Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: 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.
Buy, read, and discuss The Heart Does Not Grow Back
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
As a digital diva and comicbook (Stan Lee says it should be one word, and you do NOT argue with Stan Lee) geek, I love a good superhero story no matter what the format is.
With The Heart Does Not Grow Back Fred Venturini has given us not only a good superhero story, but a just plain good story. I would happily have read about Dale’s life even if he hadn’t been able to regenerate most of the vital bits of his body (hint: there’s one he can’t; spoilers, sweety: it’s in the title).
While I confess, the first chapter was a bit difficult for me – I have a hard time reading about kids being bullied, despite the fact that I was never bullied myself – but I stuck with it, and I’m glad I did, because ultimately, this story is funny, poignant, and comes from a place of emotional truth.
As I learned as an improvisational actor, if you start from truth, you can do anything you want, no matter how implausible, and your audience will take the journey with you.
I enjoyed my journey into Fred Venturini’s world immensely, and I recommend it for anyone who has a taste for superheroes, sci-fi, or underdogs saving the day.
Dear Mr. Venturini: MORE PLEASE?
Goes well with A foot-long chili cheese dog, crinkle cut fries, and a cherry Coke.
About the Tour
This review is part of a blog tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours. For the list of tour stops, see below. For more information click HERE.
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: 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: A Fantastical Librarian
Wednesday, October 29th: In Bed with Books
Tuesday, November 4th: Read-Love-Blog
Thursday, November 6th: Sweet Southern Home
Friday, November 7th: The Steadfast Reader
Monday, November 10th: Fourth Street Review
Monday, November 10th: Guiltless Reading
Tuesday, November 11th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, November 12th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, November 13th: More Than Just Magic
Friday, November 14th: The Feminist Texican [Reads]
Monday, November 17th: A Book Geek
Thursday, November 20th: Bibliophilia, Please
Monday, November 24th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
TBD: Book Marks the Spot