The Nix

The Nix

A Novel

Book - 2016
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781101946619
Call Number: F HILL NAT
Characteristics: 652 pages ; 25 cm


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Jul 14, 2017

It's so important to me to love a narrator and I loved most of the various narrators in "The Nix." The only one that was less interesting and believable was the mother. That said, I loved the humor and inventiveness and even liked the almost-too-neat ending.

May 31, 2017

Only made to page 36 and returned to library. I just finished two very good suspense books and couldn't get past the "gaming" of the main character.
There are too many good books available, I didn't want to waste time (600 plus pages) on a book I couldn't get into.

May 07, 2017

My favorite book among those I've read thus far in 2017. The author very cleverly tied together the story lines and shifted between timeframes.

Mar 31, 2017

Omigosh, I couldn't put this book down. Just some really funny lines: "her shorts were the size of a coffee filter." I enjoyed it so much and actually messaged the author on Facebook. He wrote me back!

Feb 07, 2017

This novel was a good read. I loved the way the ending tied up all the loose ends. The author was incredibly creative - not like anything I've ever read before. I'd recommend this book, though it is quite long. I'm guessing the new and interesting flavor was what won it all the awards, because I didn't finish it thinking I'd read something profound or awe-inspiring.

Feb 01, 2017

a different view: i enjoyed the first 25% of the book - funny. Then there were literally hundreds of pages of depression, anger, self-loathing, crying, regret, anxiety, abuse, fear, etc. - redundantly gone over again and again - not funny - tortuous. I had my first inkling to stop reading at the end of Part 2. I had the urge to stop many, many times afterword, but hoped it would improve & the ending would be worth it. If I could go back in time, I would have stopped at the end of part 2.

Dec 30, 2016

The author ties up the loose ends at the end which makes for a satisfying read. Even though it's a long book, it moves along with humor and interesting characters.

Dec 30, 2016

At 600+ pages it is a delightful look at 1960 chicago through the lens of a son discovering his estranged mother's past. A nix is a somewhat malevolent sprite of Norwegian folk tale and in this book the "nix" for college professor Samuel Andresen-Anderson is his mother Faye.

Dec 21, 2016

Whew! I just finished a wild reading marathon. 4.5 stars for inventiveness and for constructing sentences that are a page or two long. My trick for absorbing the short-story length sentences is to read quickly as a stream of consciousness. (Which is what they are)
3 stars for holding my interest at times.
Set in 2011 with flashbacks to 1968 in Chicago, and covering family dysfunction, politics and power, culture of the 60s and present, obsession with gaming, attempting adulthood, 40 year grudges, the news media, among other topics, The Nix is a staggering sweep of our times. At the root is "The Nix".
Nathan Hill spoke at our library recently. Hearing him read from his work helped me set a tone and cadence for tackling this book.
Definitely worth the time investment, especially if you remember 1968.

Nicr Nov 21, 2016

Completely overcomes its tired premise--a novel about a novelist writing the novel you're reading--to become a true virtuoso performance, expansive and big-hearted, discursive and fun.

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ellensix Sep 20, 2016

She's decided that about eighty percent of what you believe about yourself when you're twenty turns out to be wrong.

ellensix Sep 20, 2016

In the months before the protest, it was Sebastian who had printed those outrageous stories in the Free Voice about spiking the city's water supply with LSD, about abducting delegates' wives about bombs going off at the amphitheater. That no such plans were ever actually considered was irrelevant. He had learned something important: What was printed became the truth.

ellensix Sep 20, 2016

This is what the nation had to look forward to for the next year. Twelve full months of stump speeches and gaffes and ads and attacks and stupidity, agonizing stupidity, bordering on immoral stupidity. It was as if ever four years all news everywhere just lost perspective. And then billions of dollars would be spent to achieve what was already inevitable—the whole election would come down to a handful of swing voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The electoral math pretty much ordained this.
Democracy! Huzzah!

ellensix Sep 20, 2016

There was an aspect of graffiti Samuel found romantic. Especially graffiti sprayed in dangerous locations. There was something romantic about a writer risking injury to put down words.

ellensix Sep 20, 2016

If you keep pestering the politician, you look like a pest, and America does not tune in to watch pests. It's a chilling thought, that politicians have learned to manipulate the television medium better than the television professionals themselves. When old Cronkite first realized this was happening he imagined the kinds of people who would become president in the future. And he shuddered with fear.

ellensix Sep 20, 2016

In the story of the blind men and the elephant, what's usually ignored is the fact that each man's description was correct. What Faye won't understand and may never understand is that there is not one true self hidden by many false ones. Rather, there is one true self hidden by many other true ones. Yes. She is the eek and shy and industrious student. Yes, she is the panicky and frightened child Yes, she is the bold and impulsive seductress. Yes, she is the wife, the mother. And many other things as well. Her belief that only one of these is true obscures the larger truth, which was ultimately the problem with the blind men and the elephant. It wasn't that they were blind—it's that they stopped too quickly, and so never knew there was a larger truth to grasp.


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