Heather, the Totality by Matthew Weiner

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...

Details Heather, the Totality

TitleHeather, the Totality
Release DateNov 1st, 2017
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
GenreFiction, New York

Reviews Heather, the Totality

  • Jessica Woodbury
    I never expected to write another 1-star review. (This is only my second in 10 years.) These days, if something is bad I just quit reading much of the time. What happened here was a combination of curiosity and ultimately having to see it through to make sure it would end as badly as I expected. (Spoiler alert: it did.)I was thinking maybe I wouldn't write a review at all. I don't like writing bad reviews. I take no joy in them. But readers have ...
  • Zuky the BookBum
    2.5 starsI can understand the negatives reviews for this book because it was underwhelming.People are complaining about the writing style but it didn’t bother me that much. I guess this just felt like a slightly bulked out storyboard for a TV show, which would make sense as the author wrote Mad Men.Some people think there is no character development in this novella, but I can’t say I agree. Mark and Karen are well described throughout the boo...
  • Andrew Smith
    Manhattan financier Mark Breakstone is successful enough at his job, but he seems destined never to reach the top echelon. Nevertheless, when he's introduced by friends to Karen she sees sufficient potential to throw in her lot and soon they are married and living in a nice apartment close to Park Avenue. Not too much later a beautiful and seemingly gifted daughter, Heather, is born. So adorable is their offspring that it isn't long before her pa...
  • Jennifer
    This is a colossally dumb book. Boring, paint-by-numbers writing, a predictable plot, and forgettable characters. There's not even a hint of anything captivating or fresh to mitigate this tired trip down cliché lane. It was only 130 pages long, and sometimes I laughed at how dumb it all was and at how there was NO reason for this book to exist, but that's all I can muster as an endorsement.
  • Roman Clodia
    Wow, this is bad! How a writer of the iconic Mad Men and The Sopranos can pen this is a mystery - was he 12 at the time? With no dialogue (really, NO dialogue), a story that flits through 18 years in a nanosecond, random capitalisations (the Woman, the Trainee, the Father, the Worker), and a completely bonkers 'plot' (view spoiler)[ (couple meet on a blind date, marry, dote on their daughter, dad worries psychopath is letching over her, takes him...
  • Rachel León
    I jumped at the chance to read this novel after hearing about it on the Book Riot podcast. Matthew Weiner is the creator of Mad Men and this book is his debut. It's almost a stretch to call it a novel because it's so short. It's more like a long short story or a novella. There's not a lot to tell about the plot without ruining it, which is probably why the description here simply reads it's the tale of a family and a psychopath. True, but it's al...
  • Kelly Long
    The best thing about this book is that it's short. Other than that, it was a waste of time.
  • Christine
    I received a free ARC of this novel (more of a novella) from the publisher, Hachette Book Group, after winning a GoodReads book giveaway.I'm not sure if I would consider this book to be dark & weird or weird & dark. Either way, it was a pretty large disappointment for me. I did not enjoy Matthew Weiner's writing style at all. His choppy paragraphs were sometimes random and often inconsistent. The rugged paragraphs left a lot to be desired between...
  • Lianna
    Dark. Really, really dark but gripping at the same time. Especially for it's brevity. I love Matthew Weiner and everything he does.
  • Lorilin
    See more of my reviews at www.BugBugBooks.com.Heather is the glowing center of the Breakstone family. She's beautiful and magnetic, worshipped by all, especially her parents, Mark and Karen. To outsiders, their family seems perfect---rich, successful, happy---but, in reality, Mark is plagued by insecurity, Karen is deeply lonely, and their family life is suffering. As a result, Heather feels simultaneously neglected and smothered by her parents, ...
  • Latkins
    This is a very short and disturbing novel from the creator of the TV series Mad Men. It follows the lives of the Breakstones - Mark and Karen and their very beautiful, emotionally perceptive daughter Heather. As we go from their first date to their marriage, the birth of Heather and Mark's wealth from his job in banking, their lives in New York become more and more privileged, and yet they seem to become more neurotic. Set against this is the sto...
  • Sarah
    I had high hopes for this book based on the author, Matthew Weiner, and his creation, Mad Men. Unfortunately, this lacked everything that made the show unique - the plot was predictable, the writing was overly simplistic, and I failed to appreciate any of the characters. This felt more like an outline for a story as opposed to a fully developed novel. The basic story is about the Breakstone family: Mark, his wife Karen, and their daughter, Heathe...
  • Tracett
    Dear Matthew Weiner, Mad Men was one of the best-ever series on TV and I loved your work on The Sopranos. I'll bet if you gave some sincere effort, you could write a kick-ass novel. I don't think you really tried very hard with Heather the Totality. This came off as more of a really good creative writing exercise. Shame on your editors for letting you get away with such a do-nothing plot, anemic characters, questionable writing style, and an unne...
