The Hearts of Men

Nickolas Butler

22 March 2018
320 pages


'Just the thing to lose yourself in . . . tremendously good' Daily Mail

Camp Chippewa, 1962.

This is the summer that everything changes for lonely thirteen-year-old Nelson, marking the beginning of his uncertain friendship with a popular boy named Jonathan, and the discovery of his father's betrayal.

As the years pass on, both Nelson and Jonathan find their notions of loyalty and bravery tested to the limit, and each will be forced to ask himself what it really means to be a good man . . .

Newly minted Midwestern laureate Nickolas Butler delivers on the big-hearted promise of his bestseller Shotgun Lovesongs with The Hearts of Men . . . this novel’s examination of a fracturing relationship between a flailing father and overarchieving young son is superbly judged and Butler’s prose remains a joy to read, even when his material is tough
The Hearts of Men is a wry, tender-hearted novel about men: their families and friendships, their vulnerabilities and foibles, their secrets and lies. Part coming-of-age narrative, part meditation on masculinity, part war story, this novel had me spellbound all the way to its riveting conclusion’
The Hearts of Men is a winning second novel, by turns wistful and wise, sad and funny, eminently readable, and always atmospheric. Without a doubt, Nickolas Butler is a young writer to watch