Heather, the Totality (Paperback)
November 2017 Indie Next List
“In a landscape of despair, stuck in the logjam of the dull round of work, marriage, and raising a child, other emotions can command so much attention. This beautifully structured, spare study is Chekhovian, noirish, and quietly fraught. The minimal writing style is beautiful, and the tension is so carefully modulated that the aesthetic of rising unease is oddly comforting. But there is dread in the inevitable climax, and a thriller's tautness to the possible resolutions that steadily arise. A reader's delight - well-managed prose, excellent plotting, psychological suspense, and insightful character-building make this perfect for a winter night's reading.”
— John Evans (M), DIESEL, A Bookstore, Oakland, CA
Mark and Karen Breakstone have constructed the idyllic life of wealth and status they always wanted, made complete by their beautiful and extraordinary daughter Heather. But they are still not quite at the top. When the new owners of the penthouse above them begin construction, an unstable stranger penetrates the security of their comfortable lives and threatens to destroy everything they've created.
About the Author
changes" and "chillingly reminds us of how unstable the ground is that we take
for granted beneath our feet."
unsettling...and queasily seductive"
portrait of America's social and economic divide, the novel raises a number of
thorny questions... Weiner writes with maximum economy"
"The Matthew Weiner of Mad Men makes himself known in Heather via sharp and complex character insights...the novel transcends the status of a mere sleek, domestic thriller, and contributes meaningfully, unexpectedly, to resistance."—The Millions
of Weiner's deft prose."
"Weiner's award-winning writing and producing of such renowned television shows as The Sopranos and Mad Men is neatly evident in his quietly thrilling debut novel. Written in descriptive and illuminating scene-like snippets-though nearly free of dialogue-this one-sitting read concerns the eerily shared delusions of a privileged Manhattan family and a man who stalks the periphery of their lives...The sense of doom is sharply rendered, characters are well developed, and their motivations are finely wrought. Readers will hope for more book-form fiction from Weiner."—Booklist
with equal power,"
"Weiner has created a very contemporary and creepy little novel about a teenaged girl and a fervent admirer. Rife with observations about Manhattan's elite, Heather is both unsettling and satisfying."—Literary Hub
totally chilling, this is a fantastic book."
it in one sitting so you can soak it all in."
"Fans of Mad Men will find familiar themes lurking in the show creator's debut novel."—Harper's Bazaar
"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, author of Moonglow
"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, author of L.A. Confidential and Perfidia
"Heather, The Totality gripped me at once and had me spellbound. It was partly the absolute certainty of the world he was describing, the sense that beyond these brilliantly chosen details there was a wealth of similarly truthful social and psychological perception unstated. And partly the slightly fastidious form, the sound of a voice a hair's breadth away from affectation, but so firmly where it was that there was no question of turning away and not hearing what was going to come next. Then there was the ice-cold mercilessness, of a kind that reminded me (oddly, I suppose, but there it was) of Evelyn Waugh."—Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials
fans of his character-driven work...Leave it to Weiner to derail a
"Mad Men creator Weiner crafts a finely honed tale that highlights class conflict." —Publisher's Weekly
"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