Heather, The Totality
The Breakstone family arrange themselves around their daughter Heather, and the world seems to follow: beautiful, compassionate, entrancing, she is the greatest blessing in their lives of Manhattan luxury. But as Heather grows - and her empathy sharpens to a point, and her radiance attracts more and more dark interest - their perfect existence starts to fracture. Meanwhile a very different life, one raised in poverty and in violence, is beginning its own malign orbit around Heather.Matthew Weiner - the creator of Mad Men - has crafted an extraordinary first novel of incredible pull and menace. Heather, The Totality demonstrates perfectly his forensic eye for the human qualities that hold modern society together, and pull it apart.
Heather, The Totality is superb. It gripped me at once. There was no question of turning away at any point. Weiner conveys the sense that beyond the brilliantly chosen details there was a wealth of similarly truthful social and psychological perception unstated. Then there was the ice-cold mercilessness, of a kind that reminded me (oddly, I suppose, but there it was) of Evelyn Waugh. This novel is something special -- PHILIP PULLMAN A miraculous and fearless novel, Heather is unprecedented. As well as being smart, sharp and readable, it proves there are still fresh and exciting ways to write fiction -- M.J. HYLAND This short novel of upper-crust anomie and class-divide obsession is a scorcher! It's the classic noir construction: the short walk off the long ledge and the plummet to an indifferent Hell. Matthew Weiner demonically delivers the goods! Read this book in one gasping breath -- JAMES ELLROY Heather, The Totality is a tour de force of control, tone and razor-slash insight. In its clear-eyed anatomist's gaze and its remarkable combination of empathy and pitilessness I hear echoes of Flaubert and Richard Yates, with a deeply twisted twist of Muriel Spark at her darkest. I could not put it down -- MICHAEL CHABON I cringed and shuddered my way through this short, daring novel to its terrible inevitable end. Each neat, measured paragraph carpaccios its characters to get to the book's heart - one of Boschian self-cannibalising isolation. A stunning novel. Heather, The Totality blew me away -- NICK CAVE Chilling and poised, I loved it -- MAGGIE O'FARRELL Short and rapier-sharp, Matthew Weiner's Heather, The Totality compels and unnerves in equal measure. Like the great Patricia Highsmith, Weiner renders the disturbing not just plausible but exquisitely, agonisingly inevitable. A tour de force -- CLAIRE MESSUD
Matthew Weiner is the creator of Mad Men, and worked as executive producer, writer and director on the show, which is widely considered one of the greatest television series of all time. He has received nine Emmys for his work on Mad Men and The Sopranos. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, architect Linda Brettler, and their four sons.