Book of the Month Selections
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.
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. This is just the start.
This looks to be the debut of an important new writer, able to variously make readers laugh out loud while providing a melancholy, resonant tale.
Not since the 1996 and 1997 double-header of John Updike’s In the Beauty of the Lilies and Philip Roth’s American Pastoral has a novel emerged that presents a more comprehensive and perceptive portrait of the personal and political American psyche than Nathan Hill’s wise, rueful, and scathingly funny début.
That it’s so entertaining, so full of energy, and packed with social and political observations that adroitly destabilize our comfortable assumptions about modern life is a triumph.
Hill writes with an astonishingly sure hand for a young author. He burrows deep inside the heads of old people and young, soldiers and protesters, men and women.…[He’s] the real thing.
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.
We’re in the presence of a major new comic novelist.
The Nix will go down as one of the best debut books of the year.
The Nix is a sprawling novel, but in the best way. It creates a world that, despite its characters’ foibles and imperfections, readers will delight to inhabit.
Ambitious and unendingly funny throughout.
Wickedly funny, shockingly wise, touching and thought-provoking.
Nathan hill’s sad, funny, endlessly inventive debut feels like exactly the kind of novel Septembers are made for: a big fat cinder block of a book brainy enough to wipe away the last SPF-smeared vestiges of a lazy summer but so immediately engaging, too, that it makes the transition feel like a reward, not homework.
[A] sparkling, sweeping debut novel that takes in a large swath of recent American history and pop culture and turns them on their sides.… A grand entertainment.
A whiplashing mix of literary artistry and compulsive readability. Place Hill’s engrossing, skewering, and preternaturally timely tale beside the novels of Tom Wolfe, John Irving, Donna Tartt, and Michael Chabon.
[A] rich, lively take on American social conflict, real and invented, over the last half-century.
Best of the Season Selections
“Nathan Hill Is Compared to John Irving. Irving Compares Him to Dickens”
Profile in The New York Times
“With Debut Novel ‘The Nix,’ Author Nathan Hill Finds Success After Years of Struggle”
Interview with NPR’s Here & Now
“If you lose everything you’ve written, start a new novel”
Interview with Minnesota Public Radio
“Playing Dungeons & Dragons Alone”
Personal essay for Powell’s
“The Nix by Nathan Hill”
Episode of the Book Talk Podcast
“Debut author Nathan Hill talks about writing ‘The Nix'”
Interview with the Tampa Bay Times
“Talking to the Author of The Nix, Fall’s Splashiest Debut Novel”
Q&A with New York Magazine
“Havoc & Squirm: Nathan Hill’s Favorite Funny Reading”
Personal Essay for the Barnes & Noble Review
“Nathan Hill’s debut novel digs deep into a mother-son relationship”
Interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Nathan Hill on The Nix”
Episode of the Avid Reader Podcast
“Naples author’s debut novel drawing rave reviews”
Profile in the Naples Daily News
“Interview with Nathan Hill”
Episode of the Professional Book Nerds Podcast
Praise from Authors
The Nix is a mother-son psychodrama with ghosts and politics, but it’s also a tragicomedy about anger and sanctimony in America. Even the minor characters go to extremes—among them, a Home Ec teacher from Hell and an unrepentant plagiarist with presidential aspirations. ‘A maestro of being awful,’ the son calls his mom. ‘Every memory is really a scar,’ she tells him. For this mother and son, disappointment is ‘the price of hope’—a cost they will both bear. Nathan Hill is a maestro of being terrific.
—John Irving, author of 14 novels, including The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, and Avenue of Mysteries
Nathan Hill’s The Nix is a huge, intimate, funny, beautifully intelligent novel — one of those books that almost seems to be alive: you open it up and are pulled within, and you live in the heartbeat of its pages, day after day. This is a lovely, smart, surprising read.
—Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members, winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor
Pay attention. This is what a Great American Novel looks like. The Nix is culturally relevant, politically charged, historically sweeping, sad, full of yearning, sometimes dark but mostly hilarious. Nathan Hill is a literary powerhouse who will deservedly earn many comparisons to John Irving and Jonathan Franzen.
—Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands, Red Moon, The Wilding and Refresh, Refresh
Ix-nay all plans and grab a copy of The Nix! Nathan Hill’s novel is smart, inventive, and fun, as you might expect of a book that features a slew of elves and the 1968 Democratic Convention. I will read it again; I will keep it on my shelf of favorites, feed it sugar water, and hope it miraculously grows longer. Do you understand? The Nix is dead serious and delightful.
—Sara Levine, author of Treasure Island!!!
Once in a while a novel arrives at the perfect moment to reflect, skewer, and provide context for the world as we know it. This—now—is that novel. A satirical, fast-paced romp through time and space, The Nix is ambitious, wide-ranging, and full of surprises. It gathers force and momentum as it speeds toward the end, where all of its pieces fit together as precisely as a puzzle.
—Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train