Hell of a Book: National Book Award Winner and A Read with Jenna Pick (A Novel)

Written by:
Jason Mott
Narrated by:
Ronald Peet , Jd Jackson

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
June 2021
9 hours 40 minutes


Winner of the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize Finalist, 2022 Chautauqua Prize Finalist, Willie Morris Award for Southern Writing Shortlist, 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize Shortlist, 2022 Maya Angelou Book Award Shortlist, 2022 Carnegie Medal Longlist

A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

An Ebony Magazine Publishing Book Club Pick! 

One of Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of Fiction | One of Philadelphia Inquirer's Best Books of 2021 | One of Shelf Awareness's Top Ten Fiction Titles of the Year | One of TIME Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books | One of NPR.org's 'Books We Love' | EW’s 'Guide to the Biggest and Buzziest Books of 2021' | One of the New York Public Library's Best Books for Adults | San Diego Union Tribune—My Favorite Things from 2021 | Writer's Bone's Best Books of 2021 | Atlanta Journal Constitution—Top 10 Southern Books of the Year | One of the Guardian's (UK) Best Ten 21st Century Comic Novels | One of Entertainment Weekly's 15 Books You Need to Read This June | On Entertainment Weekly's 'Must List' | One of the New York Post's Best Summer Reading books | One of GMA's 27 Books for June | One of USA Today's 5 Books Not to Miss | One of Fortune's 21 Most Anticipated Books Coming Out in the Second Half of 2021 | One of The Root's PageTurners: It’s Getting Hot in Here | One of Real Simple's Best New Books to Read in 2021

An astounding work of fiction from 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 more urgent: 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 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.
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Not for me

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Unexpected and brilliant writing! This book takes you from running and flying high to dense and crude realistic perspectives, leaving you with much to absorb afterward. Marvelous writing, you will find yourself in a crescendo, in a frenzy, and diving deep into painful reflections. It does not make you cry, it gives you shivers. I wish all the schools take in this book, my children will read it, and we will discuss it, that's what I can do for today, for a better tomorrow.

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David S.

There’s a lack of subtlety to his central issue of systematic racism. The author beats you up with it albeit with an interesting angle.

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It took me a while to get into the rhythm and story(ies)line, but when the hook was set, I was happy to drive and listen. Very current take on rampant racism and its affect on entire communities, but in a non-linear, hard hitting novel. Highly recommended. Yes, there is a reason it won so many awards, including the National Book Award.

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Lisa Heiller

I loved this book and was heartbroken by it. Picked it up because it won the National Book Award. didn't even read a description. It deserves the award. I can't begin to know what minorities suffer in this country. This book does a excellent job of describing it. Of showing the emotional toll of constant fear. It is written in a very unusual style. It makes a big impression.

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