Your Heart Is A Muscle the Size of A Fist

Your Heart Is A Muscle the Size of A Fist

A Novel

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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Named Most Anticipated Book of the Year in Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, TIME, Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, BuzzFeed, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel, Ploughshares, Bustle, TheMillions, BookRiot, The Oregonian, The San Diego Union-Tribune, River City Reading, Indigo

The Flamethrowers meets Let the Great World Spin in this electrifying debut novel set amid the heated conflict of Seattle's 1999 WTO protests.

On a rainy, cold day in November, young Victor--a nomadic, scrappy teenager who's run away from home--sets out to join the throng of WTO demonstrators determined to shut down the city. With the proceeds, he plans to buy a plane ticket and leave Seattle forever, but it quickly becomes clear that the history-making 50,000 anti-globalization protestors--from anarchists to environmentalists to teamsters--are testing the patience of the police, and what started out as a peaceful protest is threatening to erupt into violence.

Over the course of one life-altering afternoon, the fates of seven people will change forever: foremost among them police Chief Bishop, the estranged father Victor hasn't seen in three years, two protesters struggling to stay true to their non-violent principles as the day descends into chaos, two police officers in the street, and the coolly elegant financial minister from Sri Lanka whose life, as well as his country's fate, hinges on getting through the angry crowd, out of jail, and to his meeting with the President of the United States. When Chief Bishop reluctantly unleashes tear gas on the unsuspecting crowd, it seems his hopes for reconciliation with his son, as well as the future of his city, are in serious peril.

In this raw and breathtaking novel, Yapa marries a deep rage with a deep humanity. In doing so he casts an unflinching eye on the nature and limits of compassion, and the heartbreaking difference between what is right and what is possible.

Publisher: New York : Lee Boudreaux Books/Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316386531
0316386537
Characteristics: 312 pages ;,24 cm.

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l
LucasHill
Apr 22, 2017

Despite the fact that this story didn't seem to know whether it wanted to be YA or adult, I cheered for these two kids with messy lives. I even went so far as to tweet to the author that I thought her novel was "delightful". I never do that.

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electricEmu
Apr 15, 2017

This was a fun retelling of the WTO protests in Seattle. Many of the details were spot on and the perspectives were interesting windows into the many different parties involved. For that, I am quite happy I read Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist.

Sunil's writing style was something that left me desiring. At times, the like-minded nature added to the frantic situations. At times, it helped drop me into the story. I imagine the vast array of ideas shooting out is exactly how these intense moments feel to someone. Other times, it felt as if there was a like-minded lull that was visually difficult to grasp.

In summary, if the reader can overlook some of the run on sentences, this was a unique perspective into many players during The Battle in Seattle.

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mtaylor8
Feb 17, 2017

The characters were interesting if a bit cliched. I enjoyed some of the run-on sentences, almost poetic descriptions but after a while it got a bit tiresome. There wasn't much of a plot, still I learned about how people behave in protests and the horrible things they do when stressed out or frightened. I read that this is his debut novel, I'm looking forward to him getting a little more experience.

s
sari
Jan 25, 2017

The writer creates interesting characters in a fast moving book which asks you to pay attention to world events colliding with personal stories. The Battle of Seattle ,as it is known, was one of the first movements against global trade and as so much else has happened since 1999 ,it likely has been off the radar.

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nancywinter
Jan 18, 2017

Interesting cast of characters. A reminder of our recent and ongoing political and social debates.Perfect holiday and late night read for me.About 3/4 of the way into the story I wondered if the author would be up to a GOOD conclusion.Sadly a bit of a muddle.
No doubt this just reflects the ongoing making and unmaking of trade pacts and world alliances.
I would read this author again.

JCLMELODYK Jul 18, 2016

I think this would be a great young adult cross-over book. I really enjoyed the setting - 1999 Seattle riots centered around the WTO. Victor has traveled the world after the death of his mother and his return to Seattle just happens to coincide with the riots, the twist is his father is the chief of police.

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brangwinn
Jul 07, 2016

Stick with this book. I had trouble making a connection in the beginning as the author introduces us to the characters in the book during the tumult of the demonstrations during the 1999 World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle. I kept going, because of the reviews I had read about this debut novel. The novel is intense but you come away with the understanding of human connections.

s
StarGladiator
Jan 07, 2016

An interesting and recommended fictional book on the Battle in Seattle (1999 WTO meeting), brought to us by our supposedly // instant activist \\ turned developer mayor, who didn't even live in the city prior to the election as specified by law, Paul Schell [a k a Paul Shlacterhausen].
The movie was garbage, but several excellent documentaries were made on it, and I recall one segment which I witnessed first hand, a well-informed protestor having an extemporaneous debate with some middle-aged idiot from Madrona Venture Capital: the protestor was arguing against corporate rule, while this Madrona Venture Capital fool actually claimed that // Bill Gates invented the Internet to cure world poverty \\ !!! And those are the supporters of the WTO?!?!?

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