Another fabulous staff-selected recommendation for your consideration.
Heather, the Totality, the first novel by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, is a peculiar artifact. Weiner has said that the book was inspired by a moment he witnessed on Manhattan’s Upper East Side: He saw a very young, very beautiful schoolgirl step into a fancy apartment building and unwittingly receive a glance full of “sex and murder and everything all at once” from a construction worker. What, he wondered, would have transpired if the girl’s father had seen the way the workman looked at his daughter?
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.
Take this short, gripping ride with the Breakstone family that Michael Chabon calls, “a tour de force of control, tone, and razor-slash insight.” Nick Cage says, “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-cannibalizing isolation. A stunning novel. Heather, the Totality blew me away.”
READ THIS BOOK and then read Laura Miller’s thoughtful Slate review.