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Perforated Heart

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  102 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Almost forty years after moving to Manhattan, author Richard Morris has achieved if not stratospheric renown then at least the accomplished career and caliber of fame that he envisioned for himself as a younger man. Now financially comfortable and artistically embittered, Richard is at his home upstate recuperating from heart surgery and nursing resentment toward his publi ...more
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2009)
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Nov 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I've seen Bogosian as an actor, read subUrbia and watched its cinematic adaptation, for all of that this novel might be the best example and/or use of his talent. Behold a portrait of an artist as a young man and as his older self. Former struggling through the dirtily glamorous dangerous urban wilderness NYC used to be in the 70s, latter as an accomplished wealthy famous author in a much more polished, much more expensive version of the same city. And through it all he manages to remain a thoro ...more
Jason Pettus
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

As regular readers know, I'm a particularly big fan of a type of literary trope I call the "anti-villain," which like it sounds means nearly the opposite of the more well-known term "anti-hero;" that is, instead of the main character being someone who seems fairly despicable at first but who we come
David Lentz
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Richard Morris is a writer who prides himself deeply in his own personal honesty. Like Hemingway he believes that his job as a writer is to write one true sentence after another. Like Norman Mailer he believes that he must guide himself toward madness, to glimpse into the abyss and then write about what he sees resident there. Unfortunately, Norman Mailer chose to become a social clown existentially acting-up to promote his books and both writers may have been better served to understand Hemingw ...more
William Johnson
Eric Bogosian, the terrific playwright and hilarious actor, totally brings it with this novel. The book, much like Bogosian's play Talk Radio, lacks any real heroes, but you are so intoxicated with the journey of our depressed, neurotic, sometimes misogynistic, often drunk narrator, through two different time periods no less, that you don't want to admit the truth.

Bogosian does a great job balancing the Richard (the main character) from 1976-1979 with the Richard of 2006/2007. To say they are tw
May 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of honest intimacy
PERFORATED HEART (2009) by Eric Bogosian is a fascinating study in obsession for pussy, money, and fame. In this instance that obsession revolves around the life of a middle-aged, successful, American Jew writer in New York who reflects back on his path via his journal from the mid 70’s, as he struggles in the present (2006-7) to reclaim his place atop the literary field. This is an intensely honest story and I could identify with it completely. I agree with most all of the positions the main ch ...more
Richard Morris has just had recent heart surgery. It was very mild but it has led him on an introspective journey about his life as a writer. Digging through his attic, he comes across diaries that he wrote as a young man. While the diaries show a pretentious naïveté that makes him cringe, they are very much indicative of the man he will become. Urgent, incisive, brutally almost painfully honest and yet aching with desperate loneliness, this latest work by Eric Bogosian shows the author and play ...more
Spencer Abbott
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Reminded me a lot of the works of Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInery in that the lead protagonist is largely unsympathetic as a result of being a self-centered, egotistical, former drug and booze addled writer who burns through friends like there's no tomorrow. At times he comes off sympathetic, but ultimately he's self-serving. Despite this (or in spite of this), he's a mesmerizing individual and I found myself often reading several chapters ahead of where I was because I got so wrapped up in wh ...more
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
A well crafted book. An aging successful writer retreats to his CT summer home to recuperate from heart surgery and brings his 30 year old journals to read. The rest of the book is alternating journal entries from the young and old writer, as he wrestles with his craft, fame, women, and mortality. It's the same Bogosian character from his monologues--the hard drinking New York street intellectual, but here you see the guy looking back at himself with amazement wondering how could have ever been ...more
May 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
For the first half of the book, I was prepared to give it two stars. I wasn't really enjoying it but the writing was interesting enough and the storyline, contrasting a journal of a writer in the present to his journal thirty years earlier, was holding my interest enough to continue. Around the midway point, though, it just became repetitious and uninteresting. I decided to read this book because it was listed as one of the best book covers of 2009... I guess it's true what they say about not ju ...more
May 29, 2009 marked it as to-read
I went to hear him read last night....he's a dynamic and interesting guy. I met him on the Red Line one night on my way home from work about 9 or 10 years ago. He was real nice, asked me what I was of Dennis Lehane's books so I told him a little about Lehane being from Dorchester and what I liked about his writing...pre Mystic River...Anyway, it was cool to hear him talk about his writing and although I knew he was pretty prolific and had his hand in a lot of pies, I don't think I ...more
Cristian V. Bizau
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was on a train ride for 17 hours and I can tell you guys, this book fed me horrible-but-good food, served me whisky, gave me a ride through the city night up until the very last minute of the ride (read the book then re-read the parts I enjoyed the most). This book made me smile- a happy and a sad smile-, laugh, cry and most of all it made me want to write. This was also my first book from Bogosian and I can tell you, it was one hell of a introduction.
Anjuli Enthoven
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a delightful read. Bogosian's voice was strong. He displayed a true craftsmanship with both language choice and structure. The composition was as deliberate as what one expects to see in a favorite painting or photograph. True New York City immersion experience.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book struck very close to home. It made me uncomfortable. The format of journaling. Being one and separate by time. Ambition and self loathing. Death and indulgence. These things make me me and Bogosian helped me accept a lot of that
Oct 27, 2009 rated it liked it
This one took some first I really thought it was going nowhere, but in the end it turned out to be nicely structured. Man in his 50s finds his diaries from the 1970s and we realize what a completely different person he has become. Nice touches evoking NYC in the 70s.
Andrea Young
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
"And deep down I know the value of every experience is that I can write about it someday. My life is only a by-product of my writing."
Nov 24, 2009 rated it liked it
A decent read. Plot was a bit cliche -- the aging writer looks back at his life and failed romantic entanglements, but entertaining nonetheless. A quick one.
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Bogosian is an understated , genious of a storyteller.
Want to find more by this fantastic author.
Ken Judy
May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Vivid about 70's New York. Main character makes self-absorption an expression of art.
Aug 30, 2009 rated it liked it
I liked it in the beginning than grew tired of it. I wonder if it's auto-biographical.
Alex McNulty
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Aug 12, 2015
Emily Landis
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Feb 07, 2017
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May 19, 2014
Christopher Nekolny
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Mar 16, 2013
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Mar 10, 2010
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Oct 08, 2009
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Dec 04, 2015
Travis Ammons
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May 11, 2012
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Jun 10, 2009
Diane Simpson
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Mar 04, 2013
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Eric Bogosian (born April 24, 1953) is an American actor, playwright, monologist, and novelist.

More about Eric Bogosian...
“I mean, what kind of literature do you think ants would make if they could read? Not F. Scott Fuckin’ Fitzgerald, not Joyce or D-D—D-Dostoyevsky, not even friggin’ Steinbeck. Wouldn’t make any sense to ’em. You ever read Nabokov’s Lolita? Best book of the twentieth century, but old-fashioned my friend, old fuckin’ fashioned. Same old story over and over again, one more guy mesmerized by his own dick, wandering around the wreckage of his life. Who the fuck cares about that? Give me the Knights of the Round Table! Give me Merlin! Or better, the “wine dark sea”! Much more interesting.” 4 likes
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