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Where All Light Tends to Go

by David Joy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2912570,854 (3.98)8
" "Lyrical, propulsive, dark and compelling. Joy knows well the grit and gravel of his world, the soul and blemishes of the place."--Daniel Woodrell. In the country-noir tradition of Winter's Bone meets 'Breaking Bad,' a savage and beautiful story of a young man seeking redemption. The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home to people of all kinds, but the world that Jacob McNeely lives in is crueler than most. His father runs a methodically organized meth ring, with local authorities on the dime to turn a blind eye to his dealings. Having dropped out of high school and cut himself off from his peers, Jacob has been working for this father for years, all on the promise that his payday will come eventually. The only joy he finds comes from reuniting with Maggie, his first love, and a girl clearly bound for bigger and better things than their hardscrabble town. Jacob has always been resigned to play the cards that were dealt him, but when a fatal mistake changes everything, he's faced with a choice: stay and appease his father, or leave the mountains with the girl he loves. In a place where blood is thicker than water and hope takes a back seat to fate, Jacob wonders if he can muster the strength to rise above the only life he's ever known"--"Set in North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains, eighteen-year-old Jacob McNeely is torn between appeasing his meth-dealing kingpin father and leaving the mountains forever with the girl he loves"--… (more)
  1. 00
    Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Appalachian Noir about young men trapped in a life of drugs and crime.
  2. 00
    The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Another novel in the Appalachian Noir genre.
  3. 00
    The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney (sturlington)
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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Damn. What a novel.

There's certain novels I read and they make me jealous. They go beyond the standard level of entertainment, or thought provocation, and they sweep you up with a level of writing, a level of insight, that you normally don't get.

And while my thoughts are still provoked, while I am still entertained, there is also a jealousy that sets in. Why can't more writers write like this? Why can't I write like this?

David Joy has written one of those novels. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Much like Bull Mountain, David Joy writes about a dysfunctional criminal family in the Appalachain area of North Carolina. Jacob McNeely is the son of the local drug dealer, who has a mean temper and no compassion. Jacob has broken off his relationship with his tomboy girlfriend, when he realizes she has the potential to leave the hellhole where they live and he is keeping her there. Jacob is forced by circumstances to do things he abhors, and David Joy keeps you guessing what is going to happen until the very, very end. Well written and clever. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
This book is not something I would have chosen to read. I only read it because it was the choose of a book club I am part of. I was hoping for something along the lines of Ron Rush because he writes dark stories about Appalachia, an area I know well. While the plot was good, I never felt any connection to the main character.

I did enjoy the descriptions of the area. I know Cashiers well and if the author had not I would not have fooled me. The plot pacing was good and I thought the author did a good job with showing how violence can seep into the very pores of someone. ( )
  purpledog | Jul 9, 2021 |
Darkly compelling, "Where All Light Tends to Go" is an impressive debut from author David Joy. The story is told in first-person narrative, by a character who will break your heart. In rural Cashiers, North Carolina, Jacob McNeely is a young man with little choice but to help his father run the family business--a wide-reaching, tightly-run meth ring. While Jacob's father is deeply entrenched in drug dealing, evading and manipulating the authorities, and living the outlaw life, Jacob still hasn't given up all his dreams. His mother is a crazed addict herself, living in the remote cabin where she was exiled by his father. The only tenderness and joy in Jacob's life came from Maggie, his childhood neighbor and high school sweetheart. However, Jacob left school without finishing the tenth grade, and he and Maggie parted ways. He knew she was meant to leave her home and him behind--she was meant for better things. As Jacob becomes more and more swept away by the tide of violence, betrayal, and the desperation of the addicted, he determines to make a last-minute escape. A sweet reunion with Maggie gives him hope for a future together. However, there are elements of evil, as old as time itself, whirling around Jacob as he makes his plans. A long-inevitable showdown is in the works and survivorship is uncertain. Will Jacob follow his heart to freedom, or will the lethal legacy of blood loyalty have its way?

Book Copy Gratis Amazon Vine ( )
  gincam | Sep 15, 2019 |
David Joy's writing is superbly dark, rich and compelling. His characters are fully developed, and the entire time I was reading this story, I was nervous, worried, and didn't want to put it down. Great read. ( )
  DonnaEverhart | Mar 23, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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For those with whom I share my morning coffee: Rudy, Cecil, and Clyde
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I hid the pickup behind a tangled row of pampas grass that had needed burning a good year or so before.
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" "Lyrical, propulsive, dark and compelling. Joy knows well the grit and gravel of his world, the soul and blemishes of the place."--Daniel Woodrell. In the country-noir tradition of Winter's Bone meets 'Breaking Bad,' a savage and beautiful story of a young man seeking redemption. The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home to people of all kinds, but the world that Jacob McNeely lives in is crueler than most. His father runs a methodically organized meth ring, with local authorities on the dime to turn a blind eye to his dealings. Having dropped out of high school and cut himself off from his peers, Jacob has been working for this father for years, all on the promise that his payday will come eventually. The only joy he finds comes from reuniting with Maggie, his first love, and a girl clearly bound for bigger and better things than their hardscrabble town. Jacob has always been resigned to play the cards that were dealt him, but when a fatal mistake changes everything, he's faced with a choice: stay and appease his father, or leave the mountains with the girl he loves. In a place where blood is thicker than water and hope takes a back seat to fate, Jacob wonders if he can muster the strength to rise above the only life he's ever known"--"Set in North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains, eighteen-year-old Jacob McNeely is torn between appeasing his meth-dealing kingpin father and leaving the mountains forever with the girl he loves"--

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