The Dead Heart
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The Dead Heart

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  764 ratings  ·  57 reviews
That dumbshit map. I'd been seduced by it. Seduced by its possibilities. That map had brought me here ...That map had been a serious mistake' The map in question is of Australia, stumbled across in a second-hand bookshop by American journalist Nick Hawthorne, en route to another dead-end hack job in Akron, Ohio. Seduced by all that wilderness, all that NOTHING, Nick decide...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 13th 1995 by Abacus
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Horriblement angoissant, un peu comme tout ce qu'on nous donne en France de l'Australie, cela n'en ai pas moins un excellent polar... Le tout est excellement cohérent, la fin arrive inéluctablement.
L'histoire est simple, un mec un peu paumé un peu cynique, de ces anti héros solitaires qu'on aime, va se retrouver dans une communauté de cinglés sans avoir aucun échappatoire. Impasse au milieu du désert australien...
Lavinia Lewis
This is one of my favourite books. It has the perfect balance of drama and deliciously dark humour which at times is shocking but made me laugh out loud, nonetheless. you will not be able to put it down, I couldn't. If you haven't read this book, do. You won’t be disappointed.
We first meet Nick Hawthorne in a Darwin bar. As a stripper offers contorted perspectives on what Australia has to offer, our hero from Maine meets a fellow countryman from Detroit intent on doing to Asia what America does to most places. (Personal opinions, eh?) Nick has some of those. He has a personal approach to life, but feels he gets little out of it, despite having achieved the status of being the first person principal character of Douglas Kennedy’s novel The Dead Heart.

Nick is a journal...more
Shay Noble
Loved it! It was a brilliant read; written superbly and carrying a fantastic storyline that included just enough humour to balance out the quite terrifying side of the book. Some parts were really rather gruesome but it added so much to the storyline and made the ending quite a fast paced, page turning frantic read to find out what was going to happen. I thought it was great and would definitely recommend it. I'll also be keeping my eyes peeled for other Douglas Kennedy novels.
As an Australian reading this book I have to warn you that not all Australians or the country are like this, this is the outback, where it can be a world it its own. This is another great book by Kennedy, this time demonstrating the physical entrapment of a middle aged journalist caught in a rut trying to escape life actually being caught in something far far worse. Enjoy!
This novelette length story is Douglas Kennedy’s debut. Just as in The Big Picture, the protagonist is a middle aged man stuck in a rut. However, this character is very different from succesful family man Ben Bradford in The Big Picture. Instead, he is a commitment phobic journalist who drifts through life, never holding down a job for more than a few years, never “doing” anything. One day, midlife crisis strikes hard and he flies to Australia. But not Sydney or Melbourne. Darwin. His plan is to...more
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i found it a bit strange more like a Stephen king atmosphere than a Douglas Kennedy .
This was Douglas Kennedy's first novel (I believe). He had previously been a travel writer and it appears that he was making the transition from travel writer to novelist. He chose the Outback of Australia and a parody of the characters found in the Outback of Australia. As I live in Australia he did catch much of nature of Australia in the novel. It was funny at times and scary at times but overall not the depth of much of his other novels that I have always thoroughly enjoyed. The novel was ma...more
Sébastien Populaire
Surprising... But you will not be able to leave this book before reaching the end!
Melissa Delport
What did I just read?
These were the thoughts that ran through my head when I read this book. My mother, on a visit from Aus, had the tattered paperback in her suitcase and I snatched it up, as bookworms do.
Holy hell! I will never look at my mother the same way again.
In a Jerry Springer meets Kangaroo Jack, this short book had me in stitches. Hillbillies, Aussie style = not a pretty picture.
I wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for a "deep" book or an "ingenuious" storyline, but it...more
A man leave everything behind, and goes to Autralia with a backpack and all his savings, to explore the country. There, he will get more than he was expecting. And not in a good way.
A good thriller, intense and captivating, easy to read. I couldn't stop reading until it was finished. Made my trip back from Switzerland less boring.

