Season 1 Episode 5 - Coal Digger | Responder | Once Upon a Time
  • Title : The Weight of a Human Heart

  • Author:

  • Ranting:

  • ISBN: 1250024994

  • Number of Pages: 240 pages


The Weight of a Human Heart Description

You will be astounded by the hugeness of his heart, and by the breadth and depth of his vision O Neill is a writer of limitless imagination Hector Tobar, author of The Barbarian NurseriesRanging from Australia and Africa to Europe and Asia and back again, The Weight of a Human Heart heralds a fresh and important new voice in fiction Ryan O Neill takes us on a journey You will be astounded by the hugeness of his heart, and by the breadth and depth of his vision O Neill is a writer of limitless imagination Hector Tobar, author of The Barbarian NurseriesRanging from Australia and Africa to Europe and Asia and back again, The Weight of a Human Heart heralds a fresh and important new voice in fiction Ryan O Neill takes us on a journey that is sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, and wholly original.A young Tutsi girl flees her village on the brink of the Rwandan genocide A literary duel and an affair play out in the book review section of a national newspaper A young girl learns her mother s disturbing secrets through the broken key on a typewriter With imagination, wit, and a keen eye, Ryan O Neill draws the essence of the human experience with a cast of characters who stick with you long after you turn the last page of this brilliant short story collection Get A CopyKindle Store Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleKoboApple iBooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoHalf.comAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 240 pages Published July 16th 2013 by St Martin s Press first published April 26th 2012 More Details ISBN 1250024994 ISBN13 9781250024992 URL Other Editions 8 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about The Weight of a Human Heart, please sign up

