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Some Hell (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


As Some Hell unfolded, I couldn't stop triggering my own reader savior complex, imagining how I might rescue the novel's family members who are drowning in myopia and self-loathing. There's a depressed father we only get to know through his notebooks, a bitchy teenage daughter and a severely autistic middle child who are both out of reach and out of control, and mother Diane and fourteen year old gay son Colin. Diane and Colin are wracked with survivor guilt and struggling for love and a lifeline. They embark on a road trip from the Midwest to California, hoping to leave their heartbreak behind them.  A powerful debut coming-of-age novel whose shocking ending will haunt you.


— From Carla's Picks


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

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 co-worker, 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.

About the Author

Patrick Nathan's short fiction and essays have appeared in Gulf Coast, Boulevard, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. This is his first novel. He lives in Minneapolis.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781555977986
ISBN-10: 1555977987
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: February 13th, 2018
Pages: 288
Language: English