Heather, the Totality (★★☆☆☆)

Heather, the Totality (October 2017) by Matthew Weiner

Matthew Weiner   *   Little, Brown, & Co.   *   November 7, 2017   *   144 Pages

Find this book on Goodreads | Amazon | BN

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, and is irritated by their inability to provide a more balanced and stable version of love.

Bobby Klasky is having some issues of his own. After being released from prison, he’s just trying to survive—working odd jobs to make enough money to eat and move out of his drug addict mother’s trailer. He’s doing okay for himself, but he’s not mentally stable. In truth, he thinks people are disgusting, and he would really love to torture them and rape them and kill them until they’re all dead—starting with the most beautiful person first.

If you think you know where this story is going, well, you probably do. Heather, the Totality is a predictable, expected, one-dimensional book that offers up nothing new in the way of character development, plot, or general insight. We’ve all read this has-been story a million times before—and, what’s worse, there are better versions out there.

What bugs me most, though, are the women in this story. They are so unbelievable and cliche. Karen, as a mother, is all wrong. I know many, many mothers (good ones and really bad ones, too), and I’ve never met a woman with such little personality or dimension. And Heather…good grief. She is the nymph from a cheesy porno:  gorgeous and innocent, yet damaged, naughty, and, gasp, so willing. Ugh.

In other words, you’re going to want to skip this one. I know, I know, but it’s Matthew Weiner! It’s Mad Men, for crying out loud! Believe me, I feel the disappointment, too. But unfortunately, this little novel is no good. It’s just no good. Do yourself a solid and let it pass you by.

Advanced Reader Copy provided through Net Galley.

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