Book tip: "The Weight of This World" by David Joy

Book tip

The Weight of This World

David Joy

There seems to be a bit of confusion as to whether novelist David Joy came up with the phrase "Appalachian Noir." I hope he did, because he freakin' well owns the concept. "The Weight of This World," set in the mountains of rural North Carolina, where the isolated and tiny communities are poor, white and largely hopeless — and when they're not hopeless, it's an artificial buoyance fueled by meth. Vet Thad returns emotionally dead from Afghanistan. His mom, April, a victim of years worth of spousal abuse, is unable to help. Between them is Thad's lifelong best pal, Aiden, who has his own problems and is crushed by his inability to even fulfill small dreams. When Aiden and Thad witness the accidental suicide of their drug dealer and are able to steal his cash and stash, their very dark existence becomes much, much darker. Desperation and sadness are stunningly rendered, but even so, Joy's sense of humanity can never quite be extinguished.


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