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Les fantômes du vieux pays by Nathan Hill

Les fantômes du vieux pays (edition 2018)

by Nathan Hill (Author)

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1,273639,549 (4.04)65
Title:Les fantômes du vieux pays
Authors:Nathan Hill (Author)
Info:Folio (2018), 960 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Nix by Nathan Hill

  1. 20
    The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (zhejw)
  2. 00
    Anatomy of a Miracle: A Novel* by Jonathan Miles (achedglin)
    achedglin: Both books are sprawling stories of our contemporary times that have rich characterization, and mix cynicism and wonder with spectacular results.

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English (59)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (63)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)

I think I renewed this book 3 times. It's just so damn... long.

And I don't think it really needed to be. It seemed sort of a slice-of-life tale, but also seemed pretty much ALL the slices of the author's life. He took all the bizarre stuff that's ever happened to him, ramped it up a bit to increase the drama, and then stuffed it all in a novel-shaped package.

It contained at least 4 tales in one. His life having been abandoned by his mother at an early age, his life as a teacher, his life as a failed writer, and his life as a video game addict (oh, yea, I think that was him, not a "friend"). Unfortunately, none of these gel with each other unless you create quite a number of crazy plot devices. Crazy enough that you notice it. A lot.

The writing is pretty damn good, in and of itself. Hill keeps the momentum going and doesn't devolve into a ton of miscellaneous description (which you all know I hate). He does this a bit in the video game sections, but that's some pretty fascinating detail, so I'll give him that one.

Therefore, this novel should have been 4 novels. And I'll put that problem squarely on his publisher. ( )
  khage | May 20, 2019 |
This turned out to be exactly what I was hoping for. A giant readable chunk of literary fiction. Plenty to get my teeth into but accessible enough to read in a day. If I had a quibble it would be about the way child abuse seems to recur as a plot point in these kinds of things and the unrelenting whiteness of the cast in a story set largely during Obama's Presidency.

The book is set in 2011 and holds that year up as a mirror to 1968 where the age of hippies and free love resulted in America voting for Nixon. The author can't have known that the key point of comparison was really 2015 where the middle-America backlash against the Occupy Wall Street gave birth to the Trump campaign. A prescient read even if it smudges some of the details. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
One of the best books I have read a long time... ( )
  KellyFordon | Mar 6, 2019 |
I think of this novel as a series of set pieces - some are wonderfully inventive and entertaining, like student Laura Pottsdam's defense of her plagiarized Hamlet essay and everything relating to Pwnage and World of Elfscape, some are almost unbearably poignant, like Samuel's struggles with a crybaby childhood, and some just went on too long, like Faye's high school years and the riot at the DNC national convention in 1968. I've heard this book referred to as a 'comic novel', but for me there's too much melancholy for that. On the other hand, it has plenty of hilarious bits, my favorites being the Laura Pottsdam's iFeel app, and anything swirling around Governor Packer. Almost 4 stars, rounded up. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
What an actually amazing debut novel from Nathan Hill. I felt both like I identified with Samuel in many ways despite our very clear dissimilarities. I felt both his and Pwnage's struggle with motivation so deeply, it really felt like I was reading something I've felt over and over again.

All of the parallels in the story and the time jumps were really interesting, especially the three generations of protesting - 1968, 2004, 2011. Also, the playfulness and variation of the narrative techniques - I LOVED that. It's such a hard thing to pull off and Hill did it so well. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
All told, The Nix is not the most extravagantly awful critically-acclaimed novel I’ve ever read—that would probably be one of Cormac McCarthy’s or Don DeLillo’s howlers. It’s just not very good. The plot is a real mess, with contrived framing devices, jittery narrative focus, and little forward momentum. On a sentence level, Hill dutifully sprinkles unusual metaphors throughout his text in order to demonstrate that he is a serious literary stylist.
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If Samuel had known his mother was leaving, he might have paid more attention.
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Voor het geval het je nog niet was opgevallen, heeft de wereld het oude idee uit de verlichting waarbij de waarheid wordt opgebouwd met waargenomen data zo goed als opgegeven. Daar is de werkelijkheid te ingewikkeld en te eng voor.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 110194661X, Hardcover)

A hilarious and deeply touching debut 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.

Meet Samuel Andresen-Anderson: stalled writer, bored teacher at a local college, obsessive player of an online video game. He hasn't seen his mother, Faye, since she walked out when he was a child. But then one day there she is, all over the news, throwing rocks at a presidential candidate. The media paints Faye as a militant radical with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother never left her small Iowa town. Which version of his mother is the true one? Determined to solve the puzzle--and finally have something to deliver to his publisher--Samuel decides to capitalize on his mother's new fame by writing a tell-all biography, a book that will savage her intimately, publicly. But first, he has to locate her; and second, to talk to her without bursting into tears.
As Samuel begins to excavate her history, the story moves from the rural Midwest of the 1960s to New York City during the Great Recession and Occupy Wall Street to the infamous riots at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention, and finally to Norway, home of the mysterious Nix that his mother told him about as a child. And in these places, Samuel will unexpectedly find that he has to rethink everything he ever knew about his mother--a woman with an epic story of her own, a story she kept hidden from the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 07 May 2016 12:30:23 -0400)

"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"--

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