by Nathan Hill

There’s so much to say about this book. First of all, it’s very long (around 650 pages if I’m not mistaken), but it’s definitely worth it.

It feels like several stories within a story. It’s told from the perspective of the male protagonist, Samuel, who is an adult professor of literature and a struggling writer. But it’s also told in flashbacks from the perspective of his mother, who leaves him when he’s 11 years old, which becomes a defining point in his life.

It is very edgy, modern, and raw. You feel like you’re getting underneath the skin of the characters and at times getting glimpses into their flawed souls. You don’t always like the characters or even what they are going through, but you always feel their truth.

There are several supporting characters and storylines that can sometimes feel that they didn’t really need to be included, until you get towards the end and realize how they play a part in the overall plot/story.

The writing is wonderful. At times it feels literary, at times it feels contemporary, and at all times it flows and contributes to a superb reading experience. I think if I had to characterize this as a genre, I would probably call this contemporary fiction with a coming-of-age slant.

Really well done!!