- Series: Lynx House Book
- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: Eastern Washington University; 1st edition (January 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1597660337
- ISBN-13: 978-1597660334
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,791,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The High Heart (Lynx House Book) Paperback – January 1, 2007
The Amazon Book Review
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"The High Heart is a gripping, soulful collection of linked stories. . . . The main characters are indelible--the young protagonist, Fritz, his passive-but-sweet father, Travis, and his explosive mother, Rita, whose dark sexuality and dissatisfaction loom like storm clouds over these stories. The writing can be fierce, funny, and touching. . . . The High Heart satisfies that mysterious quality of great fiction by managing to be both truthful and artful at the same time."
"The High Heart is a gripping, soulful collection of linked stories, perfectly pitched in its depiction of a small family deeply rooted in working-class Pittsburgh of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The main characters are indelible―the young protagonist, Fritz, his passive-but-sweet father, Travis, and his explosive mother, Rita, whose dark sexuality and dissatisfaction loom like storm clouds over these stories. . . . Vivid and engaging, The High Heart satisfies that mysterious quality of great fiction by managing to be both truthful and artful at the same time." (Jess Walter, author of The Zero)
"In this beautifully written and deeply moving collection, Joseph Bathanti gives us all the sad trappings of working-class life―the Rolling Rock beer, the Pall Mall cigarettes, the plastic lawn chairs, the beat-up Bonnevilles and Impalas. Yet the world of The High Heart never feels depressing. It's impossible not to cheer on young Fritzy as he struggles to make sense of his eccentric parents, the ever-bickering, memorable couple known as Travis-and-Rita." (Rita Ciresi, author of Pink Slip and Sometimes I Dream in Italian)
"There is no doubt in my mind that Joseph Bathanti is one of the finest writers Italian America has produced. Whether it's poetry, novels, or short fiction, Bathanti has a way of latching onto a character or an idea and not letting go until he gets you to care about his protagonists, even if you don't like them. He writes in a way that makes reading seem effortless . . . creating stories that linger long after the pages have been turned." (Fred Gardaphé, author of From Wiseguys to Wise Men: The Gangster and Italian American Masculinities)
"Joseph Bathanti's The High Heart pulls us in with an urgency that never lets up, imbuing his own little corner of urban America with the same kind of mythic hyperreality as William Kennedy's Albany novels or Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County." (Nino Ricci, author of Testament)
Top customer reviews
If you want to read an original voice. If you have a fondness for that place in youth's memory on the edge of manhood. If you have a fondness for Pittsburgh and environs. If you want to read a good book ... try this one.
It seems to me that the driving force in these stories is the subconscious, as Fritz and his mother (a stripper) have some weird Oedipal thing going on, and at one point Fritz tries to be man enough to do the manual labor (hod carrying for bricklayers) that his father had failed at. It seems to me like Fritz is struggling to get away from his own subconscious, but really has nowhere to run. All the stories in "The High Heart" are narrated by Fritz, except one called "Fading Away." (I thought that was really clever.) This is the first book I've read by Joseph Bathanti, and it seems well written to me, and the language and images are really vivid. The back of this book says it won the 2006 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Worth reading.