‘The best new writer of fiction in America. The best.’ – John Irving
Nathan Hill’s brilliant debut takes the reader from the rural Midwest of the 1960s, to New York City during Occupy Wall Street; from Chicago in 1968, to wartime Norway: home of the mysterious Nix.
Meet Samuel: stalled writer, bored teacher at a local college, obsessive player of online video games. He hasn’t seen his mother, Faye, in decades, not since she abandoned her family when he was a boy. Now she has suddenly reappeared, having committed an absurd politically motivated crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the Internet, and inflames a divided America. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help.
As Samuel begins to excavate his mother’s, and his country’s, history, he will unexpectedly find that he has to rethink everything he ever knew about her – a woman with an epic story of her own, a story she has kept hidden from the world.
To make sense of what is going on Portland, USA today, refer back to Nathan Hill's The Nix - published four years ago. Hill captures the soul of the US through a handful of characters. He unlocks the code to the current state of the country - the hubris of polarisation; a way of life played as a zero-sum game . . .The Great American Novel is a myth, much like the baseball World Series, and is the myth that undermines the nation. There can, of course, be a North American great novel. The Nix certainly is that, and even better: it is a great novel. * Daily Maverick * My favourite novel of our solipsistic times is easily The Nix by Nathan Hill. Laura Pottsdam is a student caught plagiarising by her literature professor, the protagonist of the novel Samuel Andresen-Anderson. Pottsdam is the crushing embodiment of our Trumpian age... If his debut is anything to go by, Hill may well one day be seen as the Charles Dickens of our self-obsessed age. -- Will Storr * Guardian * I have not read anything like this since . . . Jonathan Franzen . . . Gripping and funny. * Evening Standard * This self-assured, sprawling debut is about the relationship between a college professor and his mother. It's a dense, satirical piece of fiction which offers commentary on the American history and modern technology. This novel is more relevant than ever in these tech-crazed times of mass media and political turmoil. With J.J. Abrams adapting it for a miniseries starring none other than Meryl Streep, The Nix is definitely one of the highlights of 2017 * Wales Arts Review * Not only dramatising America's great tussle between minority interests and Midwestern grievances, [The Nix] even features a rogue presidential candidate who talks about immigrants as though they are coyotes damaging crops . . . But it's the human drama of a relationship between a son and his mother (too busy protesting in the Sixties to bring him up) that will keep you hooked while you think. * GQ * A stunning debut . . . the first book I've read in two decades that earns the title Great American Novel. -- Liesl Schillinger, 'What's the Best Book, New or Old, You Read This Year?' * New York Times * A fantastic novel about love, betrayal, politics and pop culture - as good as the best Michael Chabon or Jonathan Franzen. * People * By turns, wickedly funny, shockingly wise, touching and thought-provoking . . . a rich buffet of a novel. * Toronto Star * The Nix is a timely mass-media and political satire, a family saga and two bildungsromans rolled into one ? and, in each facet, Nathan Hill crafts a hilarious, observant, unputdownable tale. * Huffington Post * Dazzling . . . rich and multilayered . . . the debut of an important new writer, able to variously make readers laugh out loud while providing a melancholy, resonant tale that argues "there is no greater ache than this: guilt and regret in equal measure." * USA Today * A great sprawling feast of a first novel . . . both darkly satirical and uproariously funny . . . Hill writes with an astonishingly sure hand for a young author . . . Let's just call him the real thing. * Newsday * This guy has chops -- Jay McInerney Hill skillfully blends humor and darkness, imagery and observation. He also excels at describing technology, addition, cultural milestones, and childhood ordeals. Cameos by [the famous] add heart and perspective to this rich, lively take on American social conflict, real and invented, over the last half-century. * Publishers' Weekly, starred and boxed review * Nathan Hill Is Compared to John Irving. Irving Compares Him to Dickens. * New York Times * This is a book to get one excited not only about Hill and his future as a novelist, but also about the power of writing to blot out background-noise banality and vault us forward into the new and wondrous. * San Francisco Chronicle * It broke my heart, this book. Time after time. It made me laugh just as often. I loved it on the first page as powerfully as I did on the last . . . Nathan Hill? . . . He's gonna be famous. -- National Public Radio There is an accidental topicality in Hill's debut, about an estranged mother and son whose fates hinge on two mirror-image political events - the Democratic Convention of 1968 and the Republican Convention of 2004. But beyond that hook lies a high-risk, high-reward playfulness with structure and tone: comic set pieces, digressions into myth, and formal larks that call to mind Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad. * New York Magazine * Hill has so much talent to burn that he can pull off just about any style, imagine himself into any person and convincingly portray any place or time. The Nix is hugely entertaining and unfailingly smart, and the author seems incapable of writing a pedestrian sentence or spinning a boring story * New York Times Book Review * Wonderful. Everything that doesn't involve reading this book is a nuisance and a distraction. -- Sarah Jessica Parker I got a big kick out of Nathan Hill's impressive first novel, The Nix (Picador), out in the UK next year. Hill's zeitgeisty portrayals of video game addiction and customer-oriented university education are brilliant. -- Lionel Shriver, 'Books of the Year 2016' * Observer * The best new writer of fiction in America. The best. -- John Irving We're in the presence of a major new comic novelist . . . a brilliant, endearing writer . . . Readers . . . will be dazzled. * Washington Post * Compulsive and crazily entertaining -- Anthony Quinn * Observer * A superb debut novel . . . could well be the most ambitious novel of the year... It seems like Hill is a writer who can do pretty much what he wants. * Daily Telegraph * Alarmingly good . . . both a Great American Novel as well as a great American novel... aches with all-new relevance. * Guardian * Impressive that a debutant, Nathan Hill, with his scintillating The Nix has given us a character who comes close to out-Trumping Trump . . . Just one of the many pleasures of this engaging story of a mother and son whose private travails become front-page news. -- New Year Highlights * Observer *
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