The Heart Broke in

The Heart Broke in


By (author) James Meek

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  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Format: Hardback | 401 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 231mm x 36mm | 658g
  • Publication date: 2 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0374168717
  • ISBN 13: 9780374168711
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 1,572,905

Product description

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'Donabhain 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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Author information

James Meekis an award-winning writer whose novels include "The People's Act of Love "and "We Are Now Beginning Our Descent." He lives in London.

Review quote

Praise for "The Heart Broke In ""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 "There is much to enjoy in this ambitious portrait of deeply human characters, grappling with how to live in the modern world, where science is capable of almost anything." --"Publishers Weekly "Praise for "The People's Act of Love ""Remarkable . . . Richly informed and imagined . . . [An] ingenious, intricate novel, a meditation on grand ideas that is also a suspenseful page-turner." --Boris Fishman, "The New York Times Book Review ""Magnificent . . . Heart-pounding . . . Original and breathtaking . . . An altogether soul-shaking novel, tightly mixing pathos and grandeur . . . Meek has created a tremendously impressive work of art, at once serious, upsetting and astonishingly moving." --Michael Dirda, "The Washington Post Book World ""[No] comparisons, much less an inventory of genres, quite capture this novel's propulsive force . . . Meek continually surprises with an image, a turn of phrase or an idea, sometimes several at once. Yet the richness of his thought never cloys, never congeals. More than anything else, this reviewer envies anyone who picks it up and enjoys the continual rations of delight this novel has to deal out." --Jesse Berrett, "San Francisco Chronicle ""Spellbinding . . . A perfectly realised work . . . A beautifully written novel which, though set in the past, feels like the most contemporary fiction you'll ever read . . . "The People's Act of Love "has a timeless quality; it will be read, referenced, studied and talked about for years to come." --Irvine Welsh, "The Guardian"