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Publisher's Summary

Just before dawn on a Sunday morning, three teenage boys go surfing. While driving home exhausted, the boys are involved in a fatal car accident on a deserted road. Two of the boys are wearing seat belts; one goes through the windshield. The doctors declare him brain-dead shortly after arriving at the hospital, but his heart is still beating. 

The Heart takes place over the 24 hours surrounding the resulting heart transplant, as life is taken from a young man and given to a woman close to death. In gorgeous, ruminative prose, it examines the deepest feelings of everyone involved as they navigate decisions of life and death. 

As stylistically audacious as it is emotionally explosive, The Heart mesmerized booklovers in France, where it has been hailed as the breakthrough work of a new literary star. With the precision of a surgeon and the language of a poet, de Kerangal has made a major contribution to both medicine and literature with an epic tale of grief, hope, and survival.

©2019 Originally published in French in 2014 by Verticales, an imprint of Éditions Gallimard, France, as Réparer les vivants, © 2014 by Éditions Gallimard. Translation © 2016 by Sam Taylor (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Heart

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Wow! What a story!

This was a beautiful story. So poetic! So thoughtful. I’d never considered the donor process before. This story will stay with me.

1 person found this helpful

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Very gripping all the way through

The heart was written in short sentences and read with all the excitement of each moment.
My heart beat with each action of the transfer of the heart ❤️

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Stunningly Beautiful

The author captures so much pain and beauty in this book. A truly talented writer, a truly moving piece of prose. Would recommend to anyone looking for literary fiction, or just to feel for a moment.

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Good story but too much deliverance

I enjoyed the story , I was touched by the depth and the accuracy of an average person having such a horrific event occur and what the aftermath entailed.

I was buried in distracting and in depth details. They did not add to the book.

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Hard to put this one dow!

I loved how well this book was written. It was incredibly interesting to hear all that goes into an organ transplant, the emotions, the devastation, the hope, the end of life and of hope for the future.

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completely unique fiction

A fictional story, yes. but it reads like poetry, or medical drama? Every emotional note is pitch perfect, because it's so specific. You won't find generalities here -- you won't find fictional conventions to keep the plot moving. A bad actor, a misstep, a mystery. What moved you is the innate drama of the journey of a heart, from the chest of a living 19 year old boy who dies suddenly, to its new recipient. And along the way, this drama touches the lives of the boy's family and every medical person, and their lives and their feelings. You are holding your breath to see where the heart ends up. The entire action takes place in 24 hours.