Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist
A heart-stopping debut about protest and riot . . .
- Victor, homeless after a family tragedy, finds himself pounding the streets of Seattle with little meaning or purpose. He is the estranged son of the police chief of the city, and today his father is in charge of one of the largest protests in the history of Western democracy.
But in a matter of hours reality will become a nightmare. Hordes of protesters – from all sections of society – will test the patience of the city’s police force, and lives will be altered forever: two armed police officers will struggle to keep calm amid the threat of violence; a protester with a murderous past will make an unforgivable mistake; and a delegate from Sri Lanka will do whatever it takes to make it through the crowd to a meeting – a meeting that could dramatically change the fate of his country. In amongst the fray, Victor and his father are heading for a collision too.
Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, set during the World Trade Organization protests, is a deeply charged novel showcasing a distinct and exciting new literary voice.
This is not a book for the faint hearted or for those who feel deeply. I feel too deeply, I don’t think this was a book for me. Several times I started reading this and then the extreme, up close, in your face level of violence made me stop. Violence committed by a few, whose individual actions spurred “pack rage,” and more senseless violence (and this is by the “peacekeepers, the trained professional upholders of the law) against a peaceful, (to a point) sea of protestors. To me this was about rage buried deep, personal rage and alienation finally given an opportunity to be spewed out on the streets as violence against the unarmed. Damaged individuals in control, who vets our peacekeepers? Who take responsibility?
This narrative was not cleansing or healing. It is politics – domestic and international, at its grimy worst, exposed. For me the back story of the father/son relationship was not strong enough to uplift the overall voice of violence. The character, the Sri Lankan delegate, did show some realistic optimism – when his eyes were opened he could finally see the power he and the other smaller nations united, did hold.
I am gratefully to be appraised of a time, a situation that had till now had somehow escaped my attention. The distance between my world and these lives on the page has been narrowed, thank you. However I cannot do anything but shake my head in disbelief at the savage way we treat our fellow human beings. This is not a book for me…but it is powerfully, almost savagely written and these words and feelings will stay with me a while yet. An emotional and powerful debut.