Everything You Know A Novel

Zoë Heller




Trade Paperback

224 Pages


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Zoë Heller introduces an unforgettable curmudgeon: Willy Muller, an embittered journalist turned celebrity biographer and misanthrope. At the age of 50, having survived imprisonment for murdering his wife, years of venomous hate mail from the public, and most recently, the suicide of his daughter, Willy is about to become an unlikely candidate for redemption. With its scalpel-sharp wit and brilliant dialogue, Everything You Know is funny, lively, and—ultimately—moving.


Praise for Everything You Know

"Sparkling . . . A Waugh-like cast of misfits, hustlers, and losers, all delineated with Swiftean malice and glee."—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Heller many be an assiduously unsentimental novelist, but she knows where the heartstrings are when she needs them. She can be nimble and hilarious. She has a shrewd ear for dialogue and conjures a terrific cast of supporting characters . . . An acerbic, sneakily touching novel."—The New York Times Book Review
"Chewed-over subjects like bad marriage and the immorality of Hollywood are risky business for a first novel. Add manslaughter, suicide, and hack celebrity, and you've got the makings of real bathos. Unless, as is the case with Zoë Heller, you've go the wit and craft to carry it off."—The Boston Globe
"Despite the grimness of the novel's subject matter, Heller's treatment is usually light and assured—and often extremely funny. She is a splendid ventriloquist; her command of American voices and idioms is most convincing. Above all, Everything You Know is a highly accomplished first novel, suggesting even better things to come."—Boston Book Review
"A caustic and ultimately devastating novel."—The New Yorker
"Zoë Heller has turned out a novel that reads like the anti-Bridget Jones's Diary."—The New York Observer
"Heller's finest writing so far."—The Times Literary Supplement (London)

"Not since Flannery O’Connor has a woman writer come along who seems to so thoroughly understand the greasy inner cogs of the male psyche, especially where matters of sex are concerned."—The Baltimore Sun

"At once biting and sly, hilarious and haunting. A blazingly good debut."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Acerbic, funny, and touching, Everything You Know is an affecting novel."—Austin American-Statesman

"Zoë Heller is amazing. It is true this sort of thing has been done before, but it has seldom been done better."—The Sunday Star-Ledger

"An absolute triumph . . . By the time you finish Everything You Know, you'll be mesmerized."—City Pages

"Heller has proved herself a fine, original storyteller and a deft stylist."—Salon

"A truly engrossing book . . . told masterfully by a writer seemingly wise beyond her years."—BookPage

"Instantly ranks among the most interesting and exciting of new British writers."—Will Self

"Heller's first is a smart take on hoary subjects—Jewish deracination, the moral violence of Hollywood—that nevertheless offers real pleasure and marks the writer as one to watch."—Kirkus Reviews

"Like her compatriots Martin Amis and Will Self, British writer Heller is as much a cultural critic as a fiction writer. [This] first novel is full of sly cultural commentary."—Booklist

"Heller pulls off this potentially heavy-handed story with great aplomb."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt


This afternoon, as I came awake from one of those thin, un-refreshing hospital naps, a strange woman was standing over my bed. She was unusually tall—maybe six foot—with a sad, too-long face and a wonky right eye.

"Mr. Muller?" she said. "I hope I didn’t disturb you. My name is Vivian Champ. I’m a post-trauma counsellor."

I shifted slightly, dragging my body up towards the head- board and causing a gust of fuggy air to rise up from the sheets. Vivian’s right eye veered about like a restless marble, making her left eye seem peculiarly still and
Read the full excerpt


  • Zoë Heller

  • Zoë Heller was born in London and lives in New York City. She is the author of the novels What Was She Thinking? (Notes on a Scandal), The Believers, and Everything You Know.