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Hell of a Book: Book summary and reviews of Hell of a Book by Jason Mott

Hell of a Book

by Jason Mott

Hell of a Book by Jason Mott X
Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
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  • Published Jun 2021
    336 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

An astounding work of fiction from a New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott, always deeply honest, at times electrically funny, that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans, and America as a whole.

In Jason Mott's Hell of a Book, a Black author sets 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A Black writer's cross-country book tour becomes a profound exploration of love, friendship, and racial violence in America...By turns playful and surprising and intimate, a moving meditation on being Black in America." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[S]tunning...Mott's poetic, cinematic novel tackles what it means to live in a country where Black people perpetually 'live lives under the hanging sword of fear.' Absurdist metafiction doesn't get much better." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Hell of a Book is a masterwork of balance, as Mott navigates the two narratives and their delicate tonal distinctions. A surrealist feast of imagination that's brimming with very real horrors, frustrations and sorrows, it can break your heart and make you laugh out loud at the same time, often on the same page. This is an achievement of American fiction that rises to meet this particular moment with charm, wisdom and truth." - BookPage (starred review)

"Maddening, disorienting, and illuminating." - Booklist

"Hell of a Book more than lives up to its title. Playful, searching, raw and necessary, this writing, this voice, this novel twisted me up and turned me inside out, dazzled me, surprised me and moved me." - Charles Yu, author of National Book Award winner Interior Chinatown

"What a powerful, timely, and provocative novel. Jason's ability to take on deeply important themes with both poignancy and humor makes for an extraordinary emotional roller coaster of a read, and I tore through this profoundly moving novel in a day but have been thinking about it ever since. Thank you, Jason Mott, for sharing this story with the world." - Abi Daré, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl with the Louding Voice

"Hell of a Book teetertotters real life and fiction in a dizzying yet dazzling exploration of exploration itself. Jason Mott brings much of what he's known for and a lot of what we do not expect to this inventive offering." - Kiese Laymon, author of How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

This information about Hell of a Book was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Jason Mott Author Biography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals. He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award and Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their 10 "New Hollywood: Next Wave" people to watch.

He is the author of two poetry collections: We Call This Thing Between Us Love and "…hide behind me…" He is the author of three novels: The Returned, The Wonder of All Things, and The Crossing.

The Returned, Jason's debut novel, was adapted by Brad Pitt's production company, Plan B, in association with Brillstein Entertainment and ABC. It aired on the ABC network ...

... Full Biography
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