A wrenching and layered debut novel about a gay teen’s coming of age in the aftermath of his father’s suicide
- “A canny and terrifying moral fable about our new and old American ways of both being together and missing each other.”—The New York Times Book Review
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.
Patrick Nathan reading at Book Culture
Book Culture in New York, NYview map
Reading with Joe Osmundson and Joseph Cassara.
- “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
- “Masterful. . . . Nathan’s first novel is beautifully done and promises to linger in the reader’s memory.”—Booklist, starred review