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Download The Crooked Maid: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Crooked Maid: A Novel, by Dan Vyleta Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dan Vyleta Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Graham Greene meets Dostoevsky in a thrilling and atmospheric story of guilt and restitution set in postwar Vienna.

Vienna, 1948. The war is over, and as the initial phase of de-Nazification winds down, the citizens of Vienna struggle to rebuild their lives amid the rubble.

Anna Beer returns to the city she fled nine years earlier after discovering her husband’s infidelity. She has come back to find him and, perhaps, to forgive him. Traveling on the same train from Switzerland is eighteen-year-old Robert Seidel, a schoolboy summoned home to his stepfather’s sickbed and the secrets of his family’s past.

As Anna and Robert navigate an unrecognizable city, they cross paths with a war-widowed American journalist, a hunchbacked young servant girl, and a former POW whose primary purpose is to survive by any means—and to forget. Meanwhile, in the shells of burned-out houses and beneath the bombed-out ruins, a ghost of a man, his head wrapped in a red scarf, battles demons from his past and hides from a future deeply uncertain for all.

In The Crooked Maid, Dan Vyleta returns to the shadows of war-darkened Vienna, proving himself once again “a magical storyteller, master of the macabre” (David Park).

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Impressive…If you enter [the] novel looking for a traditional murder mystery, prepare to be surprised: Vyleta is as interested in upsetting the expectations of genre as he is in engaging with them…This is Vyleta’s world, and entirely his own. Every gesture is so acutely rendered that we enter a kind of eerie parallel world almost beyond reality. This is not just the past: it is the past as seen fractured and magnified through a lens. It is a place of unremitting strangeness, as real and as true to its own logic as those of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go or Tom McCarthy’s Remainder.”

    Guardian (New York)

  • “Guilt-drenched and violent incidents (physical and emotional) abound in this early-Cold-War novel, while Vyleta intricately links the numerous characters. Some readers may balk at the surfeit of coincidence, but the author interconnects everyone so deftly that he puts the blade to coincidence, or, better yet, incorporates coincidence so organically that it becomes both a theme and character in the story.”

    National Post (Ontario)

  • “Well crafted…should appeal to fans of writers like Heinrich Böll.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The novel has some trappings of a murder mystery but is more of a psychological novel, as the characters—from the eponymous crippled maid to the war-enriched matriarch—try to ferret out the truth from others while guarding their own secrets. This novel conjures up the stifling atmosphere of shame and deception of the postwar period and hints at escape through Vienna’s own ‘talking cure’—openness and honesty.”

    Booklist

  • Shortlisted for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize
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