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In ‘The Nix,’ Nathan Hill provokes thought, explores relationships

Nathan Hill’s debut novel, “The Nix” (Knopf, 620 pages, $27.95), spans more than 40 years and a broad range of characters and human situations. At more than 600 pages, the book is long, but it feels encompassing rather than sprawling. It’s definitely not a slog: the pacing is crisp, everyone’s stories are interesting and it’s wickedly funny in places, so the pages fly by.