An extraordinary act of literary finesse [with] tinkling little notes of comedy. 

— Joan Acocella, The New Yorker


Every cigarette I’ve ever smoked now seems, in retrospect, like little more than preparation for this remarkable essay.

— Leslie Jamison


A satisfying wisp of an essay about tobacco, addiction, first cigarettes, last cigarettes, breathing, kissing, hypnosis, literature, memory, and marking time ...

— Harper's


A wonderfully meandering memoir, beautifully written.
— Wall Street Journal


Hens' lapidary prose will sometimes put you in mind of the chain-smoking Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ... 

— The New York Times 


In a book that is as much a paean to smoking as it is a eulogy, Hens is both poetic and unforgiving about the pleasures and pains of smoking.

— Kirkus Reviews


This intelligent, literary volume plumbs Mark Twain, Italo Svevo and Van Morrison. But make no mistake: Nicotine isn’t a self-help book. It’s not an anti-smoking screed. Nor is it a love sonnet to tobacco. It’s an honest exposition of the emotional complexity of quitting.

— The Washington Post 


Despite qualms that the last cigarette might extinguish his access to literarily fertile material, Nicotine is proof positive that Hens still has the stuff.

— The San Francisco Chronicle 


Smoking is bad for you, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

— Economist, 'Books of the Year 2017' Selection


Read an excerpt here (The New Yorker)