The translation wasn't that great though, I didn't like the translator's style, which I didn't find in other Kennedy's books. That's probably why they re-edited it.
Il faut que je vous avoue que je n'avais jamais lu Douglas Kennedy de ma vie et mon idée de cet auteur à succès était complètement biaisée ! Aussi, quelle ne fut pas ma surprise lorsque j'ai réellement découvert son univers. L'histoire ici présente est en effet sombre, glauque et poisseuse. Oubliez la carte postale idyllique d'une Australie envoûtante, à moitié sauvage et glamour. Cette invitation au voyage va se révéler étouffante, accablante, et pire encore.
This book can be read easily. It offers an astonishing trip in the australian outback, and a breathless story. I could not put 5 stars but it's just because of the tone of the narrator was a bit too vulgar for me, and because I was a little bit disappointed by the end of the story. Still, even if it's not my favourite book of Douglas Kennedy, it remains a great masterpiece.
Aylin Youlin
Книгата е обикновен сюжет за психотрилър.Нищо ново под слънцето.Не ми допадна стила на изразяване на автора.Чете се бързо аз я прочетох за един ден. Има някои интересни моменти,но като цяло не дава нищо.Не бих инвестирала отново време и пари за Дъглас Кенеди.
Engaging and well-written "The Dead Heart" had me hooked. Nick is seduced by the idea of Australia and its barren, untamed outback. What he didn't bet on when he came to Australia (on a whim), was what happened to him; kidnapped, stripped of his independence and freedom. He learns that there is alot more to life than he ever thought there was and that sometimes you have to fight for your right to live.
(EN) This starts like a peaceful roadtrip in Australia but turns into a strange kidnapping. Oppressing. (FR) Ca commence comme un roadtrip paisible en Australie mais tourne en un étrange enlèvement. Oppressant.
i found this in an amazing book barn in Le Somail, a tiny village on the canal du midi, dans L'Aude, south of france. i remember thinking that it was a scary read for anyone with intentions of visiting australia! but so much fun! the film was pretty well done too...i discovered some years later, welcome to woop woop. i love woop woop, where ever one manages to find it.
Having read another Kennedy book last year that I loved, I chose this as my 2nd novel by him. Wow! I was a bit concerned when I read somewhere it reminded of Kerouac's "On the Road" but this book was nothing like that. A strange but very gripping story that I read in two sittings. Need to get my hands on the rest of his bibliography!!!
What a versatile author Douglas Kennedy is. This book is very different from the other Kennedy books I've read but I still loved it. Set in outback Australia, his American protaganist is a flawed character who finds himself in the middle of a living nightmare. With a touch of Stephen King horror, I couldn't put it down.
Defeldre Anne-catherine
Original, sympa, facile... il m'a seulement fallut beaucoup de temps avant de rentrer dans l'histoire (celle d'un journaliste américain qui ne cherche jamais à se dépasser et qui décide un jour de tout plaquer pour aller faire le tour de l'Australie... La-bas, sa vie dégénère lorsqu'il prend en stop une jeune autochtone).
Funny AND scary, an interesting mix that worked for me. The plot would have been totally unbelievable if it hadn't been set in Australia. The country is what makes the story believable and it actually becomes a character in itself as it plays a huge part in what happens to our poor hero. A very enjoyable read!
A quick and easy read.

A bored, world weary journalist (o the stereotype) throws in his job and heads to Australia on a whim. His big road trip takes a nasty turn when he is drugged and kidnapped in the middle the outback.

A pretty preditable story line, but nice mindless escape!
Cette lecture fut un coup de cœur. Je recommande ce passionnant roman.
Il y a beaucoup de mystère et de suspense. Ces gens sont vraiment étranges ! On finit par les détester comme le protagoniste !
D'ailleurs ce dernier est très attachant, et on a envie de s'enfuir presque autant que lui !
excellent récit ! du rythme ! de l'humour ! du tragique ! et une gouaille extraordinaire ! Oui c'était bien un cauchemard que je vous laisserais lire avec plaisir.Ah et une règle à jamais percuter un kangourou sur une route poussiéreuse de l'outback australien.
edina murakozy
Ok, if you want to fall off the chair from shock while you are reading, this is the book to read. The story is nothing I have ever read from this author. Graphic sceenes, blunt human stupidity... Oh yeah, and the strength of family/a horde. Not planning on reading again.
This book is crying out to be made into a film, which I believe it has been but do not know its title. To be read in one sitting in a comfy armchair and be transported to the Outback. Like all Kennedy's books it does not fail to entertain.
Still reading Aussie-themed books and this was recommended to me by Ed (brother and Sydneysider). I love dark humor and this was quite dark. At times frightening and at times hilarious, this seemed a uniquely Australian book.
Lylie Rosa
Ce livre est terriblement angoissant et surprenant! Un bon polar comme je les aime. Un mec paumé et quelques psychopathes, le tout orchestré par un environnement dé!
Mon premier roman de Douglas kennedy.
Lauren Wilder
Bloody brilliant! So funny and the characters are vivid and most of them are nuts, just the way I like them! Douglad Kennedy is one of my favourite writers, I love him!
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Douglas Kennedy was born in Manhattan in 1955. He studied at Bowdoin College, Maine and Trinity College, Dublin, returning to Dublin in 1977 with just a trenchcoat, backpack and $300. He co-founded a theatre company and sold his first play, Shakespeare on Five Dollars a Day, to Radio 4 in 1980. In 1988 he moved to London and published a travel book, Beyond the Pyramids. His debut novel The Dead He...more
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