A Hard and Heavy Thing


Product Details

Gallery Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 1.2 X 8.4 inches | 0.9 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Matthew J. Hefti is a human defense attorney and the author of A Hard and Heavy Thing, which was awarded the Wisconsin Library Association's Outstanding Achievement recognition and named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by Military Times. His writing has appeared in anthologies such as The Road Ahead, MFA vs. NYC, and Retire The Colors. He lives in Houston, Texas.


"America's Asian wars have already inspired fine novels, and this debut effort is an intense, compelling addition. Hefti was an explosive ordnance disposal technician deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq twice, and his depiction of life and death in the misbegotten Iraq invasion stay with readers for a long time." --Booklist, Starred Review

"[A] brilliantly observed and exquisitely paced debut novel..." --David Abrams, author of the New York Times Notable Book Fobbit

"A timeless American story...[that] rings with an honesty that is earnest and smart and sad. This novel is so true to itself it hurts." --Brian Castner, author of The Long Walk

"Hefti writes with an urgency that demands attention and ultimately breaks the heart." --Elliot Ackerman, author of Green on Blue

"...intellectually engaging in a way that almost no other war story can claim... The tension builds, and as the story goes on, the story-beneath-the-story asserts itself...in longer and more muscular asides." --Adrian Bonenberger, contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and author of Afghan Post

"There is a poignancy and an urgency to the epistolary novel form that is hard to replicate in any other.... Hefti is able to take a small, intimate idea--a man's desire to explain himself...and use it to explore large spiritual and philosophical themes." --Military Spouse Book Review

"Matthew J. Hefti has given combatants an authentic and heartbreaking voice that manages to tell a war story of intimate and human proportions. Hefti seamlessly weaves excerpts from this suicide note into the novel's narrative." --Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

"This former soldier's first novel is distinctive in concept and structure." --Military Times

"True to its title, this book is heavy going...you can feel the weight of Levi's despair, but there is also redemption and hope.... Hefti's success is all the more remarkable because the characters in his novel are distinctly unlikable. Sprinkled with bracketed asides to Nick, Levi's brotherly love for his friend is beautifully expressed throughout the story." --Consequence Magazine