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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The last page: Heather, The Totality

Illustration for article titled The last page: Heather, The Totality
The Last PageThoughts on, and a place to discuss, the ending we don’t reveal in our review.

Heather, The Totality is ruined by its ending. Weiner makes it clear that Bobby is out to harm Heather, whether through rape, murder, or some kind of deranged fantasy where they run off together. She notices his attention, and is at the right age to find a mysterious bad boy alluring, at least in an abstract sense. When her father Mark senses that, and intuits the threat Bobby represents, he grows incredibly paranoid, putting another strain between him and Karen. At the climax, Mark pushes Bobby out a window, killing him. He confesses to Karen, and the book ends with their decision to keep this secret, as the death is ruled an accident.


Here’s the thing: this says nothing about them, their marriage, or whatever loyalty they may have for each other. Karen isn’t the type to blow up their lives to send him to jail, but even if she was, Mark is arguably justified in what he did, at least in a legal sense. At the time he’s pushed, Bobby is dizzy with the thought of being in Heather’s apartment; he’s raring to do something awful. Had Weiner never supplied Bobby’s point of view and the reader never knew whether Mark’s paranoia was warranted, there would be moral complexity to sort through. Instead, a predator dies, and pretty deservedly, as far as these things go. What exactly is the point of this book?

Ryan is an A.V. Club contributor. His writing has also appeared in Reuters, MarketWatch, the WSJ, and other outlets. He writes a lot about finance but would rather be talking about books.