Harry's that ignite her long-simmering suspicions of infidelity, and he's been summarily kicked out. He now has to reckon with the consequences of his literary, marital, financial, and parental failures, (and perhaps others) and find his way forward - and back into Luz's good graces.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elyssa | 2/20/2014

    " I almost abandoned this book, but the momentum picked up in the second half and I am glad I stuck with it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justine | 2/17/2014

    " The Astral is a novel about the intricacy and intensity of human relationships. Very lovingly wrought--though not personally relevant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 2/7/2014

    " I haven't liked Kate Christensen's other novels, but I always give her a chance because I loved her Salon article on loser lit so, so much. This one was good and reminded me of Netherland. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Keeney | 2/5/2014

    " Read it as soon as it came out. I've read all of Kate Christensen's books and I'm never disappointed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristen | 2/4/2014

    " I could not put this book down. It's the story of Harry Quirk (whose name fits him very well) who has just been kicked out of his home by his wife, Luz. He struggles to get on his feet and keep some semblance of family. His daughter is a freegan and his son becomes member of a religious cult. Christensen does a beautiful job of keeping the story moving through Harry's voice and twists. LOVED IT! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adam | 1/20/2014

    " Well written. Boring as hell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 1/18/2014

    " Excellent writer and great story about a man finding himself, a bit late in life, after facing a family crisis and re-exploring his beloved neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 1/15/2014

    " Fantastic. Using the metaphor of a cult for marriage and so many other insights made by a bard thrown out by his wife,a realistic Brooklyn that is a mighty cool place to live is created. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elise | 1/12/2014

    " A good read. Nothing spectacular. A fun way to read about Brooklyn but not the most gripping story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ron Bronson | 1/11/2014

    " Like a lot of the other people, I just didn't find that I cared enough about the main character or his life enough. I couldn't get anywhere near lost in this story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole Bliss | 12/5/2013

    " Good story...the ending...ehhh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 11/6/2013

    " Not my usual subject matter, the breakup of a marriage and one person's moving on with life, still, well done, with an interesting, if finally unfulfilling, side story about an adult son in a cult. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny Moreno | 10/25/2013

    " This book was mediocre. It was rather depressing and very frustrating to read. It was interesting in that a woman wrote it but it was told from a man's perspective. It was interesting enough to keep me reading, but overall I was just okay. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eileen | 4/29/2013

    " Beautiful writing with a sad story. I appreciated Harry's point of view but would have liked Luz's point of view. I will read whatever Christensen writes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 2/23/2013

    " Christensen's unassuming forthrightness is back, this time a bit more patient and open than in the past. Harry Quirk is almost meditative as he embarks on a new chapter in his life, and as usually the prose is a treat. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ashton | 6/8/2012

    " This book was too slow and boring for me. blah "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Antonia | 5/28/2012

    " It was a very disturbing book, but I kept reading it to see how it ended. I would say it is a good read because I kept reading the author keeps you in it, but I wouldn't read it again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolynn | 3/29/2012

    " I only liked this book because I used to live in the neighborhood, Greenpoint, but other than that it was just another book about a not-so-interestingly weird middle aged man. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danielle | 1/3/2012

    " This book really didn't go anywhere. I was disappointed that I never really felt anything for the characters and that all of them, even the protagonist, felt two-dimensional. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nina | 12/9/2011

    " Underwhelming. Found myself yearning for more scenes with daughter and son, as their storylines were more compelling, realistic, current. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paula | 12/7/2011

    " Totally dreary. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 10/5/2011

    " I have read other books by Kate Christensen that I enjoyed much more. For some reason, the characters didn't really draw me in and without that I don't really connect with a work of fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Randi | 10/2/2011

    " Kate Christensen is such a good writer, this is an interesting exploration of middle-aged marriage, love and divorce. Not too many people writing about this. I got a little tired of the character sad and wandering the streets. Still don't understand the son joining a cult. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 9/25/2011

    " Very slow, with no real plot. Great characters with nothing to do. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 8/9/2011

    " This is a smooth read about a man going through the complexities of marriage and separation. The setting is feels like home in New York. Christensen delves into the psychology of perception and what it means to look at ourselves and both near and far. The characters are relatable and comforting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Roxanne | 6/5/2011

    " Tried but it dropped off dramatically after the first 70 pages and I continued until I just had to stop. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ilyssa | 1/3/2011

    " I freaking loved this book. This is literary fiction at its finest - almost nothing happens but I didn't care. These characters evoke feelings like family members - you can love them and be so irritated with their choices at the same time.

    Loved it. "

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About the Author
Author Kate ChristensenKATE CHRISTENSEN is the author of six previous novels, most recently The AstralThe Great Man won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award. She has published reviews and essays in numerous publications, most recently the New York Times Book ReviewBookforumOElle, and Gilt Taste. She writes an occasional drinks column for The Wall Street Journal called "With a Twist." Her blog can be accessed at: http://katechristensen.wordpress.com
About the Narrator

Donald Corren is a stage, television, and voice actor whose work has been featured on and off Broadway, in regional theaters, behind animated characters, and on television for the past three decades. Trained in the theater division at Juilliard, he is also a writer whose credits include the original Martha Stewart Living television series and the medals ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.