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
"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)
Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.
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.
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
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!!
Australian, living in beautiful central Victoria. Audio book addict otherwise fairly well balanced.
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.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
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."
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Glad to be part of the audible community and I hope that my reviews help to choose the right book and share my love of reading.
The book gave me heartburn. The story was really flat - another divorce story - no solutions, no depth of characters.
The only thing Ms. Ephron nailed were the description of the emotions of the characters. Yet there was no spice to the story and some aspects were unbelievable. The only spice given were the cusswords.
I love Meryl Streep - but her performance was just ok.
No reaction, other than it was a credited wasted.
This book had great reviews, so I thought I give it a try. I have read better books about divorces, as tragic as that is, but this one was just mere average. Get the book on sale, don't waist a credit.
The reviews were amazing so I expected to love it and laugh but I didn't pick up the humor in it. The story line flowed and I wasn't bored but I don't get why it was so well loved.
'Heartburn' was originally published in 1983, and is the fictionalised account of the breakdown of her marriage to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein. Like her main character, Rachel Samstat, Ephron's husband had an affair when she was pregnant with their second child (indeed, Carl Bernstein threatened to sue over the book and subsequent film, but never did). Rachel's story is told with self-deprecating humour and interspersed with recipes as she is a minor celebrity chef of sorts. Some of the recipes sounded quite delicious, but one of the downsides of an audiobook is the difficulty of relocating treasures within once the narrator has passed them by.
As for the narration, who could ask more than Meryl? She is, as you would expect, brilliant, and adds much to the humour of the novel. My main criticism of the novel - and there's not much that can be done about it, given it was originally published over 30 years ago - is that the story is quite dated. I think it would have been a little more cutting edge in its time, but in the past 30 years the story of wronged partner making good on their own has been done time and time again.
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.
Ephron spins a domestic dissolution into a timeless comedy.
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.
It's a perfect title.
Say something about yourself!
OOOOOHHHHHH yes. I liked the story overall but Meryl Streep took it to the next level. She's amazingly talented.
Maybe. I think I would have to be in the mood. It was slow-moving and just a lot of he said she said and gossip. That's not really my style but she did keep my attention until the end because I really, really wanted to know if Rachel would leave Mark.
No, but I would love to. I'd listen to a book on astrophysics if she narrated it.
I knew nothing about Norah Ephron other than that she had been married to one of the Watergate journalists, Carl Bernstein, but I was attracted to this audiobook by the fact that it was narrated by the superlative actress, Meryl Streep. It did not disappoint. Meryl Streep really brings the story to life by putting persuasive emotion into the account of a woman who is cheated on by her husband when she is 8 months pregnant. It turns out that this is not the first time and the questions are - stay or go? forgive or not forgive? divorce or try and save the marriage? It could so easily have been a depressing and dire story, but it is not. It is whimsical on occasions, bitter on others, but never anything less than entertaining. I have since found out that Norah Ephron was a journalist, essayist, novelist, playwright, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and a movie director. So sad that such a multi- talented woman died at only 71. However, this beautifully performed audiobook is a great tribute to her memory. I recommend it.
"So great!! I don't want it to end!"
This is a great story - and the reading is just perfect.
Never read anything like it.
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