This is my first Joe Hill book and I was struck by how tightly plotted the story is and how distinctive the various characters are. His writing reminds me a lot of his father's better work back in the 80s, and that's high praise.
However, I really wanted to write in praise of Kate Mulgrew's performance. Really fantastic. She is able to develop fairly distinct voices for each of the major characters, and she's not afraid to raise or lower her voice to better depict the mind-set of the speaker. Her narration here puts her at the top of my list of female narrators and I'm looking forward to hearing her in the future.
This was an engaging and compelling listening experience. Joe Hill creates a landscape of monstrous evil and heroic powers, connected at their origins, but differentiated primarily by their willingness to sacrifice for good, or exploit other for evil. Power doesn't always corrupt, but it does exact a price.
This is the first of Kate Mulgrew's performances I've listened to, but I've been a fan of hers since long before Star Trek: Voyager. In this instance she performs more than reads, and the results are electrifying. From innocent children to conflicted adults to the monstrous Mr. Manx, her voice characterizations are precise, and draw one deeper into these characters' lives and inner turmoil. I'll definitely be looking for more books with Kate's narration.
I'll admit it: This one was hard to put down, and I found myself listening to it whenever I could steal 5 or 10 minutes. Much different from my normal pattern, which is to listen for long stretches in the car.
I'm teetering between 3.5 and 4 stars. I don't know if it really deserves 4 stars, but it's definitely not as low as a 3. 3.75????
When I started this book, I immediately started thinking about how much it reminded me of all the Stephen King I read when I was younger. I prefer Hill's writing a bit more because a lot of the side characters and the chapters that somewhat feel like excess at the start, become relevant at some point later in the book. I'll never forget when I read "It" and there were chapters upon chapters just describing the town and the woods, which is nice, but not necessary. That book could have definitely been trimmed of some unnecessary fat. Hill is equally guilty with NOS4A2. This book was looooong, so long, but I never felt bored. Never felt the need to fast forward to get back to the meat of the story.
I felt for our heroine Vic the whole time. That poor girl just couldn't seem to get a break. But it was nice to see her take charge of her life in the end and do what need to be done to stop Manx and rescue her son. I was a tiny bit disappointed in the ending. SPOILER ALERT: It was explosive for sure, but I was hoping for a bit more of a one on one with her and Manx. I also wish that there had been some more explanation of what the police/Feds saw from their side of their investigation at the end. Their explanations/rationalizations for how Vic was able to get from one side of the country to another in the blink of an eye. Not to mention they must have seen her disappear towards the end when she was in the woods, but they never really address that later. What they had to say when her son showed up and said that he was abducted by Manx as she had claimed. After all the suspicion of Vic, they never really clear her name, which would have been nice.
Audiobook review: I liked Kate Mulgrew's voice. I thought she had a nice throaty sound to her voice that did both the menacing Manx and jaded Vic justice.
Lifetime lover of fiction!
After listening to the first third of this book, I wasn't sure I would be able to get through another 12+ hours. I agree with many reviewers, there were a lot of references/parallels to Stephen King works, but there is clearly only ONE Stephen King. I don't like to bash anyone's work, but I forced myself to get through this one...nearly gave up MANY times, but I wanted the right to say that I did not like the story after listening to it in it's entirety. I was scratching my head at all the positive reviews, and before completing this title, I had to go back and revisit the reviews to be sure that I wasn't mistaken on how many positives it had received. Maybe I am older and it takes more to "scare" me, or even at "entertain" me...well, let me take that back. The narrator was somewhat entertaining...in a very annoying over-acting sense though! I mean Jeez...take it down a notch already. I read Heart Shaped Box years ago, and I thought it was alright, but I am sure I will never revisit this story again...sorry.
Im a good listener
Cool story, but the scariest thing for me was the pronunciation of Haverhill. Its HAY-vril. Was like hearing nails on a chalkboard every time it was said. Don't know how that made it past the production people.
Scientist, artisan, anachronism
another entertaining bit of horror from joe. the kinda-christmas theme was annoying. dispite that the book still turned out well.
Horns and Hell House were both better books. i would recommend them before this one. if you read them then this should satisfy.
Outstanding! Close to 20 hours flew by with this book! It was twisted and eerie. It grabbed me right for the beginning. It's being added to my short list of favorites which includes Gone Girl, 11/22/63, and These Things Hidden.
Narrator - Mulgrew was SUPERB! Best narrator I have listened to yet.
My friend is a die hard Stephen King fan and he recommended this book. If you are of the belief that Stephen King can be a little long winded, you are going to LOVE this book. It is long, but action PACKED! All the great terror and sci-fi, without the droning. Highly recommended. Can't wait to see what he does next.
I never read the print version
This was a truly scary story - the kind that tip toes back into your mind while you sleep...
This was my first Joe Hill novel. I have been reading his graphic series - "Locke and Key'. I wasn't sure what to expect… I was truly impressed. The reading was ok. Being a local girl, some of the details made the story feel more real
I like Joe Hill, but hate this narrators version
Not as good as his previous books