Friday, October 14, 2016
Audible Spinstering: The Nix
So, if you've ever talked to me in real life, you know I listen to NPR pretty much all day. So, a lot of my book recommendations come from reviews or author interviews. Today's book is one such book.
Author Nathan Hill has, apparently, been compared to John Irving. After reading this book, I can see how they do explain some of the same themes, but when I first started listening, I was struck at his attention to the details of everyday life and thought - kind of like David Foster Wallace.
I'm going to try to write this report/review without any spoilers, but I may have to include some.
The book is about a writer who is disillusioned with his professorship and obsessed with a world-of-warcraft-inspired online game. He got a book deal years ago which he never fulfilled. When a political new story of the moment turns out to remotely involve him, he is encouraged (or pretty much forced upon threat of a law suit for breech of contract) to write a book on one of the main protesters.
The story line is interesting, but some of my favorite moments were actually the thought processes of some secondary and tertiary characters like one of the main character, Samuel Anderson's, students and one of his teammates in the online realm.
One of the reasons this book was such a good read (or listen, really) was that I never knew what was going to happen next. I also never knew what part of the book was going to be the most important. Was it the gaming? The student? Samuel's childhood friends? Of course everything sort of works together to make the story, but the book defied my predictions.
As far as the John Irving comparison goes, I will say I think this is less transgressive than Hotel New Hampshire. There are some dodgy parts, but nothing too insane.
I also think that this book contained a lot of good and interesting commentary on today's internet and communication culture.
Ok, ok. I think you should just read the book. I liked it. It was engrossing, and if you listen to books on the treadmill like I do, this will be a good distraction.