INCEL: A Novel (reviews)



List of book reviews:

Print review: ‘Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?’

ARX-Han, in particular, is a formidable talent, as if Bret Easton Ellis decided to make a deep study of Reddit and the byzantine off-roads of evolutionary psychology. INCEL is, as its title suggests, the story of an incel. It is remarkably ambitious, plenty unsettling, and mordantly funny.

Podcast review: ‘The Sorrows of a Young Jerker’

"This is better than Bret Easton Ellis."

"Deeply uncomfortable at a lot of points to read it, but it was also very interesting... certainly the prose is very unique... it's dense but not in a bad way... it's got its own strange academic quality to it. It's certainly worth checking out."

  • Capitalisimo, speaking in the

    literary podcast

"Incel is a very deep novel, a very sincere novel. It's not a meme book, it's not 'memey' but it also isn't antagonistic to 4chan or any of our internet groups. It is a work of genuine sincerity of an aspy [redacted], alright, who is the enlightened centrist in a lot of ways, but it’s a genuinely, objectively sweetly sincere novel that does not pull any punches and it's finely crafted to an insane degree. Very, very clean and very, well produced and I have immense respect for Mr. ARX-Han despite his [redacted] origins."

"The technical strength of the prose and the consistency is great... it's a really strong style... really well crafted."

"It's very beautifully written and it's very well thought out."

We put our seal of approval.”

Click here to read my response to their review: The Incel as Literary Subject.

Click here to read another article on why I cut my book afterword.

Click here to read why I changed my original manga-style book cover.

Substack review: ‘The Carousel’

"Han does a fantastic job of taking his readers into the mind of an incel. The experience is disorienting. Anon analyzes and overanalyzes everything. All interactions become a science experiment, with outcomes already determined by anon's nihilistic, zero-sum philosophy."

"As a piece of art, Incel is exceptional. Han writing is intricate and thought-provoking and correct."

"Incel is complicated dynamite. It is powerful, but sometimes this power is directionless. Ultimately, Han's novel gets more right than wrong, and its tale has the makings of a classic. Anon is legion, and for that reason, Incel should be required reading for anyone earnestly trying to get a grip on the rise of atomized and loveless young men."

Click here to read my response to Arbogast’s review: ‘Literary fiction as racial power fantasy.’

Substack review: ‘The Neo-Feudal Review’

One of the strengths of the novel is that it combines accurate, grim facts about the nature of dating and of reality itself with the subjectivity of an unreliable first person narrative, kind of like Fight Club which is referenced once or twice (indeed, it seemed at one point that his best friend and opposite in many ways might have been a similar Tyler Durden-esque figure). The mark of a strong narrative is that is can be and is multiple things at once, like a prism refracting light depending on the angle of the viewer watching it.

Substack review: ‘Postliberal Book Reviews’

In spite of my criticisms here, I think Incel is one of the strongest books to appear within the rightwing internet. It is the work of a competent and dedicated writer while many of the other self-published rightwing books are just not. It is dark, yes, but it captures the humor and the cultural experience of the early 2010s with impressive verisimilitude. In this way, it is an important document of the qualitative elements of this important internet subculture, which is relevant for scholars studying contemporaneous historical developments: the depravity of blackpill materialism and the experience of smug, hegemonic liberalism as precursors to the rise of Trump and authoritarian populism. It’s also fun to read for insiders who simply see versions of themselves or their worlds in this text. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in these topics and look forward to more writing from Han.

Substack review: ‘Pilleater’

What is interesting is that Anon makes proper citations throughout the text, that without a first-person Gonzo narrative, could instead be presented as actual academic research. Something similar was established with Nick Land and Sadie Plant’s “theory-fiction” of “Cybernetic Culture Research Unit.” It’s a funny device and reminds me of Jack Isidore in Confessions of a Crap Artist. The “novel” is about inward thinking and analytical operation. What I love is Anon’s sexual desires coming out, even though he tries to hide them with rational decision-making. The best thing an author can do is describe eroticism in personal detail, as it enlightens the soul of the reader with beauty and intimacy.

Substack review: ‘Alan’s Writing Lab’

As hard as the themes of this book, a valid question to ask is whether you should read it. I personally enjoyed it, with excellent prose that got the reader into the ideas of Anon, as unpleasant a place as that is.

Online magazine review: ‘INCEL BY ARX-HAN’

A mad plunge into the fractured landscape of the male psyche, Incel by ARX-Han is a satirical and sinister look at a frightening modern development. A sexually frustrated American embarks on a dark journey to lose his virginity, as readers are given intimate access to his unfiltered thought processes as he becomes more radicalized, obsessive, bitter, and destructive. Brilliant in its technical detail, linguistic flexibility, and savage cultural commentary, this dense portrait of a solipsistic loner feels timely and insightful about a dangerously disaffected portion of contemporary society.

Online review:

This book is phenomenal. Very nimble prose, philosophically rigorous without being obtuse, and beautiful. Extremely well crafted.



Savage, hilarious, and everything in between, INCEL is a pitch-dark comedy about one man's harrowing quest to ascend.

Suicidally depressed, twenty-two year old anon has settled on a deadline: if he can't find a way to lose his virginity by the date of his next birthday, he’s going to pick a fight with the biggest, baddest man he can find, and get himself killed.

For anon, social alienation is a simple matter of unvarnished perspective: America in the year 2012 is a brutal Darwinian hellscape where every man is engaged in a ruthless competition for access to attractive females—and losers like him are left to rot.

As he begins his first year of graduate studies in evolutionary psychology, the looming threat of his personal deadline mutates into a totalizing obsession to validate his theories and achieve sex for the first time. Convinced that he's discovered a special method for "hacking" the mating patterns in human behavior, he starts upon a path that only threatens to further destabilize his already fragile psyche, hurtling him toward a crucible of his own design.

★ ★ ★ From literary newcomer ARX-Han, INCEL represents the absolute frontier in transgressive psychological fiction. Fusing the correlated shards of masculinity, shame, and hatred, it casts a singular account of a young mind's unyielding descent into the memetic spiral of online radicalization. Alternating between waves of realism and satire, INCEL flows between the interwoven ideologies of pickup artists, The Red Pill, involuntary celibates, and the alt-right—tracing a bleakly comic portrait that echoes into the near past and our imminent future.