February 13, 2018 -  Graywolf Press

February 13, 2018 - Graywolf Press

An "evil-soaked novel" + New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

Colin’s family is dissolving in the aftermath of his father’s suicide. While his mother, Diane, retreats into therapy and cynicism, Colin clings to every shred of normal life. Shunned by his siblings and rejected by his homophobic best friend, Colin immerses himself in the notebooks his father left behind. Full of strange facts, lists, and historical anecdotes that neither Colin nor Diane can understand, the notebooks infect their worldview until they can no longer tell what’s real and what’s imagined. A novel of aching intensity, Some Hell shows how unspeakable tragedy shapes a life, and how imagination saves us from ourselves.

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

"[Nathan] does a masterful job of creating believable, multidimensional characters about whom the reader cares desperately... Nathan’s first novel is beautifully done and promises to linger in the reader’s memory." - Booklist (starred review)

"Nathan has crafted an all-consuming novel in which topics like suicide, homosexuality, parenting, friendship, and psychology make up a precarious tableau in which readers can leave their own subjectivity behind... A magnetic first novel combining wit, sex, and apocalyptic reverie." - Kirkus Books (starred review)

With a burning clarity and calm intelligence that evoke another great Midwestern fatalist, William Maxwell, Patrick Nathan offers a shocking tale of loss and not quite renewal. Haunted by suicide, haunted by sex—those twin phantoms that stalk us all—Some Hell is startlingly propulsive, utterly enveloping, and a genuine revelation.
— Matthew Specktor, author of American Dream Machine
There’s nothing metaphysical about the hell Patrick Nathan takes us to in this brave and harrowing novel. It’s the hell we make for one another, out of silence and grief and desire, a hell whose necessary precondition is love.
— Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
Though it doesn’t trumpet its hybridity, Some Hell is a dark but tender work of domestic realism that makes room for antinovel collage, a high-stakes page-turner that doubles as an extended essay on Eros and Thanatos. Patrick Nathan writes with serious magnanimity equal to anxious times.
— Dylan Hicks, author of Amateurs
This gorgeous, shape-shifting novel dares to address the burden of becoming. Nathan is a true talent, evoking the intensity of adolescence and the gut-punch we feel when reality comes bearing down on us. An important work for these turbulent times.
— Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased
Some Hell is an enthralling family saga that layers the slapstick giddiness of adolescence and sexual questing with a seething darkness. This is exactly the recipe for growing up with trauma.
— David Treuer, author of Prudence