A hilarious, sad, insightful social satire. At its center is Samuel Andresen-Anderson, a failed writer and Assistant English professor at a second-rate, mid-western college who gets to revive his literary career from the most unlikely source—the mother who abandoned him as a child.
Nathan Hill’s debut novel is social satire at its best – skewering millennial entitlement, videogame addiction, and academia. But its also a touching exploration on maternal abandonment, childhood friendship and first crushes. Samuel Andresen-Anderson, the main character is a bored, assistant English professor that has failed to live up to his promising writing career and is still haunted by his mother’s sudden, unexplained departure when he was 11. The story opens with the reemergence of his mother into his life, as the subject of a scandalous viral video, through a ridiculous series of events, Samuel is tasked with writing his mother’s life story, and is forced to investigate her life since leaving him. Samuel’s efforts to write a tell-all memoir starts as a vengeful act but is fueled by his need to understand why his mother did what she did. The Nix is the story of how mother and son came to where they are — and where they might go from here. If you liked The Goldfinch, or anything by Thomas Pynchon or Jonathan Franzen you will probably love this book.