The High Heart by Joseph Bathanti – Book Giveaway and Review

Set in the less-than-perfect Philadelphia of the ’60s and ’70s, Joseph Bathanti’s book The High Heart reads as both a collection of short stories and a novel. Each story of Fritz Sweeny, the only son of two unconventional parents, stands alone as a short. But placed all together, you come away with a captivating look at an unusual family.

Bathanti has a way of writing dialog that makes the characters jump off the page. Reading the banter between Fritz’s mismatched parents was completely entertaining. I found myself rereading some conversations; they made me feel like I was listening in on my neighbors – if my neighbors were a fiery Italian woman married to an Irish American, that is.

While reading The High Heart, it’s easy to feel Bathanti’s poetry roots within the stories. The sentences are dense with meaning and enjoyably visual. Overall, this book was a fulfilling read, hitting all the right chords of well-chosen words and rich, unpredictable characters. And here’s the good news – I have an extra copy.

To win The High Heart, please leave a comment here telling me what intrigues you about the book. Or subscribe to carp(e) libris reviews to be entered in this and all book giveaways. Or link to this contest from your blog. Do all three, and you’ve got three entries. I’ll randomly select a winner this Friday, March 7, 2008, at 12noon EST. The winner will be contacted by email.

Published by Eastern Washington University Press.

Buy The High Heart here and support carp(e) libris reviews and your local bookseller!

78 comments to The High Heart by Joseph Bathanti – Book Giveaway and Review

  • Christina Almond

    Sounds like a good book!

  • K.C.

    Looks like a good book as long as it isn’t about my family. LOL

  • Leanne C.

    I need a good read to get me through this endless winter!

  • Samantha Pruitt

    the way the stories are split up sounds like it would make for an interesting read.

  • Elizabeth

    I like how the short stories come together to create a complete picture.

  • PeaceLady

    “The High Heart” sounds like an amazing book and one I most definitely would love to have. It was especially intriguing as it was endorsed by one of my favorite author’s Jess Walter’s (“The Zero”). Myself, coming from a firey Italian family (on my Mom’s side) had a saying, “Whoever is the loudest, is the rightest”. This was the truth, and as children it always appeared everyone was always arguing :)

  • Ed Nemmers

    I so enjoy short stories.

  • Louis Huf

    I am intrigued about the settings – the 60s seem perfect for the book

  • michelle rosborough

    sounds like an interesting book

  • Miranda Allen

    Please Enter me thanks

  • Buddy Garrett

    I am intrigued by the dynamics of the family set in the era I grew up in.

  • Kathleen Yohanna

    The review of the book says that Joseph Bathanti makes the characters “jump off the page”. I love good discriptive writing that lets you “see” the story.

  • Joy Venters

    would like to read this

  • Charlene

    I love poetry and the weaving
    of words to create a storyline
    and thats what intrigues me
    about this book

  • Sylvia Porter

    i love stories about families, it’s always really interesting.

  • A. Ashley

    I’m intrigued by the mismatched parents.
    I love unconventional families. I’m part of an unconventional family.
    I like the 60′s -70′s timeline.
    Those decades always make a good setting.
    I’m interested in reading the dialogue ,which you raved about.
    The High Heart sounds like a terrific novel.
    Thank you for the contest.

  • Kayce

    The idea of short stories with good character development intrigues me.

  • Lily Kwan

    What intrigues me about the book is that the main character has an Italian mother and an Irish father, like my fiance.

  • Tamara

    The idea of being able to read a whole novel, in short stories, is wonderful. I often shy away from longer books, because I don’t have as much as I would like to read.

  • kathy pease


  • Catrina Pomerleau

    I like the idea of a single story made up of a bunch of short stories.

  • Jennifer Barnett

    I have really been enjoying this website’s book reviews. This book sounds quite unique. I like the idea of small stories that can fit together into a larger whole. It sounds like a true reflection of how we live our lives.

  • veronica

    good read I am always looking for something good to read

  • Susan Chester

    I just got an email telling me I won this. I am so happy, I almost bought this, then decided to wait and see if I won. I am glad I waited.

  • john pratt

    the book sounds very interesting. i am a people person so interaction of people intrigues me. would love to read it & could tell you what i thought of it after i read it. thanks in advance if i win & have a blessed day.

  • barbara wild

    this book sounds interesting to me because it is not like ones i have read in the past. If i like it and win ill share it with my book club

  • Irene Leung

    Sounds interestin – would love to read more about it.

  • Thanks for writing this.

Diane’s New eBook


New Sweeps Daily at CashNet Sweepstakes!
Featured in Alltop