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The Nix de Nathan Hill

The Nix (edição: 2017)

de Nathan Hill (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,632847,937 (4.04)65
"An epic novel about a son, the mother who left him as a child, and how his search to uncover the secrets of her life leads him to reclaim his own"--
Título:The Nix
Autores:Nathan Hill (Autor)
Informação:Vintage (2017), Edition: Reprint, 752 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

Detalhes da Obra

The Nix de Nathan Hill

  1. 20
    The Corrections de Jonathan Franzen (zhejw)
  2. 00
    Anatomy of a Miracle de Jonathan Miles (achedglin)
    achedglin: Both books are sprawling stories of our contemporary times that have rich characterization, and mix cynicism and wonder with spectacular results.

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Mostrando 1-5 de 84 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
It took me forever to read this because at some point during the hell that was 2020, I found myself unable to retreat to the world of books. Friends kept saying, "It's not you, it's whatever you're reading," but I felt fairly certain it was me. Otherwise I would have felt perfectly comfortable washing my hands of it and picking up something else. Instead, after months of crawling through the first third or so, I returned it to the neighborhood Little Free Library and borrowed the e-book through Libby. Despite a generous 21-day loan, I ended up renewing it at least 4 times. In doing so I wasn't keeping it from anyone else--no holds--but I was surprised by my own tenacity amidst the inability to make significant progress. Unfortunately, this is an affliction that isn't limited to this book but possibly accounts for why I felt so determined to claw my way to the end. Which I've finally done.

Was it worth it? Well, mostly. I can completely appreciate why there are such extremes of reactions to this book. To be honest, Hill is extremely talented but decided to include everything plus the kitchen sink, and that frequently made it frustrating. It's as if he wanted to show all he can do as a writer and tell every observation he's had about life in one sitting, but I'm here to say all these things did not have to happen in one book. Kudos that he was able to do so, but not all of it is to this novel's benefit.

The two main protagonists are Samuel and his mother Faye. I think all the main details we learn about Faye, both past and present, are important. The same is not true for the satellite stories related to Samuel, which is how I came to think of them. I was intrigued by the relationship between Samuel and his childhood friends Bethany and Bishop, but that abruptly comes to an end. A case can be made for including it since it ultimately provides character motivation and decision points for Samuel throughout the book.

But all the other storyline's related to Samuel are just distractions, such as the storyline about Samuel's present-day student, Laura the Plagerizer. While it's a cutesy commentary on snowflakes, the value it adds is limited. I suppose it's supposed to be sort of comical, but that whole storyline was overdeveloped and should have been left to the beginning of the book.

So too the whole bit with Pwnage. While he does do one very important thing plot-wise, everything else is superfluous, including the pages long, run-on sentence description of the Elfscape world, his IRL attempts to shop for organic food, and the list of ailments he's discovered to have. I think Hill had these short stories laying around and decided to cobble them into his novel. Though his commentaries as expressed by these characters are on point, Hill could have gone leaner, which would make for a more unabashedly satisfying book.

It felt a bit synchronous to be reading, in 2020, of the political protests and environments of '68 and the 2011 Occupy movement. I happened to get to Hill's recreation of the crack down at Grant Park during the DNC convention a day or two after the Capitol insurrection. A lot of the book felt prescient in that way, the chickens of Hill's observations coming home to roost.

I think he carried much of it off pretty well, though I didn't like the ending. Specifically, I didn't like the Guy Periwinkle twist/reveal, which sort of cheapens several other moments in the book. If you come to any run-on sentence chapters, you can probably skip them and save them for when you're in the mood for a short story but don't have any New Yorkers around.

I'm waffling between a 3.5 and a 4, but I'll stick with the 4. ( )
  mpho3 | Apr 11, 2021 |
This is a sprawling coming-of-age novel about a boy abandoned by his mother, and the man he becomes when he seeks her out years later to try and write a book about her life and history. It’s also about the girl she was before she gave up and married his father.

It jumps back and forth between 2011 and Chicago in the late 1960s, when the city was on the verge of erupting into riots at the Democratic National Convention.

The Nix reminded me a bit of The Goldfinch at points, but the end result wasn’t nearly as masterfully done. I enjoyed the book, but there were several points where Hill spends long chapters on characters completely secondary to the main plot, and I found myself asking why those scenes were relevant.

The only real justification is that they cross paths with the main character, and Hill wanted to paint a bigger picture of their lives. It didn’t help that the audiobook narrator chose to narrate those chapters in the voice of the characters, which made the time spent with them even more annoying.

I also felt like the ending wrapped things up just a little bit too smoothly, especially after so much strife and struggle. ( )
  unsquare | Feb 16, 2021 |
A great story, weaving together the past and the present. In many places also very funny. I laughed out aloud reading about the on-line roll playing game, the college student that demanded to be allowed to cheat, and the cynical publisher. I also really liked the description of the student protests in Chicago in 1968. A thick book (730 pages), but a very satisfying read. ( )
  Henrik_Warne | Dec 13, 2020 |
A timely and complex read where politics meets family issues meets learning to be a good person. ( )
  sjanke | Dec 9, 2020 |
As funny as Infinite Jest, as tender as Remains of the Day. It's not perfect but I loved, loved, loved this book. How often do you read 700+ pages and end up wishing there was more? ( )
  alexrichman | Oct 25, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 84 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
All told, The Nix is not the most extravagantly awful critically-acclaimed novel I’ve ever read—that would probably be one of Cormac McCarthy’s or Don DeLillo’s howlers. It’s just not very good. The plot is a real mess, with contrived framing devices, jittery narrative focus, and little forward momentum. On a sentence level, Hill dutifully sprinkles unusual metaphors throughout his text in order to demonstrate that he is a serious literary stylist.
adicionado por DeusXMachina | editarCurrent Affairs, Brianna Rennix (Sep 16, 2017)
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If Samuel had known his mother was leaving, he might have paid more attention.
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Voor het geval het je nog niet was opgevallen, heeft de wereld het oude idee uit de verlichting waarbij de waarheid wordt opgebouwd met waargenomen data zo goed als opgegeven. Daar is de werkelijkheid te ingewikkeld en te eng voor.
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