Picks and Pans Review: The Believers

updated 04/06/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/06/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Zoë Heller |

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Heller's follow-up to her acclaimed What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal is a scathing social comedy about '60s leftists all grown up in post-9/11 New York. The story kicks off with the famous, and famously antiestablishment, lawyer Joel Litvinoff falling into a coma. Mayhem ensues as his foul-mouthed wife, semi-lost daughters and drug-addicted adopted son attempt to sort out their disparate, and largely disappointing, lives. Heller makes some missteps—one daughter embarks on a less-than-believable affair—yet her dialogue never loses its keen bite and the story moves along with the unstoppable force of an express train.

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