Heartburn Audiobook | Nora Ephron | Audible.com
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Heartburn | [Nora Ephron]

Heartburn

Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration - Female, 2014

Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has "a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs" is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron's irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé.

©2011 Nora Ephron (P)2012 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Great fun. . . . Though Heartburn bristles ferociously with wit, it's not lacking in soul." (The New York Times Book Review)

"Nora Ephron's first novel is warm, witty and wise." (Harper's Bazaar)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (265 )
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4.3 (240 )
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  •  
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 07-18-13
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 07-18-13 Member Since 2001

    doggybird

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delicious listening experience!"

    Combine Meryl Streep's talents with Nora Ephron's wit -->a recipe for delight.

    Having read the book AGES ago and seen the movie, I was not prepared for how VERY much I would enjoy this audio. I was afraid that maybe it would be 'dated'. I was so wrong.

    The story remais as witty, wry and wistful as it was thirty years ago. In fact I am more impressed now with its poise than I was the first time time I read it. I agree with the review of another reader: by the act of writing this book Nora Ephron transformed herself from victim to heroine of her own life.

    Meryl Streep's reading adds so much to this audio. She always inhabits a role, but there was so much love and affection in her portrayal of Rachel Samstat. I feel her performance as a tribute to a life well-lived - the life of Nora Ephron. She was the very best choice of narrator for this story.

    This audiobook was perfect, I can't think how it could have been better or I could have enjoyed it more.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marci portland, OR, United States 07-10-13
    Marci portland, OR, United States 07-10-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Just a treasure"

    This book being released in audio format is a gift. Having it read by Meryl Streep makes it a priceless gift. The constant and specific 80's references are so much fun. The setting in DC and the political references give such an intimate peek into lives and moments, it feels like you are eavesdropping instead of simply listening to a book. These combine to make the book feel like a purposeful classic instead of feeling dated.

    Streep's narration is beyond perfect. She takes the whole experience to the next level. Her occasional self-effacing lilt and her chuckle add to that personal feeling, like she's a little embarrassed that she got caught telling such a tale. Narrators are usually best when they can become invisible, not true in this case. Streep adds to the story in a way that only she could, that only a master could.

    I'll listen to this again. I really enjoyed it and want to catch any little moments I might have missed the first time

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 07-12-13
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 07-12-13 Member Since 2012

    Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!

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    "Be the Heroine , Not the Victim"

    Nora Ephron (1941 -2012) wrote the scripts for "When Harry Met Sally" (1989), "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993), and"You've Got Mail" (1998). I love these films, and I've seen them so many times I can say the lines along with the characters. Ephron's New York is a vibrant, colorful place full of native and transplanted New Yorkers who adore the city, from sidewalk trash pickup to astounding views from the tallest skyscrapers.

    I've seen the movie version of "Heartburn" (1986). Meryl Streep is a true wonder - remember "Sophie's Choice" (1982)? And I truly forgot she wasn't really Julia Child in "Julie & Julia" (2009). I didn't like the movie version of "Heartburn," though - and I never read the 1982 book.

    I did like the Audible of "Heartburn" very much. I remember that "Heartburn" was reviewed by a lot of critics as whiny and self absorbed when it was published 31 years ago, but today, it is snarkily amusing and a wry slice of the 80's. There's something sad and funny about a woman who renovates the couple's several homes, a cook book author with her own cooking show, who complains about being broke all the time - and is clueless that her feckless husband is carrying on an affair with the money going to expensive trips and gifts to his mistress. When Rachel Samstat finally looses it, she does it with memorable flare.

    Ephron wrote "Heartburn" after a bitter end to her marriage to the philandering Carl Bernstein. Yes, the Bernstein, who along with Bob Woodward and a whistleblower code named "Deep Throat" exposed the Watergate crimes and brought down Richard M. Nixon's presidency. Bernstein referred to the whistleblower as "MF", and Ephron called her fictional wandering spouse "Mark Feldman." In 2005, the FBI agent who leaked information to Bernstein went public - Mark Felt. Ephron knew who Bernstein's informant was. Listening to "Heartburn," I wondered if she was covertly pointing at Felt.

    Ephron turned what was a hushed scandal that had Washington DC society whispering its pity for her into a best selling book and a major motion picture. Now it's a wonderful Audible book, performed by Streep - who makes you forget she's not actually Rachel Samstat/Nora Ephron in the first five minutes.

    The title of this review is an edited quote from a commencement speech Ephron gave at Wellesley in 1996. She said, "Above all else, be the heroine of your life , not the victim." That's what Ephron did with "Heartburn."

