Shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award 2012
James Meek was born in London in 1962 and grew up in Dundee. His novel The People's Act of Love (2005) won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, the SAC Book of the Year Award, was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and has been published in more than thirty countries. His novel We Are Now Beginning our Descent (2008) won the Prince Maurice Prize. He is the author of two other novels and two collections of short stories. His journalism has won a number of British and international awards. He lives in London.
* Addictive ... Meek is a novelist of Dostoevskyan intensity ... encompassing blackmail, murder and sexual infidelity. You have to admire the scope and ambition of this operatic saga Guardian * A book about how to be good in bad times BBC Radio 4 * The Heart Broke In has a Dickensian cast list [and] Meek's range, humour and boldness are a joy -- Louise Doughty Observer * This is a big juicy slab of a book, as thrilling and nourishing as a Victorian three-parter -- Whynn Weldon Spectator * Set in the near future, [Meek's] sinister media underworld hits on the zeitgeist ... the characterisation is affectionate and the story is gripping We Love This Book * Feels like a TV mini-series Daily Mail * Intelligent, compelling and epic in scale Woman & Home * An enjoyable, thought-provoking read, going beyond satire to throw the questions back to the reader -- Andrea Mullaney Scotland on Sunday * Whizzes along for most of its 550 pages, via plots and subplots encompassing blackmail, murder and sexual infidelity, leaving the reader excited and impressed and, if a little confused, then enjoyably so ... you have to admire the scope and ambition of this operatic saga -- Theo Tait Guardian * The Heart Broke In is a realistic slice of life at the bench, reflect-ing both the admirable and the unflattering qualities of scientists Nature Magazine * Page-turning and absorbing -- Victoria Moore Daily Mail * James Meek is Britain's answer to Don DeLillo -- Brian Morton Independent * This page-turning tale ranges over contemporary London like a magnet, tugging up the nuggets of friction that make a great book ... the writing is at times so lovely that it shouldn't be rushed, but savoured -- Louise Chunn Psychologies Magazine * Meek's characterization is excellent and the dilemmas he gives the players in his drama are convincing and intense enough to hurt ... he manages to do this while keeping the pages turning as fast as any thriller. This is a feast of a novel, to which I shall return again and again -- Elsbeth Linder Book Oxygen * Meeks looks at the question of family, what it means and how actions affect the people in it. He weaves complicated lives, entwines characters in layers and layers of history until they can't breathe or escape from each other -- Claire Snook Bookmunch * Meek's novel is energised by a dynamic interplay of social, cultural, philosophical and scientific ideas, and as befits a big, serious fiction, it has the courage to address big, serious issues -- Trevor Lewis The Sunday Times * A novel shimmering with black humour, which for the sheer verve of the writing deserves a long shelf life -- Lucy Beresford The Sunday Telegraph * The burning desire to discover how it all pans out propels one to finish this bravura book by a remarkable writer The Lady * A wonderfully sharp, intelligently observed and often very funny novel -- Toby Clements The Telegraph * Plenty to relish in this topical novel pitched enjoyably between thriller and satire Metro * The Heart Broke In is an absorbing family saga with Forsterian ambitions ... In this compelling novel Meek, with his vivid characterisation and narrative drive, succeeds in engaging the heart as well as the head -- Annalema McAfee Financial Times 20120929 * The Heart Broke In has a dizzying reach, playing science off religion, cynics against lovers, atheists against believers ... it's a book that doesn't want to do your thinking for you -- Olivia Cole GQ 20121101 * The lyricism and wry wit with which Meek writes means this is a fine novel, and an excellent representation of how we live now -- Daniel Davies The Skinny 20121001 * One of the country's finest writers GQ * James Meek's new novel has all the urgent readability of his previous work combined with a wide-ranging vision of social and personal responsibility that's very rare in current fiction. I suppose we could call it a moral thriller. Whatever we call it, I was enormously impressed. Philip Pullman * An engrossing novel structured around grand eternal themes but pin-sharp and peopled with characters you wish you knew Good Book Guide 20130301 * Lively and compelling -- William Leith Evening Standard 20130307 * While written with the accessibility of a mainstream novel, this is an ideas-heavy book that works on various levels: as a psychological thriller of sorts, a family saga and a meditation on a host of issues which, like the DNA in our cells, have never been put together in quite this way before -- Alastair Mabbott The Herald, Scotland 20130309