  • Melissa Rochelle
    A short novel that will keep you interested for at least an hour. It is far from groundbreaking, but I didn't hate it as much as a few other readers. It was strangely predictable, but also shows just what a parent will do for their child.
  • Jenne
    Both horrible and fascinating. I'm not quite sure what he was trying to do here, but it was compelling in a gross sort of way. For me, the ending made it worthwhile, but I don't quite recommend it.
  • Kate
    I have mixed feelings about the book. The characters felt shallow and stereo-typical (even Heather). But I did rather like the ending. It's definitely not a book I'd want to own or re-read, but it's a slim novella that's a fast read and even though I was disappointed in the style, I stl cared enough to finish the book.
  • Jessica
    I received an advance reading copy through Netgalley.Heather, the Totality is a novella written by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. That's the entire reason I requested this book. Since Mad Men was so visually stimulating, I was curious to see what Weiner could do in a non-visual medium.The novella follows two main stories: the lives of a rich upper east side family and a loner construction worker who crashes into the lives of the various family m...
  • Laura Anderson
    Heather, the Totality is a rather fascinating little book. I was drawn to it as a Mad Men fan, keen to see what Matthew Weiner would do, and whether he would be able to move from TV into literature.His prose style is distinctive - short, sparse, and intensely personal. The plot takes us from the moment Heather's parents meet to around her fourteenth birthday, and gives us glimpses into her life through her parents, a psychopathic young man, and o...
  • Allison
    I have been a Matthew Weiner fan ever since Mad Men settled deep into my brain, inhabiting my subconscious and informing how I absorb character development. So when I heard he was writing a novel, I was beyond excited. The pace of Mad Men, after all, was the pace of a novel. So I had very high hopes. This novella length book tells the story of a wealthy New York couple, their daughter, Heather and the recently released from prison sociopath that ...
  • Brona's Books
    I have never actually watched a full episode of Mad Men, but Mr Books was a fan, so I saw some scenes in my periphery at different times. My impression was that it was set in a misogynistic world full of moneyed, privilege people taking advantage of those less fortunate. Mr Books assures me it was more complex than that.I kind of feel the same way about Matthew Weiner's (the creator of Mad Men) debut novella, Heather, the Totality.It had an under...
  • Jane
    Tense and deadpan in God's-eye journalistic style, Heather, The Totality is a spare and sparse hypnotic story about people tumbling helplessly towards irrevocable breakdown. The storytelling is almost cold and distant as it rummages through the characters' lives, past and present, but the view of the characters is close-up and personal, delving into their most private thoughts, real and perceived. I admit that I couldn't put this down for love or...
  • Paul
    As everyone knows who has read this blog or seen me talk at conferences about The Sopranos, etc., I've long admired Matthew Weiner's work on both The Sopranos and Mad Men, and indeed consider it to be at the very apex of television. I was thus more than pleased to get a slightly-advance copy of Weiner's first novel (due to be published November 7) late yesterday, and read it one-and-a-half sittings (a little in the wee hours of the morning, the r...
  • Nathen Cantu-Villareal
    I'm sort of surprised at the amount of bad reviews for this book.This book is too short to have a lot of character development, but I think that's the point. I believe that this story represents the distance that a lot of us place between us and the rest of the world - especially in regards to our denial of change.Sure, there are some cliche moments, but overall, I think he does a great job with subverting those cliches if you keep reading closel...
  • Selena
    Very rarely have I finished anything in one sitting. Even something this short. I could not put this down. Weiner has an insight into human nature that most of us would rather not admit exists. We watch Mark and Karen's life go from bliss to routine and hope they can pull through despite their preoccupation with their gifted daughter Heather. They have always known how special she is, but when others in the world start to notice this as well the ...
  • Julie
    Based on the blurbs, I should have loved it. I felt like it was heavily stereotyped, heavy on the male gaze, and elitist. It wasn’t nearly as sharp as everyone seems to think, and I was disappointed at the ending. Maybe it should have started at the end? The most disturbing part of this book, besides the heavy leering at any all the female characters, was the author photo in the back.
  • Adam Yates
    Enjoyable novella/short story from the creator of Mad Men. The setting of New York is the only connection to the world of Sterling Cooper. A story of the love for a daughter and how it can consume you.
  • Stephie
    This is dark, but in a slightly amusing way (or am I just sick?). It reminded me of Truman Capote's novel 'Summer Crossing' and John Fowles' 'The Collector'. It's a dark study of a facet of urban life and the twisted characters who inhabit it. Really good!