The Weighing of the Heart
By Paul Tudor Owen
Published By

Obliterati Press

ISBN 978-1999752842
Fiction Genre Other
Publication Date 03/22/2019
Price 12.99
Paperback Hyperlink
Hardcopy Hyperlink
Ebook Hyperlink
Audio Hyperlink


‘Sooner or later, everybody comes to New York…’

Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall – and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.

But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each finds that the other is not quite who they seem.

Paul Tudor Owen’s intriguing debut novel brilliantly evokes the New York of Paul Auster and Joseph O’Neill.

Authors Biography

Paul Tudor Owen was born in Manchester in 1978, and was educated at the University of Sheffield, the University of Pittsburgh, and the London School of Economics.

He began his career as a local newspaper reporter in north-west London, and currently works at the Guardian, where he spent three years as deputy head of US news at the paper’s New York office.


“At once romantic and hard-boiled, The Weighing of the Heart is an affectionate tribute to the way New York City can make a young man feel invincible.”

– Ada Calhoun, author of St. Marks is Dead

“In his debut novel, Paul Tudor Owen offers a swift and engrossing take on art, New York City, and the fog created by true obsession. Equal parts heist novel and a meditation on the rules of fate.”

– Elena Passarello, author of Animals Strike Curious Poses

Leave a comment about this book:


  1. A beguiling, intriguing and mesmerising debut novel.

  2. A glimpse into the childhood and adolescence of the young man we the follow to New York, to his lodging with the slightly mysterious, elderly sisters and his falling in love with his beautiful neighbour, and with the Egyptian art work on the wall of the sisters’ study. There are clues along the way, but you get swept into the art world of New York, with it’s wheeling and dealing and scary characters, so the ending comes as a shock, well it did to me anyway.

  3. Funny, moving and captivating all at once; a beautiful enactment of the unusual adventures that materialise from seemingly ordinary twists and turns in life. Owen is a brilliant observer of people and their deepest instincts.

  4. Absurd, amusing with a nice twist & very funny dialogue.

  5. Beautifully written, at times funny, with great dialogue. The Weighing of the Heart is a story well-told, with a great ending.

  6. It’s a great book! Full of intrigue and pace.

  7. Original plot, perfectly pitched atmosphere and a great premise. Excellent read.

  8. Great style, fascinating read. Reminded me of Kerouac.

  9. Great book, hope it wins.

  10. I liked the style and the originality. Full of mystery and intrigue. I particularly loved the tense build up at the end as the young man’s obsession with a particular art piece causes him to unravel.

  11. Cracking book. The author is a real dish to boot.

  12. A super great read!

  13. I devoured this book in one sitting, and enjoyed it just as much when I read it a TWOTH (second) time. Reminded me of Paul Auster’s early stuff, before he went commercial.

  14. The Peacock sisters are my all time favourite literary comedy characters.

  15. This is a damn fine read. There is a sinisterness to it that grips the reader from the first page to the last.

  16. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone. My favourite book of 2019.

  17. Could not put it down, intriguing, funny, a great first novel! Recommended read.

  18. Beautifully written; a plot with Art, Egypt Romance and Mystery. The Peacock sisters are my favourite literary NewYork characters .

  19. Loved this book. Beautifully written, slow build. Thought provoking.

  20. Hands down one of the best books of the year.

  21. An excellent novel, I hope it wins!

  22. Amazing work by a good friend!

  23. A rip-roaring romp

  24. Lovely work from a promising new voice!

  25. A brilliant novel. It’s stayed with me and I think of the characters often.

  26. I love a book that defies genre labelling, and ‘The Weighing Of The Heart’, is a perfect example.

    Mystery and criminal intent fuse with hope and passion to provide a gripping and surprising tale set in a city everyone wants to love.

