Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Zoë Heller: Rationalism versus Faith

The meta-morphing author of Notes on a Scandal, Zoë Heller, speaks candidly with Sam Leith concerning her newest, The Believers (as well as achieving loftier heights after the afore-mentioned Notes was itself transformed into a multi-nominated film starring Dame Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, and the fabulous Bill Nighy**).*

Additionally, Holly Kyte aims for the heart of the matter of faith versus rationalism in her accompanying review of Heller's already optioned current:

"The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned." So begins Heller's third novel with the words of Marxist heavyweight Antonio Gramsci.

"It's a nuanced epigraph for a nuanced tale," notes Kyte further, "an observant and unsentimental family drama that pits rationalism against faith (in numerous guises) and thrashes out those doubts, disappointments, and unpleasant truths that can leave a person jaded."

* For those among us with a yen for a view of that trailer, it's tagged with this teaser: "One Woman's Mistake Is Another's Opportunity"

** Abso-Fabso Doff of the Cap-Tip, Susan B. :)


  1. Anonymous5:48 PM

    Don't forget the fabulous Bill Nighy as the long-suffering husband of Cate Blanchett's character.

  2. Unforgettable, that character, wasn't he? Poor guy. Richard (or Dick) Hart, echoing that King. He says to the Cate Blanchett character, at one point:

    "I knew who you were when we met. You were young. I knew it might get tough, but I was prepared. You're a good mother, but at times you've been a fucking lousy wife. Why didn't you come to me? You could have told me how lonely you were. You never trusted me to help you. I'm not saying I was so fucking fabulous, but I was here."

    And, you wanna either cry or cheer. I heard he was once offered the role of Dr. Who; but, he turned it down. Think he'd have made a great Dr. Who; but, that's just me.

    Um [*giggle*], are you experienced, Susan? Oh? You need the full-mental packet :). Check out his official website:

    I *love* the little yellow sign with the figure on it; I love it to pieces. He looks good to me for 58 . . . Okay, he looks better than good; he looks so fucking fabulous (with flair to spare)!

  3. Anonymous7:14 AM

    I used to regularly contribute there, but the chicks who can only talk about getting his pants off became too embarrassing to post among. Having met Mr. Nighy, I know just how mortified he is at the concept of himself as a sex symbol. He's really just an awfully nice man and a great actor.

    But if you read the bio. of Bill on that official website, you will see a drawing by me of our hero and how he came to have a name that is spelled "Nighy" but pronounced "Nye." I gave Bill the original of that sketch and he loved it.

  4. Aw, Susan, I read the entire bio and your contribution is exquisite; you're really really good at this; do you do it professionally; and, if not, you oughtta consider it. Just a thought. Deeply impressed you got to meet him and he loved your drawing, too. Is there nothing you cannot do?

    What an intarresting life he's lead; and, I'm glad he's getting so healthy. I like the way he describes himself in terms of alcohol. (I quit drinking 9 June 1982; so, yes alcoholics do remember these dates, of necessity.)

    I ought to reduce the size of type on the following confession so only you can hear it; but, Bill will be a little jellis to learn I did meet Denholm Elliott, a long time ago, now, of course; but, he'd just done the narration for "A Child's Christmas in Wales." He seemed relaxed and tense, forthcoming and withholding; but, always, keenly interested in everything, a fact which surprised me a little because, as you know, most actors are, occupational hazard, most interested in themselves. Thus, I can see why Bill would've liked to have met Denholm; they share that rare quality of actually noticing there are others on this planet.

    But, again, your artwork took my breath away, I'm so happy to say; and, when I wonder if you'd considered a book featuring it, I think you'd be an ace in the deck of perfekk stunning effect. One Standing OH! 2, er, 4 U!