Book review: The Nix

At its heart, the hotly-tipped debut from Nathan Hill is the story of an estranged mother and son. 

Nathan Hill

Picador, €19.95;

ebook, €11.15

Small-town English professor Samuel hasn’t seen his mother, Faye Andresen-Anderson, since her meticulously-planned walk-out on the family home when he was 11.

Fast forward 20 years and Samuel spends his days obsessing about his childhood sweetheart, playing online video games and doing anything he can to avoid writing a single word of the novel he earned a megabucks advance for 10 years previously.

However, when his now radical mother is caught up in a scandal involving throwing rocks at a political figure, her lawyer begs Samuel to attest to her character. 

This request coincides with his publisher’s threat to sue if he doesn’t produce the novel. The temptation to investigate his mother’s story and turn it into a book proves irresistible.

Hill has a lightness of touch that makes for a compelling narrative.


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