    [If you found this review helpful, please let me know by clicking the helpful button. Thanks!]

    56 of 61 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cammie USA 07-17-13
    Cammie USA 07-17-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great narration! Delightful story!"
    What did you love best about Heartburn?

    Story was great!! And who would do a better job at narrating this book than Meryl Streep who played the role of Nora Ephron in the movie Heartburn? Her voice and intonation will take you there!
    The story was also great, didn’t see the movie yet and I am glad I didn’t. I also love food; all the recipes sprinkled throughout the book, spiced up the story. One day, while listening to Heartburn, when I felt blue, I used one of them and it was great!!
    I highly recommend it!!


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cari SAN MARCOS, CA, United States 07-27-13
    Cari SAN MARCOS, CA, United States 07-27-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Great, if you like narcissistic whining"
    Would you try another book from Nora Ephron and/or Meryl Streep?

    I love Nora Ephron. I love Meryl Streep. This book has been given rave reviews. However, was one of the worst things I have listened to in years. I gave it 45 long minutes, then turned it off and took a Tylenol for my headache.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Nora Ephron again?

    Yes, just not this.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Whine less


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherri Guildford, Australia 10-10-13
    Sherri Guildford, Australia 10-10-13 Member Since 2009

    Australian, living in beautiful central Victoria. Audio book addict otherwise fairly well balanced.

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    "Nora Ephron and Meryl Streep. What could go wrong?"

    Oh I love this book. I loved it when I first read it many years ago and I love it more now I've listened to Meryl Streep run down the steps so beautifully placed there by the writer, Nora Ephron. Even though it's fictionalised, it's pretty much a memoir from the time she was married to Watergate journalist, Carl Bernstein and even though it's gaspingly hurtful (for her) it's also hilarious (for us). Meryl is of course magnificent. I remember thinking what a wonderful character the mother was before realising - yep, still Meryl. Brilliant narrator, great writer and a very successful book. Do yourself a favour and head to the cart.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander Chicago, IL, United States 09-26-13
    Alexander Chicago, IL, United States 09-26-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Ephron's come to life with Streep's Narration"
    Would you listen to Heartburn again? Why?

    Meryl Streep is a wonderful narrator. You can get lost in her delivery of Ephron's witty and timeless story of divorce. Ephron writes an autobiographical account of her real-life divorce to Carl Bernstein. The events leading up to the split are heartbreaking and gut wrenchingly hilarious.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Ephron spins a domestic dissolution into a timeless comedy.


    Which character – as performed by Meryl Streep – was your favorite?

    Streep's portrayal of Richard and Juanita the maid were laugh out loud moments. Her performance of Rachel transforms Rachel into a real person and not just a witty woman reminiscing on her bygone divorce at a cocktail party.


    If you could rename Heartburn, what would you call it?

    It's a perfect title.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tami kamuela, HI, United States 07-16-13
    tami kamuela, HI, United States 07-16-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well read cook book"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A whole different story This was more a cook book than a story. i was so sad this was the case.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Nora Ephron again?

    I dont think so.


    Which character – as performed by Meryl Streep – was your favorite?

    Just her voice.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Meryl Streep reading the story.


    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonja United States 03-19-14
    Sonja United States 03-19-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Meh."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. The book was predicable and, well annoying. If I wanted to hear whiny characters who have first world problems and think life is miserable, I would watch the Kardashians.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Nora Ephron? Why or why not?

    No. Her character was whiny and weak. I did not see her as a person I would ever spend time with in real life. I just wanted the book to end. I didn't care how it ended--just that it would be over.


    What does Meryl Streep bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She is the perfect narrator for this book. I will leave it at that.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crystale union city, ca United States 03-01-14
    crystale union city, ca United States 03-01-14 Member Since 2007
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    "don't buy it!!"
    Would you try another book from Nora Ephron and/or Meryl Streep?

    Probably Not. Have to say since Meryl Streep is such a great actress, I was expecting her to be a better narrator..


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Does not bring the characters to life.


    What character would you cut from Heartburn?

    All of them!!


    Any additional comments?

    This book was so boring...But since I already purchased it I have been trying to listen to the whole book , I have about one hour left..but it is excruciating....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Heather
    Ireland
    9/5/13
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    "So great!! I don't want it to end!"
    Where does Heartburn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a great story - and the reading is just perfect.


    What other book might you compare Heartburn to, and why?

    Never read anything like it.


    Which character – as performed by Meryl Streep – was your favourite?

    Rachel.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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