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review 2017-04-17 06:59
The Weight of This World
The Weight of This World - David Joy

By: David Joy

ISBN: 9780399173110

Publisher: Penguin/Putnam

Publication Date: 3/7/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars


Talented storyteller, David Joy returns following his outstanding debut, Where All the Light Tends to Go to rural North Carolina mountains of Appalachia with another dark, gritty Southern noir THE WEIGHT OF THIS WORLD. From flawed and tortured souls, in search of light within the darkness.

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

In Sylva, NC Aiden McCall, at the young age of twelve, witnessed his dad murder his mother, then turn the gun on himself. A sight which would haunt him for the rest of his life. His worst fear was becoming his father one day.

Growing up in a group home he only had one friend, Thad Broom. Thad had his own past. Aiden had always believed that as time moved on the world would open up, that life would get easier rather than harder.

Hard led to harder. Life had a way of wearing a man down into nothing. The older he got the more complicated the world had become.

With enough money and a fresh start, Aiden and Thad could set things right. However, the housing bubble burst and jobs dried up. Thad was on deployment in Afghanistan when the construction business went to pot.

Those years Thad got to leave Aiden was jealous. But when Thad came back, Aiden was not sure who had it better or worse. If they could only leave the mountains. Aiden thought somewhere like Asheville, Hendersonville, or Atlanta for a fresh start. An opportunity for a better life.

April Trantham, Thad’s mother, had her own problems and past, starting from a young age. When the boys were in high school April inherited six acres and an old run down house and a single wide from the old man George had cancer.

April and Aiden find comfort in one another while Thad is away. Thad returns after a traumatic tour of duty in Afghanistan he is never the same, more damaged than when he left. The three of them want to escape their traumas; however, the weight of the world is heavy around them, and they cannot seem to escape.

. . . “There were so many horrible things they had buried inside themselves, all of the memories that had come to govern their lives. He found himself wishing that he could have been the one to bear it all. He wished that he could have taken all of the bad in this world and piled it onto himself so that he would have been the one to ever know that kind of suffering.”

From drugs, hatred, murder, crime and violence. Thad and Aiden’s drug dealer accidentally kills himself, leaving the two young men with drugs and cash; however, they cannot seem to pull themselves from the darkness. A drug- deal gone, bad.

. . . “Things weren’t okay. Everything wasn’t going to be all right. The world was entirely broken,”

Thad soon realizes that dying was a one-way ticket to judgment and it made no difference whether it came now or years down the road. He would be judged on his way to find redemption.

A mother who had not fully given herself to motherhood and her son, due to her own demons of pain and her innocence stolen. Aiden, trying to forget his haunted past. Did some people deserve to die? People had choices. These three may have more in common than they know.

As in his first book, David Joy skillfully balances the all-consuming brutality and darkness of his characters with the lyrical beauty of his writing. He captures the emotions, the setting, the culture; from crimes, dysfunction, hatred and poison, and struggles of the wounded human spirit, often with limited choices and repeating their own environment.

Told with compassion, from sadness to hope. Fans of gritty Southern noirs/literature and authors Ron Rash, Wiley Cash and John Hart will appreciate this skillfully written tale.

A special thank you to Penguin Putman and NetGalley for an early reading copy. (Also purchased audiobook)


David Joy's books are always meant to be read, pondered, and listened to. MacLeod Andrews is a perfect narrator for THE WEIGHT OF THIS WORLD, as he was for Where All Light Tends to Go. Both 5 Stars.

A great Q&A with the Author: Smoky Mountain News
The weight of desire: David Joy releases second book


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/The-Weight-of-This-World
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review 2015-11-30 21:32
Where All Light Tends to Go - David Joy

5 Stars  #WhereAllLightTendstoGo  @PenguinPBks  @DavidJoy_author

My family is from that area of the country so I was amazed at how the author really brought me back to that area. And yes, he did a great job. There are so many places a person can go and not be found for decades. I could understand Jacob's frustration and how he so bad wanted so much more for Maggie.

