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Book Review – The Nix


The Nix by Nathan Hill (Picador) ISBN:9781509841899

Samuel Andresen-Anderson is a college professor, blocked writer, game player (of Elfscape), and our main protagonist. We meet him in 2011 – a hilarious encounter with a student – she insisting her work is original, he accusing her of plagiarism.

We then discover his absent runaway mother has been arrested for assaulting Governor Packer – a crime that sets social media alight. Samuel doesn’t know this hippie version of his mother – but then, given she left home when he was a boy, does he know her at all?

It’s impossible to do this book justice in a limited word review. Samuel’s journey back to his childhood, his discovery of his mother’s truth, and the realities they must face in the present are presented with dark wit, engaging charm and sharp accuracy that had me laughing out loud one minute and gasping in agony the next.

The author’s take on the protest marches in Chicago in 1968, through the eyes of bar-bellied male bigots was enlightening. But then so was his exploration of news and fake news, feminism and bullying.

This is epic storytelling at its very best. At 620 pages, it’s lengthy, and won’t appeal to all readers, but you’ll know soon enough – you’ll either love or hate this book.

I loved it.

Bev Bouwer
5/5