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NOS4A2: A Novel | [Joe Hill]

NOS4A2: A Novel

Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, May 2013 - Christmasland is a place where every day is Christmas morning and every night is Christmas Eve. This might not sound like fertile ground for a horror novel, but rest assured; just as there's nothing funny about Pennywise the Dancing Clown in Stephen King's It, there's nothing merry about Christmasland in NOS4A2. Joe Hill tells the story of decrepit child thief Charlie Manx, who travels the country in his Rolls Royce Wraith taking mistreated kids to Christmasland, where they live happily forever playing games like "bite-the-smallest" and "scissors-for-the-drifter". The only girl who managed to escape his clutches and put Manx in prison for life finds that even Manx's death can't keep him from his quest to make sure every mistreated child is taken to Christmasland. As eerie as a Bing Crosby album played at half speed, NOS4A2 is a thoroughly creepy and compulsively readable supernatural thriller. Kate Mulgrew shines as narrator, turning in a spot-on performance as Victoria McQueen, a tough-as-nails if emotionally frail heroine. —Michael, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration - Female, 2014

Joe Hill, the acclaimed, award-winning author of the New York Times best sellers Heart-Shaped Box and Horns, plunges you into the dark side of imagination with a thrilling novel of supernatural suspense that will have you flinching at shadows and checking the rearview mirror again and again....

NOS4A2

Don't slow down

Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. In the Wraith, he and his innocent guests can slip out of the everyday world and onto hidden roads that lead to an astonishing playground of amusements he calls Christmasland. Mile by mile, the journey across the highway of Charlie's twisted imagination transforms his precious passengers, leaving them as terrifying and unstoppable as their benefactor.

And then comes the day when Vic goes looking for trouble...and finds her way, inevitably, to Charlie.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, the only kid ever to escape Charlie's unmitigated evil is all grown up and desperate to forget.

But Charlie Manx hasn't stopped thinking about the exceptional Victoria McQueen. On the road again, he won't slow down until he's taken his revenge. He's after something very special - something Vic can never replace.

As a life-and-death battle of wills builds her magic pitted against his - Vic McQueen prepares to destroy Charlie once and for all...or die trying....

Joe Hill's acclaimed works of fiction, Horns, Heart-Shaped Box, and 20th Century Ghosts, have already earned him international acclaim. With NOS4A2, this outstanding novelist - "one of America's finest horror writers" (Time magazine); "a major player in 21st-century fantastic fiction" (Washington Post) - crafts his finest work yet. Disturbing, mesmerizing, and full of twisting thrills, Hill's phantasmagoric, devilishly playful masterpiece is a terrifying high-octane ride.

©2013 Joe Hill (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Quite simply the best horror writer of our generation, Joe Hill’s masterful storytelling is on full display in NOS4A2. It is by turns terrifying and hilarious, horrifying and full of heart, and relentlessly compelling." (Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of The Prophet)

"Fascinating and utterly engaging, this novel is sure to leave readers wanting more. One thing is for certain, however. After reading this book, readers will never hear Christmas carols in quite the same way again." (Library Journal, starred review)

"[A] new take on the fantasy-horror genre...Highly recommended." (The Sun Herald Sydney, Australia)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2982 )
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4.3 (2765 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kim BROOKSVILLE, FL, United States 05-27-13
    Kim BROOKSVILLE, FL, United States 05-27-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Horrible and Wonderful"
    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Please don't ever make this into a movie.


    Any additional comments?

    Mr. Hill has a talent equal to his father's. I wanted the listening to go faster, but I never wanted it to end. His visualizations are clear and, at times, terrible. I've been looking for a long long time for someone "now" to tell a horror story as well as Stephen King used to. Joe Hill is that someone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul WALLKILL, NEW YORK, United States 05-26-13
    Paul WALLKILL, NEW YORK, United States 05-26-13 Member Since 2013

    A good friend told me about Audible. It is Awesome! Now I am hooked.

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    "Awesome Read"
    Where does NOS4A2 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is the first book I have listened to and it has set the bar very high.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was creepy, funny, and scary all at the same time. Joe Hill has done another superb job with this novel.


