Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review: "Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist" by Sunil Yapa

If you are still reeling from last night’s election, this boring book sure won’t help. The debut novel of Sunil Yapa, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, is easily the worst novel I have read this year, although not the worst book (that dishonor goes to David Searcy’s book of navel-gazing essays Shame and Wonder). Not once did I find myself entranced or even passively interested in the goings on of a seven rather dull people who find themselves in a protest at the turn of last century that has gone completely array. I never once found any hint of greatness (although, to be fair, that doesn’t mean it is not there. I can never be that mean) or found myself swept away by the story’s urgency. The father I went on the more I wanted it to end. It begins in 1999 in Seattle during the WTO protests and focuses on seven people caught up in the events. At the center of the novel is Victor, young and full of vigor and wanderlust, whose plan to sell as much weed as possible to the protesters is trampled once his police chief father, Bishop, lets loose a few canisters of tear gas. Along with this father and son dichotomy, you have a few police officers whose loyalties shift, radicals who must come to terms with their amorality and a Sri Lankan delegate who is desperate to meet with President Clinton. None of it is very fun, and besides a few lines of dialogue (such as a description of hot dogs in a distant second to how Roman Craig put it) and the fascinating possibility of the female character King, I was happy when this book was over. The good news is that it only lasted a few days and not four years. 
Rating: 1/5

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