Be the first to ask a question about The Weight of a Human Heart

Lists with This Book The Best Single Author Short Story Collections 215 books 66 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews showing 1 30 filter sort default Rating Details 0 copy ratingGraph.clone j rating_details_tip_graph.remove copy.attr id , rating_details_tip_graph copy.find script.remove j rating_details_tip.prepend copy Feb 02, 2017 T.D Whittle rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves reviews, australia nz This is a generous collection of perfect gems It s the first I ve read of Ryan O Neill s writing, and I am now a fan These stories are vibrant, fresh, and poignant I laughed out loud, even in the midst of sad tales, where laughter was the last response I had expected from myself What I love most about this collection is that, while O Neill has a deft and clever touch with traditional narrative, post modern send ups, and meta perspective points of view making it look easy to bounce between This is a generous collection of perfect gems It s the first I ve read of Ryan O Neill s writing, and I am now a fan These stories are vibrant, fresh, and poignant I laughed out loud, even in the midst of sad tales, where laughter was the last response I had expected from myself What I love most about this collection is that, while O Neill has a deft and clever touch with traditional narrative, post modern send ups, and meta perspective points of view making it look easy to bounce between these quite different ways of thinking he has tremendous heart too He is a substantial writer, not merely a clever one.O Neill s writing is never sentimental or mawkish, but powerfully evocative and tender I appreciate, too, that it is often in his serious moments that he is at his funniest simultaneously, not paradoxically or ironically He does not do what so many writers do in post modern or post post modern fiction, which is to stand over their characters as if they were mocking them well, except for those who clearly deserve a bit of mockery While O Neill does not go lightly on his characters, he seems to be right there with them, along for the ride on whatever trip they are taking.Besides the stories about writing, the highlights for me were these six Collected Stories, a line from which the collection s title is derived, Africa Was Children Crying , The Cockroach , English as a Foreign Language , The Speeding Bullet , and Tyypographyy But, honestly, there s not a dud story in the whole bunch I enjoyed every one of them As reflections, both hilarious and educational, on the art of writing the short story, I loved Seventeen Rules for Writing a Short Story , A Story in Writing , and A Short Story I dare anyone to read section C of A Short Story and not laugh out loud even though it s only one sentence long flag 5 likesLike see review Jul 08, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing Shelves first reads I should start of by saying I am pretty picky about my short story authors It is a rare author that really constructs the short story in a manner that I can really get into for an entire book, not just one or two stories O Niell is a real master This is a compilation that had me doing the reading while walking version of a driveway moment getting to my destination and not going into the store until I had finished the story I was working on His stories are varied and playful in voice and st I should start of by saying I am pretty picky about my short story authors It is a rare author that really constructs the short story in a manner that I can really get into for an entire book, not just one or two stories O Niell is a real master This is a compilation that had me doing the reading while walking version of a driveway moment getting to my destination and not going into the store until I had finished the story I was working on His stories are varied and playful in voice and style He takes on a broad assortment of personas and tackles them all with a natural voice that is both impressive and inspiring His stories are colorful, playful, humorous,heartbreaking and often all of those simultaneously.I can t recommend this collection enough for anyone that is in search of the perfect literary punch or a long pull of plain good writing I look forward to seeing what O Neill will come out with next In compliance with FTC guidelines, I am obligated to disclose in my review that I have received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads This in no way effected the views expressed or influenced the nature of the review of the book received flag 4 likesLike see review May 26, 2012 James Tierney rated it really liked it review of another edition Like a pack of cards consisting almost entirely of jokers but shuffled with a brace of barbed wire, O Neill s collection is funny, adventurous, carelessly genre hopping and occasionally deeply effecting The best stories marry the author s natural inventiveness to a heart and are a precise marriage of form and content The Weight of a Human Heart announces to a broader readership a very considerable talent Collected Stories The Cockroach Four Letter Words Last Words Understand, Understoo Like a pack of cards consisting almost entirely of jokers but shuffled with a brace of barbed wire, O Neill s collection is funny, adventurous, carelessly genre hopping and occasionally deeply effecting The best stories marry the author s natural inventiveness to a heart and are a precise marriage of form and content The Weight of a Human Heart announces to a broader readership a very considerable talent Collected Stories The Cockroach Four Letter Words Last Words Understand, Understood, Understood flag 3 likesLike see review Jul 23, 2013 wade rated it really liked it Across the board this is a pretty strong short story collection Two things I liked in particular were that his stories had satisfying endings that didn t leave you hanging and some of the stories were tremendously creative one in the form of an school examination and another driven entirely by footnotes My only complaint is that the author seems to have an overt focus on genocide, in particular the Hutus and the Tutsis in in Rwanda An author gets to choose what they write about but I would Across the board this is a pretty strong short story collection Two things I liked in particular were that his stories had satisfying endings that didn t leave you hanging and some of the stories were tremendously creative one in the form of an school examination and another driven entirely by footnotes My only complaint is that the author seems to have an overt focus on genocide, in particular the Hutus and the Tutsis in in Rwanda An author gets to choose what they write about but I would have loved to have of the non traditional creative stories and less focusing on death flag 2 likesLike see review Apr 27, 2017 Elizabeth rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 4 star Experimental Short StoriesI don t often read short story collections but this one grabbed my attention, as in the blurb it mentioned both China and Rwanda so well I sort of had to.I