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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

The Believers: A Novel

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The Believers: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780061430206
ISBN10: 006143020x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

The Rooster 2010 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When radical New York lawyer Joel Litvinoff is felled by a stroke, his wife, Audrey, uncovers a secret that forces her to reexamine everything she thought she knew about their forty-year marriage. Joel's children will soon have to come to terms with this discovery themselves, but for the meantime, they are struggling with their own dilemmas and doubts.

Rosa, a disillusioned revolutionary, has found herself drawn into the world of Orthodox Judaism and is now being pressed to make a commitment to that religion. Karla, a devoted social worker hoping to adopt a child with her husband, is falling in love with the owner of a newspaper stand outside her office. Ne’er-do-well Lenny is living at home, approaching another relapse into heroin addiction.

In the course of battling their own demons — and one another — the Litvinoff clan is called upon to examine long-held articles of faith that have formed the basis of their lives together and their identities as individuals. In the end, all the family members will have to answer their own questions and decide what — if anything — they still believe in.

Hailed by the Sunday Times (London) as "one of the outstanding novels of the year," The Believers explores big ideas with a light touch, delivering a tragic, comic family story as unsparing as it is filled with compassion.

Review:

"Heller (What Was She Thinking?; Notes on a Scandal) puts to pointed use her acute observations of human nature in her third novel, a satire of 1960s idealism soured in the early 21st century. Audrey and Joel Litvinoff have attempted to pass on to their children their lefty passions — despite Audrey's decidedly bourgeois attitude and attorney Joel's self-satisfied heroism, including the defense of a suspected terrorist in 2002 New York City. When Joel has a stroke and falls into a coma, Audrey grows increasingly nasty as his secrets surface. The children, meanwhile, wander off on their own adventures: Rosa's inherited principles are beleaguered by the unpleasant realities of her work with troubled adolescents; Karla, her self-image crushed by Audrey, has settled into an uncomfortable marriage and the accompanying pressure to have children; and adopted Lenny, the best metaphor for the family's troubles, dawdles along as a drug addict and master manipulator. Though some may be initially put off by the characters' coldness — the Litvinoffs are a severely screwed-up crew — readers with a certain mindset will have a blast watching things get worse." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

With her arcing wit and searing characters, Zoe Heller is quickly becoming one of the sharpest novelists in America. And we only have her on long-term loan from England. (Born in London, she now lives in New York and writes for the London Daily Telegraph.) Her previous novel, "What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal," was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2003 and sits comfortably next to the... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Heller creates characters who are defiantly unlovable. Throughout, the novel has a refreshing dryness, a tart economy with words that suits its subjects." Seattle Times

Review:

"Heller writes with insight and honesty about the pain involved in testing one's beliefs and the possibility of growth in the process." Library Journal

Review:

"[C]aptures those frozen-in-time moments that create a family, for better or for worse." Booklist

Synopsis:

The highly anticipated new novel from the author of the acclaimed What Was She Thinking? is a rich, comic chronicle of one family's struggles with the consolations of faith and the trials of doubt.

Synopsis:

“[Zoe Heller] is an extraordinarily entertaining writer, and this novel showcases her copious gifts, including a scathing, Waugh-like wit.”—New York Times

Best-selling author Zoe Heller has followed up the critical and commercial success of What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal with another tour-de-force on the meaning of faith, belief, and trust: The Believers. Tragic and comic, witty and intense, The Believers is the story of a dysfunctional family forced by tragedy to confront their own personal demons. In the vein of Claire Messud and Zadie Smith, Zoe Heller has written that rare novel that tackles the big ideas without sacrificing page-turning readability.

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About the Author

Zoë Heller is the author of two previous novels, Everything You Know and What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003. She lives in New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Robin Barton, April 6, 2009 (view all comments by Robin Barton)
Reading this book is like slipping down Alice's rabbit hole unaware of how mesmerizing her world will be. I began reading casually and quickly became immersed in this quirky family's tragically ordinary and yet unique experience of the living loss of their patriarch. Religion, politics, adoption, extramarital affairs, racism, eating disorders, drug abuse - it's amazing how Zoe Heller packed all of this into one family's experience!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061430206
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Heller, Zoe
Author:
by Zoe Heller
Author:
by Zoe Heller
Publisher:
Harper
Subject:
Married people
Subject:
Parent and adult child
Subject:
General
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20090303
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.13 in 17.6 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

The Believers: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Harper - English 9780061430206 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Heller (What Was She Thinking?; Notes on a Scandal) puts to pointed use her acute observations of human nature in her third novel, a satire of 1960s idealism soured in the early 21st century. Audrey and Joel Litvinoff have attempted to pass on to their children their lefty passions — despite Audrey's decidedly bourgeois attitude and attorney Joel's self-satisfied heroism, including the defense of a suspected terrorist in 2002 New York City. When Joel has a stroke and falls into a coma, Audrey grows increasingly nasty as his secrets surface. The children, meanwhile, wander off on their own adventures: Rosa's inherited principles are beleaguered by the unpleasant realities of her work with troubled adolescents; Karla, her self-image crushed by Audrey, has settled into an uncomfortable marriage and the accompanying pressure to have children; and adopted Lenny, the best metaphor for the family's troubles, dawdles along as a drug addict and master manipulator. Though some may be initially put off by the characters' coldness — the Litvinoffs are a severely screwed-up crew — readers with a certain mindset will have a blast watching things get worse." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Heller creates characters who are defiantly unlovable. Throughout, the novel has a refreshing dryness, a tart economy with words that suits its subjects."
"Review" by , "Heller writes with insight and honesty about the pain involved in testing one's beliefs and the possibility of growth in the process."
"Review" by , "[C]aptures those frozen-in-time moments that create a family, for better or for worse."
"Synopsis" by , The highly anticipated new novel from the author of the acclaimed What Was She Thinking? is a rich, comic chronicle of one family's struggles with the consolations of faith and the trials of doubt.
"Synopsis" by , “[Zoe Heller] is an extraordinarily entertaining writer, and this novel showcases her copious gifts, including a scathing, Waugh-like wit.”—New York Times

Best-selling author Zoe Heller has followed up the critical and commercial success of What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal with another tour-de-force on the meaning of faith, belief, and trust: The Believers. Tragic and comic, witty and intense, The Believers is the story of a dysfunctional family forced by tragedy to confront their own personal demons. In the vein of Claire Messud and Zadie Smith, Zoe Heller has written that rare novel that tackles the big ideas without sacrificing page-turning readability.

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