Courtesy of New York Times
October 5, 2021
Hell of a Book, by Jason Mott, has been named a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award, to be announced next month. This astounding work of fiction sees it’s narrator set out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and urgent: since Mott’s novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.
As these characters’ stories build and build and converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money, it’s also about the nation’s reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news. And with what it can mean to be Black in America.
Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind? Unforgettably told, with characters who burn into your mind and an electrifying plot ideal for book club discussion, Hell of a Book is the novel Mott has been writing in his head for the last ten years. And in its final twists it truly becomes its title.
One of Entertainment Weekly‘s 15 Books you Need to Read This June | On Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” | One of The NY Post‘s Best Summer Reading books | One of GMA’s 27 Books for June | One of USA Today‘s 5 Books Not to Miss | One of Fortune‘s 21 Most Anticipated Books Coming out in the Second Half of 2021 | One of The Root‘s PageTurners: It’s Getting Hot in Here | One of Real Simple‘s Best New Books to Read in 2021
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