14 Mar / Heather, the Totality by Matthew Weiner [in Library Journal]
At just two hours, Matthew Weiner’s debut novel is more of a novella, perhaps its length (or lack thereof) a reflection of his television expertise. Screen aficionados will certainly recognize Weiner’s name: he’s creator/producer/director of the wildly successful Mad Men and writer/producer of the groundbreaking The Sopranos.
Keeping his multi-hat creative approach, Weiner is both author and narrator here, maintaining clear control of his latest project. His crisp, precise reading is (no surprise) spot-on, as he introduces the haves and the have-nots and asks audiences to witness what happens when their disparate lives intersect.
Mark and Karen Breakstone are wealthy Manhattanites in a stale marriage. Their indulged and adored daughter, Heather, is now a teenager, old enough to voice opinions that are dismissive of the family’s privilege. She’s taken notice of a construction worker hired for the penthouse renovation above: Bobby with his abused and abusive growing up, his prison record, his matricidal past, his disregard for reality. Heather considers him as practice for empathy-tinged noblesse oblige; Mark recognizes him as a trespassing threat. Implosion looms. Who survives?
Verdict: Libraries should prepare for demanding pop culture fans with literary leanings who won’t want to miss.
Review: modified from “Audio,” Library Journal, March 1, 2018