loved the stories at first original and carefully crafted, using all types of techniques, which I would never have thought possible I laughed out loud at places, opened my mouth in shock and simply couldn t put it down However, by the end I felt that they all kept meeting the same overall themes and it became Experimental Short StoriesI don t often read short story collections but this one grabbed my attention, as in the blurb it mentioned both China and Rwanda so well I sort of had to.I loved the stories at first original and carefully crafted, using all types of techniques, which I would never have thought possible I laughed out loud at places, opened my mouth in shock and simply couldn t put it down However, by the end I felt that they all kept meeting the same overall themes and it became repetitive, even though each one was very different hard to explain exactly why but I knew the marriage would break up or one of them would die.Overall, a great collection of stories, although I am not sure I would search out of his writing flag 1 likeLike see review May 21, 2017 Leigh Mellish rated it liked it I still wouldn t say that I like short story collections, but this one at least has a few treasures flag 1 likeLike see review Jun 16, 2013 Amie Wilson rated it it was amazing Shelves read in 2013, first reads, must reads, short story collections I received a free copy of this book from GoodReads for early review.Each story in this collection had a unique style, and although some other reviewers found this gimmicky, I thought it was clever and playful So many of these stories looked at heavy, difficult subjects such as the crumbling of a marriage communicated via graphs and charts Figures in a Marriage a child recalling the death of his whole family during the Rwandan genocide, shared through a written school exam The Examinatio I received a free copy of this book from GoodReads for early review.Each story in this collection had a unique style, and although some other reviewers found this gimmicky, I thought it was clever and playful So many of these stories looked at heavy, difficult subjects such as the crumbling of a marriage communicated via graphs and charts Figures in a Marriage a child recalling the death of his whole family during the Rwandan genocide, shared through a written school exam The Examination the relationship of a father and son organized in snapshots of events in their family lives based upon four letter words Four Letter Words and a child dealing with the death of her mother and the discovery of her affair Tyypography The well planned and executed stylistic choices for each story allowed the reader to digest sad and difficult subjects I mention these as they were probably among my favorite stories for the blending of style, content and character.The first story, Collected Stories, was one of the most moving for me The story follows the relationship of an obsessive writer mother and her only daughter, seen through the daughter s eyes At first glance the relationship seems very toxic, the mother completely self centered and absent as a parent Yet O Neill skillfully drops small clues of the mother s love for her child, although she seems incapable of openly expressing it This story builds so successfully to the last line, from which this collection gets its name The Weight of a Human Heart , that I saw the mother s last literary publication to be a declaration of her love for her daughter Whether this was intended or not, I was hooked on O Neill s writing from that first story flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 14, 2015 Michael Livingston rated it liked it review of another edition After the first two stories I was totally knocked out by the, but the longer the collection went on, the I tired of the tricksiness of O Neill s stories a story told in figures, one in book reviews, one via footnotes, one with typographical quirks and so on and so on O Neill is clearly smart, funny and a hugely capable writer, but I found myself wanting heart to the stories and less novelty flag 1 likeLike see review Jul 30, 2012 Helen rated it it was amazing review of another edition The most amazing collection of short stories i have read in a long time Every story is perfectly formed with some great exercises in style If you read short stories you must read this book, if you don t then you must flag 1 likeLike see review Jun 15, 2012 Eve rated it it was amazing review of another edition Short stories are one of my favourite reading experiences This by far is one of the most unique, obscure and utterly surprising collections I have read in a long time flag 1 likeLike see review Feb 01, 2013 Chantelle rated it it was amazing review of another edition Explorations in form and style and some really intriguing plots This is an excellent collection of original short stories, thoroughly enjoyed flag 1 likeLike see review Jul 08, 2012 Jennifer Mills rated it really liked it review of another edition Playful with form, serious in content An adventurous collection flag 1 likeLike see review May 30, 2013 Kammie marked it as to read Shelves first reads I think this will be a terrific book I m looking forward to getting it and reading it flag 1 likeLike see review Jun 20, 2013 Tom O Connell rated it it was amazing review of another edition First, a confession I m not a huge fan of experimental literary forms Nine times out of ten, as I see it, they come off cheap and gimmicky Maybe that s an unfair assessment, but many writers seem to play with form just so their work will stand out To me, it seems like these writers are unsure of themselves Maybe they feel their work isn t capable of grabbing readers attentions on its own merits so they dress their stories up in clever framing devices I know that sounds harsh I m sure the First, a confession I m not a huge fan of experimental literary forms Nine times out of ten, as I see it, they come off cheap and gimmicky Maybe that s an unfair assessment, but many writers seem to play with form just so their work will stand out To me, it seems like these writers are unsure of themselves Maybe they feel their work isn t capable of grabbing readers attentions on its own merits so they dress their stories up in clever framing devices I know that sounds harsh I m sure there are writers out there whose only interests are in having fun and pushing boundaries, but these seem to be in the minority.It s not that I m too conservative for experimental forms I hope that isn t how it comes across Rather, I m distrustful of gimmicks because I m not interested in shallow writing See, I ve found that clever gimmicks often come at the expense of good character development And since strong characters and narratives are the whole reason I like to read, the trade off hardly seems worth it I admit I could have fleeting intellectual appreciation for experimental forms, but I doubted I could ever become emotionally invested in a story that is presented in an obtuse way.The point of this precursor Ryan O Neill is a writer who has developed a reputation for openly experimenting with literary forms I thought