Kate Mulgrew read with such feeling that you knew the individual characters by her voice. And Joe Hill's story is hideously good. What a great combo!
The story is interesting enough and the narrator relatively good enough, to keep me listening. However, "Hill" just can't quite tell a story on the same caliber as his father, the great Stephen King. King can transition through time in a way which is smoother and more appealing. You can tell that "Hill" is king's son, and utilizes a similar style, but the world he creat world is not quite so believeable as any world devised by King's mind.
A silly story with voices/narration that seemed childish at points. Evil with no background: Disconnected phones ring, a Rolls Royce drives itself, a corpse comes to life & drives a Trans Am, evil children ride bikes across an imaginary bridge into another dimension... All while Christmas music plays year-round. And, nothing to do with Nosferatu/vampires. I stopped listening an hour before the end. Stephen King at his worst.
From the middle part on, it was fast paced, and felt like a Stephen King novel.
Charlie Talent Manx
If anybody has ever started a novel and thought about putting it down, but stuck with it, I'm part of that group. Glad I stuck with it. After about two hours of audio I almost was done, and part of it, and I've got to be honest, I wasn't sure if I could put up with another 20 hours of Kate's voice. So after two hours, I stopped for about a week. Finally decided to give it another go, and glad I did. It's a scary story, mixed with realistic super natural horror. Charlie Manx has lived for over a century, stealing kids, giving them the ultimate fantasy, a reality in which every day is Christmas and every night is Christmas Eve, filled with games, rides, and fun. The climax of the book comes with Manx comes back from the decades long coma and gets Vic's son. From that point on, it felt like I was in a Stephen King novel and I wasn't able to put it down. I have an hour commute each way during the week, and then I was getting home and listening with my headsets into the wee hours of the night. That's when you know it's a great novel and worthy of five stars. I can see where Joe Hill gets his talent. This is my first book of his, as I am a huge fan of his dad and wanted to give him a shot. Exceeded my expectations, and then some.
I only listened to this book because Kate Mulgrew was the narrator. I should have researched the novel and the author a little more before making the purchase. The novel was far too long for the plot aIthough I ended up finishing it because I wanted to know what would happen when the characters finally got to "Christmasland". If you are a Stephen King fan you will probably enjoy this novel. If not, you probably won't.
I believe that the author needs to develop his own special style. He definitely has talent but it is not original,
Not at all. I love remembering the monster under the bed feeling.
She was okay but I am not a fan of the imitation accents unless you are very good at it. The narrator was not.
Not really, except maybe get a little more impatient to get next months credit.
I hope this author continues to grow and I will look forward to hearing more from him.
Absolutely. Kate Mulgrew was an AMAZING narrator and the story was twisted, horrifying, and intense. I couldn't stop listening.
My favorite major character would be Vic, of course. She has so much depth that it's hard to pick anyone else. My favorite minor character was Maggie, the librarian. She was somebody I definitely felt sad for, even though she was spunky and didn't show how sad her life had been.
Two words: Charlie Manx. I have never been creeped out like I was when Mulgrew performed Manx's lines. Horrible, horrible voice.
The only reason I'd say no is because of the length. I don't think I could sit for 18 or so hours.
READ JOE HILL!! He's a much better writer than his father!!
The story itself is cleverly imagined supernatural thriller, w/ inventive elements, an engaging plot, and well-realized characters. The plot grabs and compels the listener along. It does run a bit long at points, and the hand of the author is obvious during some of the action. But mostly, the I found the reader a challenge to listen to.
It's a ripping story, and the action is engaging.
Mulgrew is obviously a talented reader; I understand that Joe Hill really likes her work. When she is reading the prose, I enjoy her voice and inflection. But she does that over-acting thing that some readers do that when interpreting character voices. Rather than just use a bit of timbre and inflection to represent different characters, many of these voices are performed in the most ham-fisted manner. This is especially true of the main villains and his minions; all so, so exaggerated and over-the-top, intended to signal Evil & Scary in the most obvious way. The prose itself doesn't suggest these characterizations. There is a banality to the evil described. That sad & seedy evil is betrayed by this ridiculous portrayal of the these characters. By the end of the book I almost dreaded it any time they spoke.
It's a clever world Hill builds. The manifestation of imagination is interesting, making literal what is not. But I really wish the audio producer had gotten the reader to crank down her need to go so over the top in character voices.