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The Heart Broke In

by James Meek

This is a moral maze of a reading experience. It’s a book to make you think twice about such timely issues as media corruption, celebrity sleaze, medical interventions and the conflict between science and religion. These are the background to a compelling family saga of loyalty and rivalry, betrayal and revenge, which you will not want to put down until you see how the dilemmas play out.

Extract

The last hope he was left with was the film about his father’s killer. Ritchie sensed that there was a cryptic accountancy of darkness, that the public was prepared to tolerate a certain amount of balancing and rounding up between different columns where sin and suffering were concerned. A distinguished film director, for example, might be able to take figures from the 'suffering' column – parents taken to Auschwitz, wife murdered – and transfer them over to the 'sin' column – committed statutory rape of a thirteen-year-old girl. This was acceptable, because, in some mysterious way, the figures all seemed to represent the same general quality of darkness, a more palatable and universal medium than wickedness, stoicism, evil or self restraint. In sum, there was no darkness received and darkness expended: there was only darkness.

Parallels

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
 

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