Last night I had about ten pages left in Nathan Hill’s The Nix. I could have easily finished before dozing off for the night, but I wanted to savor it a bit longer. It’s a 620-page book that you’ll devour in three or four days, it’s that good. It feels like an important book, an achievement, a record of the turbulence of the sixties, a chronicle of a family, a perceptive study on what it’s like to lose everything, an astute assessment of what’s bankrupt in politics and culture today. It’s all that and more. But mostly, it’s a damn good, compelling story that’s propelled by genuine warmth and hilarity. And the writing? Hill reminds me a bit of David Foster Wallace in his scope and ambition, but while Wallace seems to revel in his own intellect, and why wouldn’t he, Hill remains earthbound and interested more in the integrity of the story. He does include a ten-page single sentence about the manic pull of gaming, but I’ll indulge him that, because even this serves a purpose in the story as a whole. This is a wonderful book. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I want to read it again.
My reflections on writing, reading, and random thoughts.