  27. “What a catastrophe of a story! Not for the readers, but for the characters. The Weighing of the Heart was a developed, complex, oddly relatable story that discusses human nature and compulsions with extreme engagement and flattery. I adore it! It’s like Lemony Snicket for adults. Despite my normal animosity towards slow beginnings, Owen sets up the characters and plot perfectly for a dramatic, heartfelt climax and resolution which balances the introduction out. I was overall impressed with the characters: they were relatable, realistic, and gave you second-hand embarrassment when they did something stupid: the epitome of crime characters, in my opinion. The point of horror and thrillers are to make you reflect on your own personality and habits, and connecting with Nick then reading the ending was a shock to my heart. Amazing!” Review by Emma Katherine of The Weighing of the Heart.

  28. I hardly know where to begin in reviewing The Weighing of the Heart because, despite its brevity, it is a complex and fascinating story that left me with more questions than it answered, because of its superstitious and almost spiritual elements that I found so intriguing.

    There’s a visual quality to Paul Tudor Owen’s writing that creates an almost film noir setting in New York. His prose feels timeless so that The Weighing of the Heart could have been based in almost any era from the early twentieth century to the present day. It made me think of an Orson Welles movie as I read, because of the creation of atmosphere and the sense of menace that underlies the romance and mystery of the story.

    The combining of modern American life with the Egyptian fables, metaphors and traditions made The Weighing if the Heart deliciously mythological and disturbing. Images of danger and death swirl, appear and fade, only to reform until the reader is as mesmerised as is Nick. The whole time I was reading I found a line from Macbeth circling in my mind as increasingly Nick’s life appeared to be affected by ‘the heat-oppressed brain’. The reduced number of characters as well as the New York setting added to a feeling of claustrophobia that contributed to this atmosphere.

    Curiously I found Nick a completely unlikeable protagonist until the final few pages of the novel when I felt I had come to understand him, and how the book had been structured, and yet he drew me in until I was almost as obsessed in knowing his likely fate in front of the Devourer as he was. I thought he was as self delusional in chasing the American dream as any Willy Lomax and so brilliantly drawn to the extent that Paul Tudor Owen almost makes the reader become Nick as they are absorbed into the action with him.

    Alongside the themes of obsession, identity, greed, fear and imagination is a really good thriller too. I can’t say too much about the plot, for fear of spoiling the read for others, but I had no idea how it might end as Nick spiralled into situations of his own making. Paul Tudor Owen has somehow managed to balance opposites like deception and truth so finely that the structure of the book mirrors its title perfectly.

    I found The Weighing of the Heart an intense and curious read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the fact that it can be read on so many different levels and I doubt I have scratched the surface of what the book has to offer. I really recommend it.

  29. I really enjoyed this unconventional romance, that took a dark turn.

  30. Fantastic read

  31. Can I just say how much I fricking loved this book? The style is very reminiscent of Paul Auster, especially The New York Trilogy. I’m a big fan of Auster so this is a good thing. Trust me. I loved the Egyptian imagery and references used throughout the book, especially Nick’s dreams and recurring obsession with the weighting of the heart by Anubis ritual. This adds a nice touch. I’m fascinated by Egyptian culture and mythology so this was an added bonus for me. Nick comes across as a decent guy so I was shocked when he persuades Lydia to commit a crime. The crime is cruel and not something that can be justified and it’s unclear what his motivations are. Greed? Lydia? I loved the fact the book shows crime doesn’t pay and Nick pays a high price for his cruelty and to an extent his stupidity. The only downside is how short the book is. I didn’t want it to end and could have gladly hung out with the characters for another couple hundred pages.

  32. It deserves to win. A complex, intelligent tale of the New York art scene and its characters, a fascination with Egyptology (I learned a lot), a searing romance, a crime, and a shock at the end. What’s not to love?

  33. A great read.

  34. This new writer has created an instant classic, combining esoteric ancient ideas with a believable modern setting. It’s highly visual, and would make an exciting movie.

  35. Fabulous! Highly recommended.

  36. I loved it since the very first page and kept me entertained till the very last. The story and the characters are really interestingvand for many reasons this novel deserves to win. It’s very well written

  37. Hey i just bump into your post and i think i like it alot when can we talk about your post asap

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *