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
How to possibly describe Mott's fourth novel without simply borrowing from its moniker? It is, after all, a hell of a book. The novel follows two surrealist story lines: One in which a famous author out on a promotional tour begins to slowly lose his grip on reality, and one in which a family deals with the tragic ramifications of a senseless police shooting of an unarmed Black man. As the two story lines become more and more meta, the book becomes more and more poignant.
A black author embarks on a cross-country book tour to promote his new book, but he's followed by a (possibly imaginary) child. The author's story is intertwined with the narrative of Soot, a young black boy living in a rural town. Mott has written a clever meditation on race and violence in America.
Beautiful and deeply moving . . . I'd go as far as to say it's an important book and everyone should read it.
Maddening, disorienting and illuminating
Powerful, timely and provocative
Hell of a Book consistently proves itself to be more than the sum of its parts: a farce that provokes contemplation, a publishing parody that rings true; an honest and emotive meditation on systematic racial injustice and the myriad ways in which it breaks the human soul. Sharp, funny, evocative and never anything less than utterly poignant, Mott's novel chronicles the experience and cost of racism for black Americans with a clarity that is justifiably unsettling. Hell of a Book is distinctly American tale of racial trauma told with a dry, almost painful humour that scrapes at the reader's heart.