I loved the originality of the story and the strength of the characters. Joe Hill took the joy right out of the festivities and innocence of Christmas and turned it into something to fear.
For fans of the horror genre this is a must read! The villain was creepy and unrelenting. The heroine was flawed yet smart and strong. The over all story was just different. I'm over vampires and zombies and was ready for something different and this satisfied my need for a different kind of scary.
The narrator, Kate Mulgrew, could not have been better! Her voices for the characters were spot on. Thank you Kate for "acting" out such a great story and bringing it to life.
This was my first Joe Hill book (got interested after reading about the King family in a recent NYTimes mag story). While I understand why he needed to shed his family name, it had nothing to do with his skill as a writer. He's every bit as gifted as his dad (and his mom as well, she's just not as well known) and has a very distinct voice.
The characters were nicely drawn (and the narration was perfect) and the story ticked by quickly, keeping me in my office chair long after I was ready to stop working (editing photos). And it's such a unique story line. After a lifetime of reading, I'm always happy to find something that feels completely different to me. And while you had a pretty good idea how things were going to turn out, guessing the twists and turns wasn't really the point of this story. It was the ride along the way and the outrageous nature of the situations people found themselves in.
Also, it wasn't classically horrific. It didn't keep me awake at night or have me looking over my shoulder. It was creepy at times, sure, but there was a cartoon quality to the characters that kept it more about the story and less about the fear. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with this book.
It just has too much incredible stuff. There are too many departures from reality that become a distraction. Try Heart-Shaped Box for a much better story by the same author.
Loved the book, loved the narration. The book was creepy and dark. It kept me listening!
It definitely keeps you entertained from start to finish. If you like weird horror stories, this is definitely that, and a fairly well written, not ridiculously campy one at that.
The people I think are pretty well developed, which helps to soften the very fantastical plotline. I think the seriousness of the characters is the only thing keeping you from going, WTF the whole book. My fiance was in the car with me listening the last hour (he hadn't listened to the rest) and when it was finished he was like, 'what WAS that?!' I think the only reason I wasn't like that is because the character development was so strong.
Performer was fine. I thought there were times where she kind of wailed/whined but the characters voices were distinct and I was kept in the story.
Super long for one sitting, but I happened to get horrible food poisoning the day after I started listening to this book so I did basically listen to the whole thing in two days. Not recommended! But it helped keep it all going!
Proofreader, Editor, Writer & Book Lover Extraordinaire!!
It took me just a little bit to get really into the book, but after that it had me till the end. Imaginative and original. I am glad that I chose it. Worth the time and money, the narrator did a very impressive job. She made it even better!
No. First, let me preface by saying that this was clearly my fault. I didn't notice ahead of time that this book was almost 20 hours long. I realize that I just don't have the interest level for a 20 hour story. And this story could have been told in less than half of that.
The way she did Bing and Lou's voices. They were painfully annoying and very hard to listen to. She made Lou sound like a mentally challenged 13 year old the entire time (dooood!). And Bing was just a ridiculous caricature.
Yes. Provided it wasn't 19 hours long!
I like Joe Hill. I've read his other books and find him to be a very good writer. This book was also very well written. However, I had the feeling that this particular novel was nothing more than an homage to his father. I didn't find it very original. It was very reminiscent of Christine, Salem's Lot, and The Dark Tower series, among other King works. And I noticed that he also has his father's penchant for tedium. So much of this story could have been omitted with absolutely nothing lost to the plot. I love Stephen King - he tells one hell of a story! - but there have been some that have almost put me to sleep with the long-windedness of it all (Gerald's Game and Dolores Claiborne come to mind). The same with this book. I loved the strong female lead, the creepy villain and the fantasy of it all, but it felt like work to listen to the end. Next time I will remember to try to get the abridged versions of Hill's books.
I've been listening to audio books on Audible now for about two years. This is the first review I've written; not because there haven't been other books worth it, but because I finish a book, think I should write about it, get distracted and never quite get around to it. In other words, I'm lazy.
First off, any idea or story that dances its way through the potential great unknown, the sea of unprovens, of foamy conceptualisms never proven that sort of quietly niggle behind the hard facts of the seen and known, sucks me in wide eyed and staring as one does when passing a car wreck. They scare and fascinate me in equal proportions. NOS4A2 certainly is that, blending the two worlds of reality and imagination together in a tightly woven knit that doesn't really leave room for argument. You don't have much of a choice but to suspend your disbelief. It's believable. Not surprising either, considering the family to which Joe Hill belongs.
Secondly, Kate Mulgrew is such an amazingly fantastic narrator. I read a ton of reviews prior to listening that gave her glowing, rave reviews, so my expectations for her were pretty high. When I first began listening, I thought I was about to be disappointed. I'm not sure what I expected, but her voice was not it. It took about 20 minutes for me to change my mind. I don't know how she managed to do it, but she took the things that made each character and embraced them, brought them to life, and switched between them as effortlessly as if there were really different people speaking. More than that, she makes you FEEL every single emotion, thought, action that happens, no matter how small.
Okay so writing any more would probably be boring and unnecessary. It's an amazing emotional ride through two worlds, one real and one imagined, that collide together to weave this story. One might walk away with less certainty that the real world is really...well, real...at all. I feel like I need to lie down and recover, but in a really good happy-place sort of way.
I had no idea what I was getting into. I thought this would be a classic vampire novel; a monster novel, if you will. But it's not. It's fantasy/horror/adventure/suspense and loss of innocence all rolled into one. I've not read a book like it before. Just as I thought I knew where this was going it changed genre's on me again.
I give the story four stars because I am not a horror fan. I like my fantasy adventure to offer me a sense of escapism and wonder. This story certainly had some of that, but it was so dark, and the characters were so flawed and real, that I kept getting jolted back into a sense of the real world.
Fans of horror may find the story too fantasy like. Fans of adventure or suspense may find it not realistic enough. But if you want a story about people with a foot in both worlds, written with a foot both worlds, I cannot think of a better example. That is why I gave the overall five stars.
This was the first time I had heard Kate Mulgrew. Her voice has just enough rasp to clearly define the adults, the children, and the beast. She has just the right pitch that I was not thrown off by the male vs female characters, or the innocent vs the not-so-innocent vs the villain.
Mulgrew approached the reading with the mature confidence that not only wrung every possible emotion from the story, but was almost refreshing to hear the villain cuss the parents trying to save their children. Call me old fashioned, or chauvinistic if you will, but normally I flinch at such language, particularly when a female narrator cusses as a male character toward another female character; using all of the vile language that no one should have to endure. But Mulgrew blew right past it, adopted it, and made it flow so natural, she recognized that it was necessary and defined the characters mental state.
Without Mulgrew's voice, this story would have lost a lot of the grit, the power, the sensational, and the real. I applaud her and plan to seek out other stories she has read.
THis performance was awful. I hated the way she voiced the characters. If the story wasn't so good I would have returned the book.