it best to reveal the mindset I was in when I approached The Weight of a Human Heart, Ryan s debut collection Admittedly, I had read some of Ryan s fiction before in untitled and Best Australian Stories 2010 , so I had some idea of what to expect It was in his story The Eunuch in the Harem that I first evidenced Ryan s refreshingly original wit In fact, The Eunuch in the Harem reproduced in this collection stands as one of the best epistolary stories I ve ever read It s what drew me to this collection that, and Ryan s developing reputation as one of the country s seminal short story writers I guess what I m saying is that I sought The Weight of a Human Heart out despite Ryan s widely documented experimental leanings And I m very glad I did.Ryan O Neill has a penchant for trickery, but there s no hint of affectation in it If there was, I m sure I wouldn t be able to stomach it Ryan, who I ve never met, strikes me as less of a show off and someone wholeheartedly in love with language and literature Case in point The Weight of a Human Heart is overflowing with allusions to classic literature and knowing winks towards what some might consider arbitrary fictional conventions It s a love letter to literature in all its forms, and it s not afraid to poke fun at the very thing it s honouring Seventeen Rules for Writing a Short Story , for instance, is a wild, rambunctious ride in which famous author quotes dictate the direction of the unfolding narrative Similarly, A Short Story delights precisely because the turns it takes are so unexpected A Marriage in Figures is what it sounds like an analysis of the ideological differences between men and women, one made all the interesting by its use of graphs, charts and other tactile examples Typography is another effortless visual affair, one that turns its namesake into a plaything I expect Ryan and the design staff at Black Inc had a lot of fun laying these stories out.For a sudden change in direction, I d like to air a minor grievance I had with a particular story The Examination , I felt, though gloriously sub textual, never really broke free from the shackles of its device In this story, a disadvantaged African youth confesses his hopes and hardships within the response sections of a written examination While far from a bad story, it s a perfect example of everything I don t like about experimental fiction the form is limiting and the story too disconnected to offer any emotional resonance The fact that it tries to be affecting, and succeeds in getting some of the way there, makes it all the frustrating.Of course, The Examination is the exception, rather than the rule For the most part, the experiments in The Weight of a Human Heart perfectly complement the stories they re attached to In some cases, they even enhance them.Writers, publishers, or those aspiring to be either, will get an extra kick out of The Weight of a Human Heart It s a fun and stirring read, and has an accessible prose style, but it does demand things from the reader namely, a similar appreciation for language, literature and everything else it celebrates It s a bit like Ryan wrote this book for a secret, undefined sub culture of literature nerds While it isn t completely inaccessible to others i.e people without an interest in publishing or with knowledge of literary tropes people who just want an easy, ripping yarn , I probably wouldn t go out of my way to recommend it to them In short, the very thing that makes this book unique its unrelenting cleverness is also what will turn some away A few of these stories perhaps a quarter are like little puzzles the reader must read very closely to discern hidden meanings and gain a fuller appreciation It s never work than it needs to be, but I feel it may deter those after a quick, simple read Different strokes n all, but gosh, the thought of someone turning this book away because it s too challenging is very disheartening I fear I ve portrayed this book as some sort of self aware comedy It is, in parts, but it s also much Ryan O Neill shows great versatility in this collection Juxtaposing his aforementioned experimental stories are some incredibly poignant reflections on loss, hardship and the infallibility of the human spirit Ryan has spent time in Europe, Africa and Asia, and it s clear that these places have influenced his work Rwanda, for instance, is beautifully rendered in several stories most notably in the sublime Africa Was Crying Children and The Cockroach Ryan s keen observational eye brings these exotic locales to life The Rwandan stories are powerful, affecting and, crucially, unsentimental The child protagonist in superhero story The Speeding Bullet my personal standout is as endearing as you could ever hope to find.For a collection that prides itself on its willingness to experiment, it s funny that the traditional narratives seem to pack the most punch Neither style would work as well without the other, though a whole collection of lighter, experimental pieces could feel frivolous, while one with nothing but deep, stirring pieces might seem overwrought.Excepting The Examination , the slight accessibility barrier and an over reliance on the theme of adultery seriously, at least seven of the stories feature it , I can not recommend this highly enough Short story collections usually take me a good while to get through, but this I devoured It s thrilling being able to surrender to a writer, knowing full well that where they re taking you is somewhere new and unexpected The Weight of a Human Heart is full of such surprises Its commitment to defying my expectations left me constantly smiling.I genuinely can t wait to see what Ryan O Neill comes out with next flag Like see review Jun 11, 2017 Louise A Strong Belief in Wicker rated it it was amazing review of another edition I ve never been much of a short story reader but The Weight of a Human Heart has changed that for me I picked this up on a whim at Newcastle Writer s Festival a few months ago and sped through it soon after I ve picked up a few short story collections in the past few months and I m looking forward to reading them Not every story was a 5 star read for me, but some most definitely were, and the excitement the collection gave me for short stories certainly is I ve never been much of a short story reader but The Weight of a Human Heart has changed that for me I picked this up on a whim at Newcastle Writer s Festival a few months ago and sped through it soon after I ve picked up a few short story collections in the past few months and I m looking forward to reading them Not every story was a 5 star read for me, but some most definitely were, and the excitement the collection gave me for short stories certainly is flag Like see review Jun 11, 2017 Faraday Adams rated it really liked it Very enjoyable, delightfully creative Started to get a bit repetitive at the 70% mark flag Like see review Apr 07, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves owned, aussie authors, short story, signed In this collection of short stories Ryan O Neill redefines the boundaries of what is possible to quote Patrick Cullen s quote on the front cover And it is completely true I saw things in this book I did not even know was allowed in writing until now, and the fact that they are has changed the way I think about what books are capable of.The beauty of all of O Neill s stories is that they seem to start so innocently, and in the space of a few pages can change your mood completely, whether to s In this collection of short stories Ryan O Neill redefines the boundaries of what is possible to quote Patrick Cullen s quote on the front cover And it is completely true I saw things in this book I did not even know was allowed in writing until now, and the fact that they are has changed the way I think about what books are capable of.The beauty of all of O Neill s stories is that they seem to start so innocently, and in the space of a few pages can change your mood completely, whether to sadness, joy, amazement, or just pure admiration for his impressive skill in storytelling.His stories show the power and impression parents have on their children, as well as the impact of an adult s reflection on these impressions There is also a diversity which I love about all of them, no two are alike but there are common themes running through each of them if you know where to look There is also a poignant and bittersweet emotion that you develop as you read which consumes you, making you want to take a moments reprieve but you find yourself unable to let go of the book You have to keep going even as you feel it pulling at all your emotional strings.Even away from the gorgeous stories, you have to admire O Neill s ideas and his creativity Not to mention the obvious work and effort that has gone into writing some of them The different styles and formats that are mixed through this book are so unique, and certainly nothing I have seen before I know John Green s An Abundance of Katherines used graphs through it, but what O Neill has done is far beyond simple graphs Each story is something different and that is just part of the charm, after awhile you just don t know what to expect from the next story but you welcome the surprise.The way he plays with ideas within a story is also brilliant It shows not just the types and ranges he is capable of in presentation, but in doing so he still manages to tell a complete and understandable story It just works so well, something you may not believe upon a first glance, especially for a few of these stories but by the end you are so caught up in the narrative that you almost look pass the unique presentation, but still revere it in the back of your mind and see how it is flawlessly used to aid the storytelling.I implore you to read this book, find these stories and read them yourselves The stories will move you and educate you about so many things, about life, family, the English language, the ranges and impacts of the printed word, and the variety of people that exist in this world good, bad, ignorant, and indifferent You become involved in these short, complicated snippets of these people and their lives and it shows you that stories do not need to be long to capture an entire lifetime and bring about emotion It can also show you that there are so many other ways to tell a story besides the basic formatting we re so used to in stories Even if these stories were not as wonderful as they are, you cannot fault O Neill on his pure imagination and creativity about how some of these stories have been presented and told.I assure you, the next Ryan O Neill book I get my hands on will not be sitting on a shelf until I have gone from cover to cover I am still trying to find all the words in the word search.A longer version of this review was published on my blog flag Like see review Oct 07, 2013 Larry H rated it liked it ince rediscovering short stories about 15 years ago for the longest time I didn t like them because I didn t like getting invested in stories that end so quickly , I ve read the work of many different authors and seen all types of short stories, from the straightforward to the gimmicky Ryan O Neill s collection, The Weight of a Human Heart, combines both characteristics, and the end result is as you might expect from the meshing of the two styles, at times powerful and moving, and at times dis ince rediscovering short stories about 15 years ago for the longest time I didn t like them because I didn t like getting invested in stories that end so quickly , I ve read the work of many different authors and seen all types of short stories, from the straightforward to the gimmicky Ryan O Neill s collection, The Weight of a Human Heart, combines both characteristics, and the end result is as you might expect from the meshing of the two styles, at times powerful and moving, and at times distracting.With 21 stories at about 240 pages long, this collection feels surprisingly dense Most of my favorite stories were the straightforward ones Collected Stories, in which a woman recounts the difficult life being the daughter of an author whose popularity declines and so does her motherly nature The Cockroach, one of many stories which takes place in Rwanda, this is about a young Tutsi girl forced to flee her home on the cusp of the Rwandan genocide Four Letter Words, which recounted a man s relationship with his father through the years, as explained by different four letter words Last Words, about an aging doctor obsessed with people s last words and A Speeding Bullet, the story of a boy obsessed with superheroes, whose home life is less than super.While I struggled with some of O Neill s gimmicky stories, which took the form of infographics, an exam, an overly footnoted story called The Footnote, and a story that looked at different events that happened on July 1 throughout history and tried to link them to the character s life, I did enjoy a few, including English as a Foreign Language, which meshed the story of a man who teaches English as a second language struggling with marital problems together with language exercises and Seventeen Rules for Writing a Short Story, which defies explanation but really made me laugh.O Neill is a tremendously creative writer and he definitely put a great deal of heart into his stories, particularly those which were emotionally evocative I wish of the stories were like that, because I didn t find all the stories as satisfying However, I truly think he s a writer with enormous talent, and I d definitely like to see what comes next for him flag Like see review Sep 24, 2013 Kavita Das rated it it was amazing Ryan O Neill s collection of short stories, The Weight of a Human Heart,is a revelation I ve often found that short story collections are either emotionally resonant and satisfying or clever and inventive But this collection is the rare one that finds a way to move the genre forward in interesting ways while still delivering stories filled with beautifully realized characters, scenes, and settings Most of the stories take place in Australia and feature a diverse cast of characters and I parti Ryan O Neill s collection of short stories, The Weight of a Human Heart,is a revelation