The Heart Broke In by James Meek
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

The Heart Broke In is seldom less than compelling. It also has many terrific individual episodes.
-Guardian

Synopsis

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.

 

About James Meek

See more books from this Author
James Meek is an award-winning writer whose novels include The People's Act of Love and We Are Now Beginning Our Descent. He lives in London.
 
Published October 2, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 561 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Heart Broke In
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Louise Doughty on Aug 25 2012

The huge cast list diffuses the narrative drive somewhat but if there is a fault in this book, it's more to do with Meek's chosen form than his skill at executing it.

Read Full Review of The Heart Broke In: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Louise Doughty on Aug 25 2012

It's an occupational hazard of writing the fat narrative that the end result can sometimes seem a little flabby.

Read Full Review of The Heart Broke In: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Theo Tait on Aug 24 2012

The Heart Broke In is seldom less than compelling. It also has many terrific individual episodes.

Read Full Review of The Heart Broke In: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Vinton Rafe McCabe on Oct 02 2012

There is much to admire in The Heart Broke In, much pleasure to be derived from within its pages. In a season typified by Hollywood memoirs and oversized cookbooks, this book quietly shines like a literary oasis.

Read Full Review of The Heart Broke In: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Reader Rating for The Heart Broke In
71%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 50 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×