The Nix is….long. At about 600 pages, I felt like it was too long to really gel for me. It reminded me so much of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction) that came out a few years ago that was also very, very long. Like this book, The Nix had so many avenues that the story could have gone down to really have it all come together, but the author didn’t write it that way. Instead, I felt like the story line went in and out of time periods and never really clenched an interesting and addicting narrative that look for in a good book. For example, I would have loved the main character, Samuel, to explore his adult relationship with Bethany, a prodigy musician he met when he was in a transitional period during his youth.
Instead, the character is left to flail, getting accused of sexual harassment from a student that he does not care about resolving because he is so pre-occupied trying to chase after the true story of his mother’s legacy as a protester in the infamous 1968 Chicago’s Grant Park riot.
There were interesting parts to the story and I wanted much more from these juicy bits, like the protest and riots. These were not explored until the end when I was just ready for the book to be over. I am not drawn to epic books because I think they are too…long. I feel like a story that spans so many years and generations can lose the reader with all the ups and downs. There’s no one, real climax. Instead, there are several little blips that build just slightly, but don’t give you that real feeling of “Oh, this is good.”
And the cover? Looks like an interesting anti-war, hippie protest, but unfortunately, the book only dives into this towards that last section and only briefly. Too bad.
The writing, however, is real literary writing. Excellent and not too over-wordy. I gave it 3 starts on Goodreads.