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Book Title

Some Hell

A Novel
Author 1
Patrick Nathan
Middle school hasn’t been going well for Colin. His teenage sister teases him mercilessly, his autistic brother lashes out at him, and he has a crush on his best friend, Andy. But after the tragic night when his father commits suicide, none of that matters. Diane, his mother, seeks solace in therapy. Colin is awash in guilt, and casts about for someone to confide in: first his estranged grandfather, then a predatory science teacher. But nothing helps as much as the strange writing his father kept in a series of notebooks locked in his study. Colin looks for answers there—in fragments about disaster scenarios, the violence of snow, mustangs running wild in the west—but instead finds the writing infecting his worldview. Diane, meanwhile, has a miserable fling with a coworker, and leans more heavily on Colin for support as things go from bad to worse. But spring is unfolding, and a road trip to Los Angeles gives them a tantalizing glimpse of what the future might hold. In Some Hell, a debut novel of devastating intensity and aching, pointillistic detail, Patrick Nathan shows how unspeakable tragedy shapes a life, and how imagination saves us from ourselves.

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A wrenching and layered debut novel about a gay teen’s coming of age in the aftermath of his father’s suicide

About the Author

Patrick  Nathan
Credit: Michael O'Laughlin
Patrick Nathan’s short fiction and essays have appeared in Gulf Coast, Boulevard, Real Life, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. Some Hell is his first novel. He lives in Minneapolis.

More by author


  • Finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction
  • “A heartbreaker of a book, Patrick Nathan’s debut novel captures the hell of adolescence under particularly dire circumstances.”Esquire
  • “As a meditation on grief and its aftermath, Some Hell is sensitive, incisive and often heartbreaking.”Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
  • “All-consuming. . . . A magnetic first novel combining wit, sex, and apocalyptic reverie.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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