Meek, James The Heart Broke in

ISBN 13: 9780374168711

The Heart Broke in

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( 1,176 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780374168711: The Heart Broke in
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From James Meek, the award-winning author of the international bestseller The People's Act of Love, comes a rich and intricate novel about everything that matters to us now: children, celebrity, secrets and shame, the quest for youth, loyalty and betrayal, falls from grace, acts of terror, and the wonderful, terrible inescapability of family.


Ritchie Shepherd, an aging pop star and a producer of a reality show for teen talent, is starting to trip over his own lies. Maybe filming a documentary about his father, Captain Shepherd, a British soldier executed by Northern Irish guerrillas, will redeem him.


His sister, Bec, is getting closer and closer to a vaccine for malaria. When she's not in Tanzania harvesting field samples, she's peering through a microscope at her own blood to chart the risky treatment she's testing on herself. She's as addicted to honesty as Ritchie is to trickery.


Val Oatman is the editor of a powerful tabloid newspaper. The self-appointed conscience of the nation, scourge of hypocrites and cheats, he believes he will marry beautiful Bec.


Alex Comrie, a gene therapist (and formerly the drummer in Ritchie's band), is battling his mortally ill uncle, a brilliant and domineering scientist, over whether Alex might actually have discovered a cure for aging. Alex, too, believes he will marry Bec.


Colum O'Donabháin has just been released from prison, having served a twenty-five-year sentence for putting a gun to Captain Shepherd's head when he refused to give up an informer. He now writes poetry.


Their stories meet and tangle in this bighearted epic that is also shrewd, starkly funny, and utterly of the moment.The Heart Broke In is fiction with the reverberating resonance of truth.

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Review:

James Meek's new novel has all the urgent readability of his previous work combined with a wide-ranging vision of social and personal responsibility that's very rare in current fiction. I suppose we could call it a moral thriller. Whatever we call it, I was enormously impressed. (Philip Pullman) Addictive ... Meek is a novelist of Dostoevskyan intensity and seriousness ... Terrific ... You have to admire the scope and ambition of this operatic saga (Guardian) Intelligent, compelling and epic in scale (Woman & Home) Page-turning and absorbing (Victoria Moore Daily Mail) James Meek is Britain's answer to Don DeLillo (Brian Morton Independent) In a literary culture that rewards narrow little books by sixtysomething white men about what it's like to be a sixtysomething white man, Meek's range, humour and boldness are a joy (Louise Doughty Observer) Set in the near future, [Meek's] sinister media underworld hits on the zeitgeist ... the characterisation is affectionate and the story is gripping (We Love This Book) An enjoyable, thought-provoking read, going beyond satire to throw the questions back to the reader (Andrea Mullaney Scotland on Sunday) This is a big juicy slab of a book, as thrilling and nourishing as a Victorian three-parter ... Meek constantly shift's the reader's own moral foundations, as we try to decide who is doing right and wrong and why and how (Whynn Weldon Spectator) The Heart Broke In is a realistic slice of life at the bench, reflect ing both the admirable and the unflattering qualities of scientists (Nature Magazine) This page-turning tale ranges over contemporary London like a magnet, tugging up the nuggets of friction that make a great book ... the writing is at times so lovely that it shouldn't be rushed, but savoured (Louise Chunn Psychologies Magazine) Meek's characterization is excellent and the dilemmas he gives the players in his drama are convincing and intense enough to hurt ... he manages to do this while keeping the pages turning as fast as any thriller. This is a feast of a novel, to which I shall return again and again (Elsbeth Linder Book Oxygen) Meeks looks at the question of family, what it means and how actions affect the people in it. He weaves complicated lives, entwines characters in layers and layers of history until they can't breathe or escape from each other (Claire Snook Bookmunch) Meek's novel is energised by a dynamic interplay of social, cultural, philosophical and scientific ideas, and as befits a big, serious fiction, it has the courage to address big, serious issues (Trevor Lewis The Sunday Times) A novel shimmering with black humour, which for the sheer verve of the writing deserves a long shelf life (Lucy Beresford The Sunday Telegraph) The burning desire to discover how it all pans out propels one to finish this bravura book by a remarkable writer (The Lady) A wonderfully sharp, intelligently observed and often very funny novel (Toby Clements The Telegraph) Plenty to relish in this topical novel pitched enjoyably between thriller and satire (Metro) The Heart Broke In is an absorbing family saga with Forsterian ambitions ... In this compelling novel Meek, with his vivid characterisation and narrative drive, succeeds in engaging the heart as well as the head (Annalema McAfee Financial Times 20120929) The Heart Broke In has a dizzying reach, playing science off religion, cynics against lovers, atheists against believers ... it's a book that doesn't want to do your thinking for you (Olivia Cole GQ 20121101) The lyricism and wry wit with which Meek writes means this is a fine novel, and an excellent representation of how we live now (Daniel Davies The Skinny 20121001) An engrossing novel structured around grand eternal themes but pin-sharp and peopled with characters you wish you knew (Good Book Guide) Lively and compelling (William Leith Evening Standard) While written with the accessibility of a mainstream novel, this is an ideas-heavy book that works on various levels: as a psychological thriller of sorts, a family saga and a meditation on a host of issues which, like the DNA in our cells, have never been put together in quite this way before (Alastair Mabbott The Herald) This is an absorbing tale from an accomplished writer (Sunday Business Post)

Book Description:

Shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award 2012

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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