Hell of a Book - Jason Mott

Hell of a Book

By Jason Mott

  • Release Date: 2021-06-29
  • Genre: African American
Score: 4
From 270 Ratings




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.


  • Magnificent

    By floatlikegravity
  • “Falling or flying?”

    By Mgrayson2
    Amazing. A searingly honest journey through the conundrum that is a Black man’s life in America.
  • Heartrending, Important, and Miraculous

    By juliusa
    Probably one of the best books I’ve read in my nearly 70 years on this earth. This book will not only tear apart your heart and soul, it will also fortify you to keep fighting for what is right and work harder to fix what is wrong in this country. No spoilers here, just an honest plea for all to read this and, through the awe and tears p make a determination to speak out, fight and never give up. More than deserving of its award status. A truly powerful work.
  • The title says it all

    By Nepats4112
    Beautifully written, entertaining, devastating. Just read it.
  • Incredible!

    By kaykaybean13
    A book that has come at a perfect time when the world needs so much more awareness and compassion than its ever given to the Soot’s and his family and his race
  • The idea and intent was good

    By hollace12
    But those on and on rants! I would flip forward several pages until it got to the point.
  • The best book I’ve read in a very long time!

    By T'challa Galt
    Wow! I’m not sure what to say about this book other than I will be gifting this to a number of people who have been feeling many of the same things Jason described in this book, and that I too have been feeling. I’m so grateful to the author for his ability to take a lifetime of thoughts and feelings, hopes and dreams, and most importantly fears, and articulate them to the world. I truly hope everyone reads this book.