The Weight of This World

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"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"--

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"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"-- 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.

Specifications

Publisher
Penguin Publishing Group
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
304
Author
David Joy
ISBN-13
9780399574245
Publication Date
06/05/2018
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.30 x 5.50 x 0.60 Inches
ISBN-10
0399574247

Customer Reviews

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1-4 of 4 reviews

Set in Jackson County,...

Set in Jackson County, North Carolina, this book is about childhood friends Thad and Aiden and Thad's mother April. Aiden was orphaned by an act of murder/suicide when he was very young. Thad, while not technically an orphan, never had the love of a family. I've grown a little tired of grit lit, which tends to be cliche-ridden, but I really liked this book. Yes, there were guns and meth, but this was more a story of inevitable tragedy than it was of stupid people making bad choices. The three characters felt very real, trapped in a place where none of them wanted to be. When Thad and Aiden rob a dead meth dealer, that move seems not just dumb but also understandable under the circumstances and acts as a catalyst, taking the characters to the place that their pasts had already doomed them. I loved the author's writing style and I cared about each of the characters. The reason that I wasn't crazy about the epilogue was that it smashed my hopes for one of the characters into smithereens. I will definitely read more by this author. The narration of the audiobook by MacLeod Andrews also very good. I received a free copy of the e-book from the publisher, however I wound up listening to the audiobook borrowed from the library.

At one point in David ...

At one point in David Joy's novel Aiden McCall thinks, "Every year bled into the next, just on and on until the day he'd die, and maybe that was all there was to look forward to anymore. Maybe that's all there is to this old life, just waiting around to die." The Weight of This World is the story of three very battered individuals, living together in the North Carolina hills, bound by personal history and tragedy. Thad Broom and Aiden McCall were childhood friends. Thad and his mother April saved Aiden when he escaped from an orphanage and needed a home. Aiden was there for Thad when he returned from Afghanistan, emotionally scarred by what he'd seen and done. April, Thad's mother, has her own tragic past and is haunted with the consequences. Fueled by their individual histories, drugs and alcohol, things go irretrievably awry when a drug deal ends unexpectedly and Thad and Aiden attempt to make good out of a windfall. It's here where the reader begins to believe that yes, life is just waiting around to die, especially for these three. The Weight of This World is intense and brutal, sometimes painful to read, but also a testament to love and friendship at all costs.

He wasnt sorry then a...

He wasn't sorry then and he wasn't sorry now. There was wickedness in this world that swallowed any light that might've been, darkness that could be answered only with darkness. The Weight of This World by David Joy tells the story of Aidan McCall and his friendship with Thad Broom. When Aidan was twelve, he watched his father shoot his mother and then himself. This is the opening scene in the book and certainly paves the way for the rest of it. Aidan eventually ends up living in a trailer with his buddy, Thad, who was moved out of his house by his new step-father. The two boys raise themselves, Thad eventually joining the army and serving in Afghanistan, but returning to live in the same single-wide and to the same life of picking up occasional work, but mainly getting by by stripping foreclosed houses of their copper wiring. Aidan would like to leave the hamlet of Little Canada, in the mountains of North Carolina, to go to Asheville or maybe even further afield, somewhere where the jobs paid better and were easier to find. He's trying to save a little, but Thad is content to spend whatever money they come by on booze and meth. It's the meth that gets them in trouble. The Weight of This World fits into the sort of gritty Appalachian noir of Daniel Woodrell and Donald Ray Pollock. There's a lot of violence, some of it breath-taking in it's random casualness, and a bleak sense of place that shows in both the beauty of the mountains and hollows, and in the relentless poverty of the people living there. There are grace notes and Joy never forgets to write his characters, large and small, as real people, but this isn't a book for the faint of heart.

The weight of this wor...

The weight of this world has weighed heavily on the shoulders of the three main characters. Thad is back from a tour in Afghanistan and can't come to terms with the horrific event that happened there. His mother, April, has her own secrets and violent past that she's battling to get out from under. And Aidan watched his father kill himself and Aidan's mother when he was a child. There's no honest work to be found so Thad and Aidan find some dishonest work and both turn to alcohol and drugs to get through their days. When their drug dealer violently dies, his drugs and money are theirs but only if they can stay away from the meth long enough to figure out what to do with it. Doesn't sound too cheery, does it? This is a very dark book but that isn't what bothered me about this one. We each have our own demons to bear and while some people's demons may be worse than others, we all have choices to make in life. We can choose to blame our rotten luck and we can blame our stupid choices on others. But in the end, those choices are ours to make and we really only have ourselves to blame for them. This author didn't seem to see it that way. In reading the glowing reviews of this book, I expected to feel great compassion for these characters. They certainly had been through a lot and I tried to feel compassionate for them. But while I felt sympathy for them, I also felt turned off by them and their choices. I now read those glowing reviews and wonder how the writers of those reviews could have read the same book as I did. At one point Aidan says, "Perhaps God just had it out for certain folks and he'd been borne one of the unlucky ones." That's pretty much the theme of the whole book. So why am I giving it even 3 stars? The writing is really beautiful. Here's one random example taken from an Advanced Reading Copy so the wording may change in the final edition: "They crawled along the edges of great cairns, stones the size of houses balanced with an unfathomable gravity as if they'd been set just so by the hands of some watchmaker god." The beauty of the language the author uses in some places contrasts sharply with the rough, coarse language used elsewhere. If these characters could have looked around them at the beauty that the author was describing instead of wallowing in their miserable pasts, their spirits would have lifted. While I found the book unpleasant to read, it really is a brilliant lesson on why you shouldn't let the weight of the world weigh you down. Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. ~ Helen Keller

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