Rebecca's Reviews > Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist

Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
5875398
's review

really liked it
bookshelves: read-via-netgalley, awesome-title, best-of-2016

The heart or the fist, which will it be? A hard-hitting novel with an unforgettably resonant title, this is set at the 1999 Seattle WTO protest. Yapa explores the motivations and backstories of activists, police officers, and delegates as the day deteriorates into violence. King was my favorite character, but they’re all well drawn. I particularly enjoyed the asides about Dr. Charles Wickramsinghe, would-be WTO representative from Sri Lanka; the scene where he sits down with arrested protestors and asks about their objections is among the best.

Yapa is half Sri Lankan, and his observations about race and class in America vs. the developing world are acute. The novel flows pretty much effortlessly – luckily, its original length has been cut by 50% (he lost that version when his laptop was stolen), so there’s no danger of it becoming another City on Fire. His writing style is closest to Smith Henderson’s (Fourth of July Creek): short, verbless sentences alternate with long, lyrical ones; there’s plenty of repetition and rhetorical questions, but it remains accessible rather than overblown.

The necessary numbness, the cold core of watchfulness, and the problem of remaining a person yourself, a person who cares. A person who feels. A person who does not hate.

This fine debut novel is about cultivating the natural compassion in your heart even while under the threat of the fist.
32 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

September 23, 2015 – Shelved
September 23, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
January 11, 2016 – Started Reading
January 11, 2016 – Shelved as: read-via-netgalley
January 14, 2016 –
26.0%
January 26, 2016 – Finished Reading
February 8, 2016 – Shelved as: awesome-title
December 26, 2016 – Shelved as: best-of-2016

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Larry (new)

Larry H I look forward to hearing what you think. I read the sample on Amazon and it didn't grab me, but I may try again at some point.


Rebecca I'm enjoying it so far. The writing style reminds me of Smith Henderson's. Maybe think of it as a more manageably sized version of City on Fire?


Rebecca Larry wrote: "I look forward to hearing what you think. I read the sample on Amazon and it didn't grab me, but I may try again at some point."

I'd definitely recommend it.


message 4: by queen ivy (new)

queen ivy Great review


Diane S ☔ Wonderful review, Rebecca. Really liked this one too.


Rebecca Thanks, both.


back to top