    Have you listened to any of Kate Mulgrew’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first experience with audio books. I couldn't believe how much Kate got into reading the story. The various voices she used for the characters were awesome and it brought a great story to even fuller life. I definitely hope there are more books I am interested in where Kate is the narrator.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely! I couldn't wait to commute to work in the morning, and it kept me totally awake and engrossed on the way home. By the time it got towards the end of the book I couldn't wait any more and had to finish right away by listening while doing laundry :-)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elaine United States 05-26-13
    elaine United States 05-26-13 Member Since 2011

    I'm an avid audible book listener. I am a huge fan of supernatural books and like stuff that is scary but well written. I live in Denver Co

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sure couldn't stop listening"

    Joe hill has a way of getting into your childhood brain and pushing those childhood fears! It's interesting to me that even though the narrator had a voice that I did not like at all, it added to the harsh environment of the story and I can't imagine anyone else giving voice to this. I was kept interested all the way through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Middleborough, MA, United States 05-24-13
    Debra Middleborough, MA, United States 05-24-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    2
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    Story
    "Good story, great performance!"
    What did you love best about NOS4A2?

    I thought the story was good, although there were definite times that it seems to drag on and on. I thought that the editing pen could have been used more to bring a bloated story with many useless scenes into a more streamlined telling.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lou. Funny guy with a heart of gold. Dude.


    What does Kate Mulgrew bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Kate nailed the characters. She made me laugh when certain characters made an appearance. However. There is ONE thing that drove me mad. SO mad that I did not give her a 5 star performance. I am from Massachusetts and Vic's childhood town of Haverhill, MA is NOT pronounced Ha (short a) -ver-Hill. It is correctly pronounced HAY-ver-ill. The second H is not pronounced and the A is long, not short. DROVE. ME. INSANE.


    If you could rename NOS4A2, what would you call it?

    Could We Please Just Get to Christmasland Already?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy KALISPELL, MT, United States 05-23-13
    Sandy KALISPELL, MT, United States 05-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Creepily Creepy"

    Definitely a cerebral twister. It had a bit of a rough start. I am probably one of the few with this problem, but, if you're not really paying attention to the dates and places at the start of each new chapter it's easy to get a bit confused and lost. I had to rewind a couple times to find out exactly what year and where the events were unfolding.
    The story was un-nerving. It pulls you in about half way though and I found myself looking for any chance to listen to what would happen next between Charlie and Vic. It reminded me a lot of an old movie called "Dreamscape."
    Kate Mulgrew did a good job reading and her children's voices are a bit chilling in the middle of the night.
    All in all it wasn't horrible but not the greatest ever, it is a good one though over all though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    leighda 05-23-13
    leighda 05-23-13 Member Since 2011

    Audible is the best thing since sliced bread..

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could not put it down"

    It was a bit of a slow starter but onve I got started I could not stop..
    Joe Hill is proving to me that it is in the blood..
    Unique and interesting,
    I did not care for Kate Mulgrew, She gave them all a bit of a southern accent and I hate her man voice but the book is worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie 05-23-13
    Melanie 05-23-13

    I have varied taste in books but almost always avoid formula genres. Some romance is good in a story but a romance story is not for me

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worst Voice Ever - - -Ruins the Whole Thing"
    What would have made NOS4A2 better?

    a different narrator


    If you’ve listened to books by Joe Hill before, how does this one compare?

    the plot is great


    How could the performance have been better?

    a different voice - most irritating voice EVER


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from NOS4A2?

    the narrator


    Any additional comments?

    this lady needs a different career

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta HALF MOON BAY, CA, United States 05-23-13
    Roberta HALF MOON BAY, CA, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2010

    Sensitive critic

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    "Excellent!"

    Loved the book - you'll think you're listening to a Stephen King novel. This kid can write. Buy it, you won't be disappointed!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Yelm, WA, United States 05-23-13
    Laura Yelm, WA, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really good story"

    Mr. Hill is a very good storyteller, no doubt there. I'm sure Mr. King is quite proud. The reader was also really good. The story itself was interesting enough and kept my interest for the most part. The characters were well rounded and it ended with a little something extra. Would definitely recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamara New Orleans, Louisiana, United States 05-23-13
    Tamara New Orleans, Louisiana, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Creepy and spectacularly imaginative"
    Would you listen to NOS4A2 again? Why?

    I would listen again. The narrator was fabulous, as was the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I thought NOS4A2 was very well-written and the best of Joe Hill's novels so far. It was also amusing that he had some subtle references to Stephen King's stories in a couple of spots. I definitely recommend it. It's still early in the year, but I'm sure that visions of Christmasland will run (silently) back through my brain in December when it's time to put up the tree.


    What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

    She is infinitely talented. I intend to see what other books she has narrated.


    If you could rename NOS4A2, what would you call it?

    Scissors for the drifter? Christmasland? Nah...why mess with perfection? NOS4A2 is a perfect title.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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