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In an interview about The Nix, Nathan Hill said, "I stuffed it full of every idea I had. It became a repository of things in the world I was mad about, concerned and confused about." Luckily for me as a reader, he was mad, concerned, and confused about college professors and students they have to deal with, plagiarism, MMORPGs, politics, media, mother-son relationships, past deeds that haunt us, and choose-your-own adventure books. At 620 pages it's a big repository, and even though there were times I wished it had been edited down, there were more times that I wished the stories would go on and on. I started listening to The Nix as an audiobook, but know that the hardcover version weighs in at 620 pages because I bought it when I came to the embedded choose-your-own-adventure book. While "You Can Get The Girl!" is not strictly based upon the readers' choices, I loved this, as I have often longed for this format written for adults.
Reviewers that were not as enthralled with this book as I was seemed to think that Nathan Hill was trying to say something about America and how it has evolved/devolved since the sixties, and that may well have been his intention. Rather than look for a message, I simply enjoyed the multiple story lines, full of humor, sadness, satire, details, and thoughts that point out how funny, terrible, and ludicrous life can be (with all them often occurring simultaneously), like this one from Walter Cronkite's mind:
"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 politicians in the future. And he shuddered with fear."
It's only September, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that The Nix is most likely the best book I'll read this year. Nathan Hill is an exceptional storyteller, and Ari Fliakos is the perfect narrator.
100 of 115 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Nix again? Why?
I don't listen to audiobooks more than once. There are too many out there to listen to the same ones over and over.
What other book might you compare The Nix to and why?
I wouldn't compare any book to Infinite Jest, but there are a few similarities between the two. There are also some similarities to The Goldfinch. I believe that if you like Infinite Jest and/or The Goldfinch, you will like this.
Have you listened to any of Ari Fliakos’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
This is the only one I've heard from this narrator. He did a great job.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I did laugh a few times during the recording, which I rarely ever do. This recording is worth your time.
Any additional comments?
Excellent work of fiction. Highly recommend this one.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful