Author: David Joy
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Published: March 7, 2017
Retail Price: $27
Rating: 2.5/5 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.” – Goodreads
The Weight of This World by David Joy is a whirlwind of a journey about drugs and the life that’s involved around them. When Aiden and Thad see their drug dealer accidentally shoot himself, they have to go on a journey to figure out what to do with what’s left over.
My first problem was that… it was a really slow start. I finished this book on the 17th of May and I do believe it has put me back into a reading slump that I just recently got out of because of this. I could only read 20 pages in 30 minutes every time I tried. It made me not excited to read it but I didn’t want to DNF it because of what it was about. I will give this book all the credit for being unique. I have never read of seen a book about drugs and using drugs and violence like this before. It is not completely violent and action packed, but it does have some scenes that may make people uncomfortable, and they come at you out of nowhere.
Another problem was that it was prejudice against Mexicans but I feel like it helped our character Aiden’s story during a certain point in the book. Considering the perspective that we see this hatred from, it’s “acceptable” but still bothered me a bit.
“‘And you repent these things’… ‘I do’… ‘Then it’s forgiven’…” (227).
I’d also like to talk about this quote right up here. This is not a spoiler! But a reverend is talking to one of our characters helping him to get God’s forgiveness. This is really a matter of religious opinion, but it should not be this easy to be forgiven to get “let into heaven”. Once you read, you will understand why its so hard for me to believe it be this easy. That’s one thing that bothered me about this book was how it was almost so easy for everything to be over with.
Now to move away from the bad things, this book did have some good things! Our characters were so developed! They had so much detail and backstory to them that I feel like I knew all of them for years. April, Thad’s mom, is personally my favorite as she knows what she wants and she goes out for it. She was so head strong and it made me happy to see a woman not letting herself be trampled by a man and learn from her past to help herself now. I liked Aiden to as he was smart and not reckless, yet I still felt bad for him because of our last main character, Thad. I disliked Thad with a passion. He was so dumb and reckless and so many things could have been helped if he would just listen to Aiden.
This book is great for fans of developed characters, unique and interesting plots, and an adventurous tale with some slightly graphic violence.
*Quotes have not been check with a final copy.
“They could just as easily have been Guatemalan or Honduran or Salvadoran or Colombian or anything else, but none of that mattered to people who’d never seen them before. They were Mexicans” (178).
“the only difference between one person and another was weather there was someone to jump in and keep you from drowning” (211).
“When life went bad it always seemed to go bad in a hurry” (214).
“All the weight of this world seemed to be on him right then…” (218).
“Perhaps it was that not listening that made the world so volatile” (226).
“to miss something that was gone was to have loved something that had been there in the first place” (255).