About The Heart Does Not Grow BackPublisher: Picador (November 4, 2014)
EVERY SUPERHERO NEEDS TO START SOMEWHERE…
Dale Sampson is used to being a nonperson at his small-town Midwestern high school, picking up the scraps of his charismatic lothario of a best friend, Mack. He comforts himself with the certainty that his stellar academic record and brains will bring him the adulation that has evaded him in high school. But when an unthinkable catastrophe tears away the one girl he ever had a chance with, his life takes a bizarre turn as he discovers an inexplicable power: He can regenerate his organs and limbs.
When a chance encounter brings him face to face with a girl from his past, he decides that he must use his gift to save her from a violent husband and dismal future. His quest takes him to the glitz and greed of Hollywood, and into the crosshairs of shadowy forces bent on using and abusing his gift. Can Dale use his power to redeem himself and those he loves, or will the one thing that finally makes him special be his demise? The Heart Does Not Grow Back is a darkly comic, starkly original take on the superhero tale, introducing an exceptional new literary voice in Fred Venturini.
“Venturini has a voice that’s something like noir poetry, alternately hard-boiled and beautiful, and the story he tells with it is intriguing, intense, and—dare I say it—visceral. Keep your eye on this guy. He’s going to cause trouble.”—Isaac Marion, author of Warm Bodies\
.“A smart, funny, and dark coming-of-age story that successfully balances the weird and the heartfelt.”—Shane Jones, author of Light Boxes and Crystal Eaters
“Fred Venturini is an awesomely talented writer, and he proves it on every page….This novel about a shy, emotionally damaged loser with a bizarre but coveted ability to regenerate his vital parts is one of the most engaging and ultimately satisfying that I’ve had the pleasure to read in a long time.”—Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff and The Devil All the Time
“Fred Venturini’s The Heart Does Not Grow Back is a marvel. Simply stated, it is like nothing I’ve ever read before. That’s a rarity, something to be treasured whenever you have the good fortune to encounter it. So thank you, Mr. Venturini.”–Nick Cutter, author ofThe Troop
I don’t know how I can even begin to describe this book. It’s so far from what I usually read that it’s hard to wrap my head around the tale I just read. This book is to put it simply, spectacular! While I cannot seem to classify The Heart Does Not Grow Back into a singular genre, it’s as if Fred Venturini has created a genre all to himself. This book can only be described as taking someone’s real life and adding a surprising superhero like twist to an already amazing character.
Everyone knows a guy like Dale. He’s the wallflower “loser” that everyone can relate with. He’s eternally lonely. Every time he gets ignored, you feel his emotions and pain. When his limb re-growth abilities emerge, you finally feel like he’s getting his moment in the spotlight only for it to come to an end. Its not often that readers can connect on a real life level with the main character of a somewhat supernatural book. This book isn’t just about a blossoming wall flower, but the underlying friendships Dale makes.
This book does an amazing job with connecting to the reader on their own personal levels. I will say that some scenes are not for those that are sensitive to emotional situations. It will leave you crying, smiling, and mourning along with Dale as his life unravels with each page you turn. This book is for those of us who have wondered in our lives what someone is actually thinking when it comes to emotional situations. To say this book is simply good is the understatement of the year.
Fred Venturini grew up in Patoka, Illinois. His short fiction has been published in the Booked Anthology, Noir at the Bar 2, and Surreal South ’13. In 2014, his story “Gasoline” will be featured in Chuck Palahniuk’s Burnt Tongues collection. He lives in Southern Illinois with his wife and daughter.
Connect with Fred
Fred Venturini’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, October 13th: Benni’s Bookbiters
Tuesday, October 14th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Wednesday, October 15th: Read a Latte
Thursday, October 16th: Bibliophilia, Please
Thursday, October 16th: Benni’s Bookbiters – an unofficial soundtrack
Monday, October 20th: Bell, Book & Candle
Wednesday, October 22nd: My Shelf Confessions – Wonderfully Wicked Read-A-Thon Giveaway
Thursday, October 23rd: Saints and Sinners
Monday, October 27th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Monday, October 27th: A Fantastical Librarian
Wednesday, October 29th: In Bed with Books
Monday, November 3rd: Book Marks the Spot
Tuesday, November 4th: Read-Love-Blog
Wednesday, November 5th: The Feminist Texican [Reads]
Thursday, November 6th: Sweet Southern Home
Monday, November 10th: Guiltless Reading
Tuesday, November 11th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, November 12th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, November 13th: More Than Just Magic
Monday, November 17th: A Book Geek
Date TBD: The Steadfast Reader