As Samuel begins to excavate her history, the story moves from the rural Midwest of the 1960s to New York City during the Great Recession and Occupy Wall Street to the infamous riots at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention, and finally to Norway, home of the mysterious Nix that his mother told him about as a child. And in these places, 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 kept hidden from the world.
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Like Irving, Hill skillfully blends humor and darkness, imagery and observation. He also excels at describing technology, addiction, cultural milestones, and childhood ordeals. Cameos by Allen Ginsberg, Walter Cronkite, and Hubert Humphrey add heart and perspective to this rich, lively take on American social conflict, real and invented, over the last half-century.
Hill has so much talent to burn that he can pull of 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... [A] supersize and audacious novel of American misadventure.
Irresistible... A major new comic novelist... Hill is a sharp social observer, hyper-alert to the absurdities of modern life… his enormous book arrives as one of the stars of the fall season…. readers will find this novel. And they’ll be dazzled.
The Nix is a mother-son psychodrama with ghosts and politics, but it's also a tragicomedy about anger and sanctimony in America... Nathan Hill is a maestro.