I ve often found that short story collections are either emotionally resonant and satisfying or clever and inventive But this collection is the rare one that finds a way to move the genre forward in interesting ways while still delivering stories filled with beautifully realized characters, scenes, and settings Most of the stories take place in Australia and feature a diverse cast of characters and I particularly appreciate O Neill s nuanced treatment of issues of race and culture While there were so many stories in this collections that I loved, I wanted to jump up and cheer after reading the title story because the characters were so well drawn and the dialogue was just excellent Beyond enjoying O Neill s stories as a reader, as a writer, I relish his writing While respecting the essence of the short story, O Neill plays with the format and structure of short stories in different ways using lists, graphics, and other methods He also has fun with some of the writerly advice and instruction given by the literary establishment, building a whole story around it In his Acknowledgements, Ryan O Neill notes that depending on who you believe, the short story is either dead, dying, or experiencing a rebirth I ve heard the same literary chatter for the past few years but rather than focus on the latest prognosis for the short story, I d rather take joy in the release of excellent short story collections, like The Weight of A Human Heart and the continued dedication of writers like Ryan O Neill, to the short story form flag Like see review View 1 comment Jun 07, 2013 Julie Griffin rated it it was amazing Shelves first reads This book of short stories is one of the most astounding works I have read in a long time It is almost, um, Hemingway esque literally, in some instances in its focus on stories as a way to reach us, before writers became academics and short stories in particular became instruments for interior navel gazing O Neill takes us to Rwanda, Australia, war zones both physical and marital, in this breath taking collection There is plenty of crafts work in this volume, too O Neil invites us to play This book of short stories is one of the most astounding works I have read in a long time It is almost, um, Hemingway esque literally, in some instances in its focus on stories as a way to reach us, before writers became academics and short stories in particular became instruments for interior navel gazing O Neill takes us to Rwanda, Australia, war zones both physical and marital, in this breath taking collection There is plenty of crafts work in this volume, too O Neil invites us to play along with him as he plays with the structures of stories, with styles, with philosophical points of view, even with punctuation, but it never seems like style is prioritized over his need to communicate his characters to the reader In the first story, we grow along with a narrator whose childhood and life come second to her mother s craft of writing the need to write pushes out everything else including mostly room for love and tolerance Next we move to Rwanda, where a loved child becomes a survivor in the span of a few hours We follow marriages as they crumble, lives as they wind down Through it all, O Neil is conscious of the role language plays and invites us to ponder the many ways language bonds us and separates us He should be an author to follow in the next few years flag Like see review Aug 03, 2014 Rowena Tylden Pattenson rated it really liked it review of another edition I wish I could give this 5 , and I certainly would for 70% of the book There were just a few stories that weren t quite as good as the rest though, which means I have to mark this down a little bit The rest though, stunning I am not really one for picking up short story books normally, preferring longer things but perhaps, that s because I ve never actually really done so in the first place Now I ve read this, I really, really am glad that I have, because I absolutely whizzed through it, I wish I could give this 5 , and I certainly would for 70% of the book There were just a few stories that weren t quite as good as the rest though, which means I have to mark this down a little bit The rest though, stunning I am not really one for picking up short story books normally, preferring longer things but perhaps, that s because I ve never actually really done so in the first place Now I ve read this, I really, really am glad that I have, because I absolutely whizzed through it, and loved it Each story was different, each had a different ending that were all happily tied off in some way, rather than being unfinished, as I have always assumed short stories to be maddeningly incomple Each story had a different voice, a different way of telling, different characters everything What really drew me in to the book as a whole was the unique use of grammar layout tyypographyy language basically, everything that makes up a story, really broken down into pieces in some instances I find this breakdown fascinating although I can see others perhaps finding it rather an annoying inclusion flag Like see review Jun 15, 2013 Kari Lynn Mackey rated it it was ok Shelves shorts Disclosure I received a free copy of The Weight of A Human Heart by Ryan O Neill courtesy of St Martin s Press, via GoodReads First Reads.The short stories in O Neill s collection The Weight of a Human Heart are for the most part overly focused on stylistic literary experimentation rather than on narrative or character development This feels like a self assigned exercise in composition than any sort of enjoyable experience for the reader A select few of the stories, notably Africa was Disclosure I received a free copy of The Weight of A Human Heart by Ryan O Neill courtesy of St Martin s Press, via GoodReads First Reads.The short stories in O Neill s collection The Weight of a Human Heart are for the most part overly focused on stylistic literary experimentation rather than on narrative or character development This feels like a self assigned exercise in composition than any sort of enjoyable experience for the reader A select few of the stories, notably Africa was Children Crying and A Speeding Bullet, stand in isolation as less forced and telling of the human experience flag Like see review Jul 07, 2014 Abby rated it really liked it This is the first book of short stories I ve read and loved it Each story was engaging and well ended, a problem I ve had with short stories in the past O Neill puts his characters all over the world, but the stories set in Rwanda are particularly moving And the relationships that O Neill is able to develop in 10 pages have the depth of much longer stories his use of language is both descriptive and concise in a way that brings you into the story immediately and holds you with an emotional This is the first book of short stories I ve read and loved it Each story was engaging and well ended, a problem I ve had with short stories in the past O Neill puts his characters all over the world, but the stories set in Rwanda are particularly moving And the relationships that O Neill is able to