Review – The Weight of This World by David Joy

Posted August 9, 2021 by Carole in Reviews / 9 Comments

Review – The Weight of This World by David JoyThe Weight of This World by David Joy
Published by Penguin Publishing Group Genres: Fiction / Literary
Pages: 260
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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four-stars

Critically acclaimed author David Joy, whose debut, Where All Light Tends to Go, was hailed as “a savagely moving novel that will likely become an important addition to the great body of Southern literature” (The Huffington Post), returns to the mountains of North Carolina with a powerful story about the inescapable weight of the past.

A combat veteran returned from war, Thad Broom can’t leave the hardened world of Afghanistan behind, nor can he forgive himself for what he saw there. His mother, April, is haunted by her own demons, a secret trauma she has carried for years. Between them is Aiden McCall, loyal to both but unable to hold them together. Connected by bonds of circumstance and duty, friendship and love, these three lives are blown apart when Aiden and Thad witness the accidental death of their drug dealer and a riot of dope and cash drops in their laps. On a meth-fueled journey to nowhere, they will either find the grit to overcome the darkness or be consumed by it.

This was a really good book. I actually didn’t plan to read this book when I did but when I had it off the shelf and my eyes landed on the first page, I didn’t want to put it down. This book starts out incredibly strong and kept me turning pages as quickly as I could until the very end. I am so glad that I picked this book up when I did.

If you are looking for a book that will leave you with a smile on your face, this isn’t that book. This book is dark, gritty, and full of violence. It is the story of two men who are shaped by things that are outside of their control and just how far they can be pushed. As the book opens, we see Aiden’s father kill his mother and then himself. He eventually comes to live with his friend Thad, a boy that nobody ever really wanted. Jobs are scarce and options are limited so Aiden and Thad do what they need to in order to have enough money to get by and secure their next high. When Aiden and Thad find themselves in a situation to get a step up, they jump on it but things go wrong almost immediately. It was rough watching these two men navigate the things that were thrown at them and I wondered just how far they were willing to go.

The writing was superb. I was taken by this story and thought that the descriptions really helped to bring the story to life. Even when the characters were making poor choices, I understood what brought them to the decisions that they made. I felt their desperation to find a way to a better life. There were many moments in this book that made me think.

I would recommend this book to others. This was a violent, dark book that explored just how far the bonds of friendship can be stretched. I would mention that there is an animal death that may bother some readers. I cannot wait to read more of David Joy’s work.

About David Joy

David Joy is the author of The Line That Held Us (winner of the 2018 SIBA Book Prize), The Weight of This World, and Where All Light Tends to Go (Edgar finalist for Best First Novel). His stories and creative nonfiction have appeared in a number of publications, and he is the author of the memoir Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman’s Journey and a co-editor for Gather at the River: Twenty-Five Authors on Fishing. Joy lives in Tuckasegee, North Carolina.

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9 responses to “Review – The Weight of This World by David Joy

  1. From just a glance at the cover I would have thought it was Urban Fantasy so I would have automatically given it a pass. This does sound good though maybe not for me – at least not right now. I’ll keep it on my list for later though. Great review!