The Nix is Hill’s first book, but he’s been writing for some time and it shows. The book is engrossing but with lots of weird tangents that slowly weave themselves into a single theme. There are times the novel seems a little boring but I did not struggle much. Parts of it read like a black comedy, and I often thought to myself, “this reminds me of later day Tom Wolfe.”
The hero, Samuel Andresen-Anderson is a English professor at a small midwestern college. Sam escapes his dismal life by playing an online game: World of Elfscape. Sam’s mother walked out of his life when he was young. She reappears when arrested for attacking a Presidential Candidate. Hill takes us back to Sam’s childhood where we meet his friends. We travel back further and meet his mother. These flashback stories go along way to explaining what happened to Sam and what happened to his mother. It also spawns a mystery that is revealed at the end of the book. There are lots of other side trips.. it is a long book. I hear Meryl Strep is thinking of making this into a movie. I wish she wouldn’t. Too much would have to be cut out. It’s the kind of book that just plays better in your head.
Amazon Book Preview of “The Nix“