develop in 10 pages have the depth of much longer stories his use of language is both descriptive and concise in a way that brings you into the story immediately and holds you with an emotional attachment whether good or bad to a character until the end flag Like see review Aug 17, 2013 Susan rated it did not like it Funny thing is, I thought this was really a great short story book after I read the first few stories The first one was good, the next few were different, interesting, innovative, even humorous But by the second half the innovation turned cutesy, tedious, and boring The Rwanda and English as a foreign language themes were repetitious By the end, I was skimming and feeling almost angry O Neill thinks he s re inventing the short story, but he s forged ahead without us the short story reade Funny thing is, I thought this was really a great short story book after I read the first few stories The first one was good, the next few were different, interesting, innovative, even humorous But by the second half the innovation turned cutesy, tedious, and boring The Rwanda and English as a foreign language themes were repetitious By the end, I was skimming and feeling almost angry O Neill thinks he s re inventing the short story, but he s forged ahead without us the short story readers flag Like see review Sep 11, 2015 Marc Jackson rated it really liked it Shelves short stuff This is a pretty strong collection of short stories Some were a little too cute for me, reading like some sort of egotistical show of technical academics For the most part though the characters are strong and the writing is very good Many of these stories will leave you with a heaviness in your heart and stomach but these are the ones that are truly the moat powerful If you like short stories as a genre or want to read some excellent examples, check out this collection It s definitely This is a pretty strong collection of short stories Some were a little too cute for me, reading like some sort of egotistical show of technical academics For the most part though the characters are strong and the writing is very good Many of these stories will leave you with a heaviness in your heart and stomach but these are the ones that are truly the moat powerful If you like short stories as a genre or want to read some excellent examples, check out this collection It s definitely worth a read flag Like see review Dec 27, 2013 Jeanne Halloran rated it it was ok The short stories were way to existential for my taste, I read about half of them The author seems opposed to giving the reader any hope in life, all seems to be for vain There is no glimmer of hope, no morsel of happiness, each story is a different view on the hopelessness of existence My personal experience is that life has joys and sufferings, there is always room for hope Perhaps the author finds it entertaining to paint such a dark picture story after story I would rather spend my ener The short stories were way to existential for my taste, I read about half of them The author seems opposed to giving the reader any hope in life, all seems to be for vain There is no glimmer of hope, no morsel of happiness, each story is a different view on the hopelessness of existence My personal experience is that life has joys and sufferings, there is always room for hope Perhaps the author finds it entertaining to paint such a dark picture story after story I would rather spend my energies reading other literature Two stars is all I can give this book flag Like see review May 03, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 2014 reading list This was absolutely lovely I am not a literary critic, so I won t try to be here, but his stories are wonderful to read In this collection, he uses several different styles to tell his stories, and they are a delight Figures in a Marriage was wonderful to me, because I hadn t bothered to take the time to imagine that a story could truly be told in a series of charts A Story in Writing was delightfully self aware once I muddled through to the end Four Letter Words was also quite fun I truly This was absolutely lovely I am not a literary critic, so I won t try to be here, but his stories are wonderful to read In this collection, he uses several different styles to tell his stories, and they are a delight Figures in a Marriage was wonderful to me, because I hadn t bothered to take the time to imagine that a story could truly be told in a series of charts A Story in Writing was delightfully self aware once I muddled through to the end Four Letter Words was also quite fun I truly enjoyed every story in this collection, and I can t wait to check out from O Neill flag Like see review Jun 15, 2013 Melanie rated it really liked it I received a free copy of this book The stories in this book are cleverly written Some bored me, some touched me, and others left me wanting In all, I m glad I read this book most likely it would not have crossed my path had I not received a copy I tried to breeze through it but I should remember that, I personally digest short stories better when read one at a time with than a few moments between While I recommend the weight of a human heart, it is now a weight off mine flag Like see review Mar 18, 2015 Tom Bentley rated it really liked it Lots of meta within meta word and story play in this collection, where O Neill has a kind of Mobius strip way of showing us the insides of a story structure while still leading us on a narrative I was impressed that he was able to assemble and disassemble the building blocks of a narrative in so many different ways, and yet, still write stories that are sharp, poignant and memorable for their emotional power flag Like see review Jun 15, 2013 Haley rated it really liked it I have to say at first I didn t think I would be very into this book I m not much of a short story kind of girl but since I did win it from GoodReads, I decided I would read it out of appreciation and I m glad I did This book was surprisingly well written and I enjoyed reading the stories I m looking forward to other books by Ryan O Neill flag Like see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next new topicDiscuss This Book There are no discussion topics on this book yet Be the first to start one Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including Meanjin, Westerly, New Australian Stories, Sleepers Almanac and Best Australian Stories. He is also a fiction editor for Etchings.Ryan s short story collection, The Weight of a Human Heart, is publi Ryan O Neill was born in Scotland, and lived and worked in Lithuania, Rwanda and China before settling in NSW, Australia.His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including Meanjin, Westerly, New Australian Stories, Sleepers Almanac and Best Australian Stories. He is also a fiction editor for Etchings.Ryan s short story collection, The Weight of a Human Heart, is published in Australia by Black Inc, in the UK by Old Street Publishing, in Israel by Kinneret Zmora Bitan Dvir and in the US by St Martin s Press More about Ryan ONeill Books by Ryan ONeill More Share This Book Tweet

