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 ...
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)