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, the story moves from the rural Midwest of the 1960s to New York City during Occupy Wall Street, back to Chicago in 1968 and, finally, to wartime Norway, home of the mysterious Nix. Samuel will unexpectedly find that he has to rethink everything he ever knew about his mother - a woman with an epic story of her own, a story she has kept hidden from the world.
©2016 Nathan Hill (P)2016 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
I really enjoyed the listen. The story is engaging and surprising. However, there were a few times that I felt the book moved slowly or spelt it out too much. Even so i know I'll listen to it again
"Draws you in and keeps you hooked until the end!"
Compelling, Complex, Rich.
There really are far too many memorable moments to single any one out.
No, but the next book I read will be narrated by him. After The Nix, I'm a fan. He's a fabulously talented narrator who makes the many characters in this book, male and female, instantly recognisable and interesting.
It made me laugh many times and also gasp in amazement at the plot twist and turns. I especially appreciated how the writer and narrator helped me to have empathy for many of the characters and a sheer dislike for a few others.
This book draws you in from its first pages. The writer skillfully hooks you into each character's story in the present tense, while leading you backward and forward through time to introduce others. The storylines kept me so engrossed, that I began to resent being interrupted. It's been some time since a book kept me so fully engaged as this did from start to finish.
"Not what I expected"
I should probably have researched the author. The novel is funny, brilliantly written and well observed, and the narration top-class, but from the blurb I didn't expect what is essentially a literary sitcom.
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