Share on your website

title link preview The Weight of a Human Heart Stories avg rating preview The Weight of a Human Heart StoriesGoodreads rating 3.89 280 ratings small image preview click here close med image preview click here close BBCode url img img url url The Weight of a Human Heart Stories by Ryan O Neill url Share on your website Trivia About The Weight of a H No trivia or quizzes yet Add some now

renderRatingGraph 75, 123, 60, 19, 3 if rating_details rating_details.insert top rating_graph 2017 Goodreads Inc about us advertise author program jobs api our blog authors advertisers blog terms privacy help switch to mobile version

Welcome back Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

.



The Weight of a Human Heart Reviews

The Weight of a Human Heart
T.D. Whittle

This is a generous collection of perfect gems It s the first I ve read of Ryan O Neill s writing, and I am now a fan These stories are vibrant, fresh, and poignant I laughed out loud, even in the midst of sad tales, where laughter was the last response I had expected from myself What I love most about this collection is that, while O Neill has a deft and clever touch with traditional narrative, post modern send ups, and meta perspective points of view making it look easy to bounce between

The Weight of a Human Heart
Elizabeth

I should start of by saying I am pretty picky about my short story authors It is a rare author that really constructs the short story in a manner that I can really get into for an entire book, not just one or two stories O Niell is a real master This is a compilation that had me doing the reading while walking version of a driveway moment getting to my destination and not going into the store until I had finished the story I was working on His stories are varied and playful in voice and st

The Weight of a Human Heart
James Tierney

Like a pack of cards consisting almost entirely of jokers but shuffled with a brace of barbed wire, O Neill s collection is funny, adventurous, carelessly genre hopping and occasionally deeply effecting The best stories marry the author s natural inventiveness to a heart and are a precise marriage of form and content The Weight of a Human Heart announces to a broader readership a very considerable talent Collected Stories The Cockroach Four Letter Words Last Words Understand, Understoo

The Weight of a Human Heart
wade

Across the board this is a pretty strong short story collection Two things I liked in particular were that his stories had satisfying endings that didn t leave you hanging and some of the stories were tremendously creative one in the form of an school examination and another driven entirely by footnotes My only complaint is that the author seems to have an overt focus on genocide, in particular the Hutus and the Tutsis in in Rwanda An author gets to choose what they write about but I would

The Weight of a Human Heart
Elizabeth

Experimental Short StoriesI don t often read short story collections but this one grabbed my attention, as in the blurb it mentioned both China and Rwanda so well I sort of had to.I loved the stories at first original and carefully crafted, using all types of techniques, which I would never have thought possible I laughed out loud at places, opened my mouth in shock and simply couldn t put it down However, by the end I felt that they all kept meeting the same overall themes and it became

The Weight of a Human Heart
Leigh Mellish

I still wouldn t say that I like short story collections, but this one at least has a few treasures.

The Weight of a Human Heart
Amie Wilson

I received a free copy of this book from GoodReads for early review.Each story in this collection had a unique style, and although some other reviewers found this gimmicky, I thought it was clever and playful So many of these stories looked at heavy, difficult subjects such as the crumbling of a marriage communicated via graphs and charts Figures in a Marriage a child recalling the death of his whole family during the Rwandan genocide, shared through a written school exam The Examinatio

The Weight of a Human Heart
Michael Livingston

After the first two stories I was totally knocked out by the, but the longer the collection went on, the I tired of the tricksiness of O Neill s stories a story told in figures, one in book reviews, one via footnotes, one with typographical quirks and so on and so on O Neill is clearly smart, funny and a hugely capable writer, but I found myself wanting heart to the stories and less novelty.

The Weight of a Human Heart
Helen

The most amazing collection of short stories i have read in a long time Every story is perfectly formed with some great exercises in style If you read short stories you must read this book, if you don t then you must

The Weight of a Human Heart
Eve

Short stories are one of my favourite reading experiences This by far is one of the most unique, obscure and utterly surprising collections I have read in a long time.

thumbnail Title: The Weight of a Human Heart
Author:Ryan O'Neill
ISBN :1250024994
ranting: 1.5
Reviewer: 59 Reviews
Description: You will be astounded by the hugeness of his heart, and by the breadth and depth of his vision O Neill is a writer of limitless imagination Hector Tobar, author of The Barbarian NurseriesRangin

6452 Users Online Now