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Middle school hasn't been going well for Colin. His teenage sister teases him mercilessly, his autistic brother lashes out at him, and he has a crush on his best friend, Andy. But after the tragic night when his father commits suicide, none of that matters.
Diane, Colin's mother, seeks solace in therapy. Colin is awash in guilt, and casts about for someone to confide in: first his estranged grandfather, then a predatory science teacher. But nothing helps as much as the strange writing his father kept in a series of notebooks locked in his study. Colin looks for answers there - in fragments about disaster scenarios, the violence of snow, mustangs running wild in the west - but instead finds the writing infecting his worldview.
Diane, meanwhile, has a miserable fling with a coworker, and leans more heavily on Colin for support as things go from bad to worse. But spring is unfolding, and a road trip to Los Angeles gives them a tantalizing glimpse of what the future might hold.
In Some Hell, a debut novel of devastating intensity and aching, pointillistic detail, Patrick Nathan shows how unspeakable tragedy shapes a life and how imagination saves us from ourselves.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By David on 03-25-18
WTF Mr Patrick???
1) spoiler alert
2) this novel is well written with engaging
Believable characters for whom you will mourn and even weep and about whom you will care deeply.
3) but it sucks! It goes from awesome to absurdly and outrageously awful in the in the last 10 minutes of the book.
It might have ended as a tragedy where these beloved but flawed characters continue to spiral out of control. But it didn’t. It might have ended hopefully with the characters transcending their pain and brokenness and beginning the climb to wholeness. But it didn’t. It might have ended ambiguously with the characters continuing the long and torturous road down which they have begun and leaving the reader struggling with how to love these deeply flawed people knowing that their future is unknowable. But it didn’t. Instead it ended “...and suddenly everyone was run over by a speeding bus. The end.” I am so angry with this talented writer that I want to scream!!!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Kelly on 06-26-18
The ending of this one infuriated me.
3.5 stars that could have been 5.
I was warned! A booktuber I watch reviewed this book. He spoke in depth about how much he loved the first 2/3 or more of this book, and how the ending completely spoiled it. He was so vociferous. He was so angry. And yet he was also generous and complimentary. Despite his warning I went straight to my Playster app, downloaded the book and started listening.
And here goes... I LOVED the first 2/3 of the book. Actually I loved more than that. But that ending genuinely PISSED ME OFF. Here is the thing: this book was a beautiful exploration of grief, of family dynamics, of guilt, and of issues of internal homophobia experienced by a young person who is dealing with the thought that he might be gay. All of it was treated with compassion and respect. Nathan allowed his characters to struggle and to be pushed around. He gave the story so much depth. But then he ended the story in a way that feels like a punishment. It feels like it was a gay boy being punished for his sins! It felt like a "you shouldn't have done that and now you are going to die" scenario. It felt judgmental, and I was frankly angry and disgusted. As I write I even feel like the 3.5 rating is generous