The Believers Paperback
by Zoe Heller
Zoe Heller's darkly comic third novel, The Believers explores a family pushed to its limits.
When Audrey makes a devastating discovery about her husband, New York radial lawyer Joel Litvinoff, she is forced to re-examine everything she thought she knew about their forty-year marriage.
Joel's children will soon have to come to terms with this unsettling secret themselves, but for the meantime, they are trying tot cope with their own dilemmas.
Rosa, a disillusioned revolutionary, is grappling with a new found attachment to Orthodox Judaism.
Karla, an unhappily married social worker, is falling in love with an unlikely suitor at the hospital where she works.
Adopted brother Lenny is back on drugs again. In the course of battling their own demons and each other, every member of the family is called upon to decide what - if anything - they still believe in. "Profoundly satisfying. No other novel would readily stand in its stead ...pulses with thematic and intellectual content...Heller's prose is clean, warm and smart". (Lionel Shriver, Daily Telegraph). "Astonishingly well-observed and stunningly written, a subtle, funny family farce ...in its thundering confidence, The Believers is the work of a writer at the top of her game". (Guardian). Zoe Heller is the author of three novels, Everything You Know, Notes on a Scandal, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003 and The Believers.
The 2006 film adaptation of Notes on a Scandal, starring Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench, received four Oscar nominations.
She lives in New York.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 320 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 30/04/2009
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780141024677
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by Intemerata
I enjoyed this a lot more than I'd expected to: despite the shiny gold cover, it's not fluffy "chick lit", but an absorbing and stylish satire. Most of the characters are utterly horrid - particularly Audrey - but they also feel real. I think, though, that there's too much going on for one book, with the result that it comes across as a bit superficial at times: the stories of Karla and Rosa alone would make a novel, and I would have liked to read more about them.
Review by lizchris
I looked forward to this more than I enjoyed reading it. I found the main character of Audrey unbearable; she was so nasty that she felt like a stereotype. Zoe Heller has written far more subtle, far better books. If you haven't read any of her work, don't start with this one.
Review by nbmars
Review by Melanielgarrett
I've just this minute finished this extraordinary novel, so will need more time to properly gather my thoughts. Although I would recommend it without reservation, I'm not sure I can really say I enjoyed it, so much as admired it enormously. <br/><br/>For the first half I found Audrey's relentless snarking and self-absorbed ranting quite tedious. But by the end I felt delighted to see there was some light on the horizon for her. Equally, at first, every paragraph inside Karla's head, or worse, her marriage, felt somewhat interminable. But as she finally began to emerge from the pitiful self-deprecation, I was rooting for her, and for Rosa, and would happily have followed them both on for another novel.<br/><br/>More than anything, what really kept me going was the sheer force and verve of the prose. I can't think of when I last read writing I've admired this much, or felt moved to make oodles of notes on.<br/>