• The Weight of This World

  • By: David Joy
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (266 ratings)

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The Weight of This World

By: David Joy
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 David Joy (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Bleakly beautiful...[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)

“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)

“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)

What listeners say about The Weight of This World

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Nothing to root for- depressing read. Boring Story

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

drug addicts

What does MacLeod Andrews bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

As always MacLeod Andrews brings life to the story, his voice was the only positive here

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

total depression- I almost stopped listening. Characters are unrelatable- no one is the hero or heroine.....this reads like a missive for someone in utter depression. Boring story line- totally predictive as the characters are not interesting at all. No crescendo- nothing to look forward to as the story goes on. Hard to stay engaged.

Any additional comments?

Can't get this time back- wish I had aborted mission 1/4 way though when I thought to, I kept hoping something interesting would happen. Depressing on all levels, story line is predictive as characters do drugs and then make bad choices.....been done already.

5 people found this helpful

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Listened to the whole thing in less than 24 hrs

I couldn't stop. Loved the story and the narration was fantastic. Did not disappoint. Kudos.

4 people found this helpful

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Why is this happening?

This book may make you feel like you are drowning in an ashtray filled with misery, trash, and whiskey. I don't need the happy ending but I kept asking why is this happening? Obviously drugs, PTSD, poverty, rape, etc. and maybe that's enough to explain why the three main characters take certain actions. Or maybe the point is that when you're born into this situation there's no way out. These three do find the salvation they seek, somewhat, in three divergent ways. Salvation seems to be the common denominator. I loved Joy's Where All Light Tends to Go, even though it is brutally depressing, so I looked forward to The Weight of This World. I won't go as far as saying I was disappointed but the story wasn't as tight. Again, it was three people, closely entwined going about without a plot that ties it all in together. Two minutes into this book you'll say Holy $hit! and you'll close the book with the same words. The middle maybe disjointed, but if you're in the mood for a book where Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are deadbeat thieves and homicidal meth addicts pick it up.

4 people found this helpful

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Gritty and Powerful

Gritty, fast paced Appalachian tale that grabs you from the start and doesn't let go. David Joy is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

1 person found this helpful

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Grit for Grit's Sake?

I really loved Joy's first book, Where All Light Tends to Go. It was gritty, beautifully written, and meaningful.

The Weight of this World is still beautifully written, and it is definitely gritty, but after a certain tipping point it just seemed like the story became increasingly gritty, just to be gritty.

I love gritty. And I'll admit, I love depressing books, of which this one certainly counts. However, these characters are not redeemable, and at a certain point you don't care enough about the characters to endure the grimness of the tale.

If all you want from a book is to be well-written and gritty, this is your book. If you're looking for any other qualities, I do highly recommend Joy's Where All Light Tends to Go.

1 person found this helpful

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Dark glimpse into a hopeless reality for many

The reality experienced by the two boys is hard to face but more real than one wants to imagine. This book seems to go along with the stark reality of Hillbilly Elegy.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyed it.

This book will take you to a place most of us would deny exists in America. It is a place of despair that some never have a choice in escaping.

1 person found this helpful

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pain turned poetry

David Joy writes about tragic people in circumstances they sadly inherit and try to learn from. His skill and commitment to observation exquisitely infuses pain with poetry. While I rarely gravitate toward topics of this type, his writing is well worth leaving my comfort zone of literature.

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Love his work

My second book I read by David I have them all now love his writing

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Great!

I liked it better than Where the Light Tends to Go. Having grown up in north Georgia, i am very familiar with the landscape and people of Southern Appalachia, and Joy nails it. Joy is becoming one of my favorite Southern writers.