Synopses & Reviews
A READ WITH JENNA TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB PICK
One of Entertainment Weekly's 15 Books you Need to Read This June One of The NY Post's Best Summer Reading books One of GMA's 27 Books for June
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.
"Stunning... 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.'" Publishers Weekly, starred review
"At turns hilarious and moving, thoughtful and madcap, Hell of a Book manages simultaneously to address momentous issues and ask pressing questions, while somehow remaining light on its feet, which is a hell of an accomplishment." Jonathan Evison, bestselling author of West of Here and Small World
"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
"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 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
"It is a story of love and family. It is powerful... poignant and beautiful and what makes me so excited is I cannot wait to be part of these conversations... It's a story of race, family, love, and justice. It's original and Jason Mott is a talent." Jenna Bush Hager, Read with Jenna
About the Author
Jason Mott has published three previous novels. His first novel, The Returned, was a New York Times bestseller and was turned into a TV series that ran for two seasons. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction have appeared in various literary journals.