This was a beautiful book about love, frustration, bullying, seeing roads and thinking they lead nowhere for you. It's good, but it's also sad. I'm sure somewhere it's also true. Unfortunately. I enjoyed reading about Jacob and cheering for him and Maggie. Hoping that someday they would find that road that leads them out of that holler and on to a successful life.

Thank you Penguin Putnam and Net Galley for providing me a free e-galley and allowing me to read this beautiful and sad story in exchange for an honest review. I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend this book to others who love stories about humanity in all its phases.

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review 2015-09-15 04:41
Where All The Light Tends to Go
Where All Light Tends to Go - David Joy
By:  David Joy
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date:  3/3/2015 
Format: Other  
My Rating:  5 Stars
WHERE ALL THE LIGHT TENDS TO GO, David Joy’s debut is a gripping harsh tale set in deep rural Appalachia— a young teen, trying desperately to escape his evil, dysfunctional family environment, and pulled in emotionally by a meth-addicted mother and a sociopath for a father.

A mix of Southern Gothic, coming-of-age, lyrical, gritty, psychological, dark, disturbing, and compelling. The nextCormac McCarthy.

Jacob McNeely’s world has no future. It is a cruel world, pulling him into a dark world of violence. From the dark mountain woods of Sylvia, NC, a father runs a meth ring, and his mother is an addict. Jacob’s dad has forced him to help him with his illegal business. Killing or whatever it takes. He has dropped out of high school, and has no friends. This is the only way of life he knows.

The light of his life is a girl named Maggie, his first love; however, he has nothing to offer her. She desires to escape this backward town for a better life and future. Jacob encourages her and supports her.

Jacob is involved in violence while his father controls everything around him. At the same time, he is pulled—sucked into being loyal to his family. Can he ever leave the mountains, his family and have a life with the girl he loves? If given the choice, can he leave, or break free from the bondage.

A heartbreaking story of a young teen, and the dismal realities of his future, and his desires and hopes; a young love, he can only dream of. From darkness to light, Joy captures every glimpse of hope and sadness. Brutally honest, as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. He captures the harsh realities of the area, its people, and culture, with storytelling drawing you into this world from his character’s own heart and soul.

While I listened to the audiobook back in June, I was traveling at the time, and as I often do, rate the book with a review to come later. However, often, especially with audio, I fail to return with the writing of the review.

While reading Brother by Ania Ahlborn, also set in the deep rural Appalachia— (horror) of a young boy bound emotionally, haunted by a violent abusive family trying to escape his life (totally different twist); made me think about David Joy’s Where All the Light Tends to Go. It was so powerful. When going back, noticed I had not written a review. This is a book you cannot forget. Narrated by MacLeod Andrews with a voice, matching the characters, and the setting, delivering a solid performance. (highly recommend the audio version).

In the tradition of Winter's Bone meets Breaking Bad, a savage and beautiful story of a young man seeking redemption.

A native of Charlotte, NC, I enjoy supporting Carolina authors. I was initially drawn to the book, having spent quite a bit of time in the Highlands and Cashiers, NC mountain areas (of course, nothing like this), as have only seen the beautiful side: hiking, waterfalls, luxury vacation rentals, rustic cabins, hotels and the upscale resorts; Yes, the dark side, exists.

David Joy has written an extraordinary Southern literary debut, and captures the intimate feelings and emotions of his characters beautifully. Available in paperback Feb. 2016

Cannot wait for his second novel, The Weight Of This World, coming spring, 2017. Read Prologue
Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Where-All-the-Light-Tends-to-Go/cmoa/55f78b7b0cf24e84f76a333a
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review 2015-07-16 00:00
Where All Light Tends to Go
Where All Light Tends to Go - David Joy fuuuuuuuuuck
Oh what a tragedy! This book really got to me. Small town life surrounded by drugs, so believable and so sad. Just wow. Talk about going out in a blaze of glory. . . If you want a HEA this isn't for you.
4—4.5 stars
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review 2015-04-07 00:30
Where all light tends to go...
Where All Light Tends to Go - David Joy

This one will break your freaking heart.

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