This quick-paced, wily tale is a fascinating blend of both fact and fiction that is sure to engage Western and historical fiction fans and readers.
—Keddy Ann Outlaw, Library Journal
An astonishing novel… an amazing tale, about a strong, passionate and determined woman, a real-life heroine who lived her life as one tough hombre–one tough *male* hombre–in the Old West… It’s a wonderful read. Take it from someone who’s had firsthand experience with great art exploring the human spirit in a Western setting: Karen Kondazian’s The Whip is just that. This is a story that cries out through its adventurous surroundings a call from deep in the human heart, a call for understanding, for love, for identity and it does so through the skill of a magnificent writer. (It also cries out to be a movie. It’s that rich, visual, and dramatic.)
—Jim Beaver, star of HBO s Deadwood and author of Life’s That Way
You won’t know what The Whip means until you read this fascinating book. It’s a piece of the Old West, a part of America’s past, told with amazing authenticity.
—Thomas Fleming, New York Times best-selling author of Conquerors of the Sky
Karen Kondazian’s The Whip is a crackling good story with more twists and turns than a wagon trail through the mountains. Kondazian takes what could have been a hackneyed adventure tale of Charley Parkhurst’s gender- shifting revenge and imbues it with surprising tenderness and yearning.
—Edward Achorn, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Fifty-nine in ’84
Like a nugget of gold pulled from the riffles is Karen Kondazian’s debut novel The Whip…It may be a book for the times… We can all use a little cowboy wisdom about now and Charley Parkhurst may just be the gal to bring it…The Whip, a thrilling and soul-searching read, raises questions about revenge and forgiveness as she takes the reader along dusty trails. Above all, this novel captures brilliantly the zeitgeist of the stagecoach era.
—Art Kusnetz, San Francisco Books and Travel Magazine
One thing I really like about this job is that I get to discover promising new talent far outside of the world of agents, New York publishers, academics, and establishment book reviewers. Karen Kondazian’s debut novel, The Whip, is in that category. Her well-written work, based on a true story, displays all the confidence of a seasoned novelist. I didn’t detect one false note…Try on The Whip … I think you will get as caught up in it as I was. This is classic Americana.
—Fred Beauford, New World Review, vol. 4, no. 27
Awesome read, excellent narrative, perfect blend of fact and fiction… the book has made a huge impact on me. RATING: 5 Stars.
—Tara Chevrestt, Book Babe Blog
Compelling historical fiction that reveals the surprising places revenge can lead to…Karen Kondazian has created a memorable character in Charley Parkhurst, stagecoach driver extraordinaire…An insightful psychological study.
—Peter Robinson, reviewer for KALW, San Francisco’s NPR network
The Whip is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time…a real page turner. I didn’t want it to end and it stayed with me long after I put it down. The experience reminded me of reading Lonesome Dove—The story is unusual complicated, fast-paced and beautifully written. It’s quite simply, epic. I can’t wait for the movie version!
—Elise Ballard, author of Epiphany
Multi-layered magic…Beyond fine prose, you have the opportunity to delve into hearts and minds you would never expect to think of…Kondazian has created the ultimate hero.
—Cris Carl, Amazon review
This is an authentic old west tale…Very well-written, this has the feel of something like Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven – a raw, realistic, powerful western that stays well away from the spaghetti roots.
—Sally (Bending the Bookshelf) (Ontario, Canada)
Speaking of women living as men, we don’t often write about books, but have to give a shout out to Karen Kondazian’s wonderful new novel, The Whip, about a real woman, Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst, who was a renowned Wells Fargo stagecoach driver in Northern California in the 1800s. Author-actress Kondazian is famous here in Los Angeles for her many portrayals of Tennessee Williams heroines and a riveting Maria Callas in “Master Class.”
—Harriette Smith, “In the Wings” blog
The Whip has a great story– strong, colorful, relevant and exciting… I look forward to continuing my connection to this wonderful novel, and above all, the fascinating character of Charley Parkhurst. I read the entire book in three days. I saw the movie all the way through it.
—From the Page to the Screen by Jan Wahl – NBC (KRON 4) San Francisco
“The Whip…” a gripping page-turner explores themes of self-identity, forgiveness, and survival, and captivates the reader from multiple perspectives.
—Advocate.com The Whip: Straddling Gender Roles in the Wild West by Nick Pach
The Whip is an extraordinary tale of transgender courage in the wild west, mixing fact with fiction!
—WeHo News, Review by Rick Sandak.
The Whip is a striking tale. Author Karen Kondazian created an epic. My heart soared and tore to pieces.
—Robyn Jones (robgirlbooks blog)