Hell of a Book by Jason Mott [8/10]

Hell of a Book,” is the first novel I’ve read from black author Jason Mott, and my oversight has been my loss, for this is scintillating, daring, and moving. An unnamed author is on book tour for his bestseller, called “Hell of a Book” (you can see the author’s playfulness), a book he can barely remember drafting. Weighed down by ennui and self-loathing, the author begins to receive visitations of The Kid, a black boy who looks like the one recently shot by white police. Hell of a Book is at once a scorching, funny satire of the book world; a beguiling work of metafiction; and an emotional, searching examination of the ruinous legacy of police violence against African-Americans. Somehow, this swirling concoction also flows sweetly, imbued with an easy sense of poetry. I read it in two sittings and emerged at the end full of admiration. Hell of a Book deserves all the accolades it is bound to earn (it has already won the National Book Award for Fiction).

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