Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Not a single word is wasted in The Weight of This World, a dark and violent literary page-turner that burns with a white hot intensity rarely found in fiction today. A perfectly executed novel, this is a book that will endure." Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Heavenly Table
"Appalachia provides the evocative setting for this tale of a brutal world filled with violence and drugs... Lyrical prose, realistic dialogue, and a story that illuminates the humanity of each character make this a standout." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Joy is a remarkably gifted storyteller. The life he fuels into his characters is so high-test that if they are not lying face down in a pool of blood by novel’s end, they keep rambling through the mind.... How these characters deal with their demons gives redemption a new dimension." Charlotte Observer
"Scenes unfold at a furious pace, yet contain such rich description that readers will do well to read slowly, savoring Joy’s prose.... Joy’s work perfectly aligns with the author’s self-described ‘Appalachian noir’ genre, as a sticky film of desperation and tragedy cloaks everything his characters touch. April, Aiden and Thad are hopelessly conflicted, dripping with history and heartache, yet they cling to unique dreams about what life could look like if they carried a bit less weight of the world upon their shoulders." Associated Press
"Bleakly beautifu... [a] gorgeously written but pitiless novel about a region blessed by nature but reduced to desolation and despair." Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
David Joy’s first novel, Where All Light Tends to Go, debuted to great acclaim and was named an Edgar finalist for Best First Novel. His stories and creative nonfiction have appeared in Drafthorse, Smoky Mountain Living, Wilderness House Literary Review, Pisgah Review, and Flycatcher, and he is the author of the memoir Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman’s Journey. Joy lives in Webster, North Carolina.