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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 (4074 )
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Performance
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  •  
    ashley evans 08-10-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "New Twist On Horror"

    Not your usual vampire fiction... Elaborate, imaginative and captivating read if you are in the mood for a serial killer thriller with complex characters and supernatural twists for good measure. Kate Mulgrew is a fantastic narrator!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Philadelphia, PA, United States 08-07-13
    Leslie Philadelphia, PA, United States 08-07-13 Member Since 2015

    I used to whistle while I worked. Now I read a book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just a jumbled mess"
    What disappointed you about NOS4A2?

    I just couldn't finish the story. It was just a jumbled mess! It started out promising. A young girl has the ability to "find lost objects" by mounting her trusty bike, crossing a mysterious bridge and arriving right where the object was last seen. The only sacrifice is that she suffers terrible migraines with every trip. The problem is that she begins to track a demented child-killer.(demon?) My problem, the story gets really convoluted. For example, she "travels" and meets a unique librarian. As far as I got, she never sees her again. She "travels" again confronts the killer, stays there starts a new life and starts a family..huh? What happened to her original family? Do they ever search for her? I don't know. I didn't bother to find out.


    What could Joe Hill have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Hill did well with character development. He really fleshed them out well. He just throw WAY TOO MANY characters in. You can just see him juggling them all. People come and go randomly. As soon as he introduces an interesting character. They disappear. You see glimpses of Stephen King. But he's not quite up to the task.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Simplify


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. I cherish my credits. This was a big waste.


    Any additional comments?

    I may try to go back later and give it another chance. I just hate to leave all of those strings left untied.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Akron, OH, United States 08-06-13
    Diana Akron, OH, United States 08-06-13 Member Since 2000
    ratings
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    8
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    Performance
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    "Just Like His Dad!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of NOS4A2 to be better than the print version?

    Loved the audio! Kate Mulgrew was a great reader.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of NOS4A2?

    Many twists and turns.


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

    The emotion in her voice. So, realistic!!


    Any additional comments?

    Joe Hill is Stephen King's son. He is definitely following in his father's footsteps with this book. It is a must read!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Wilmington, NC, United States 08-04-13
    Janet Wilmington, NC, United States 08-04-13 Member Since 2012

    Divorce attorney needing a break from reality!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Weird, Fear Filled, & Yet....."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Either you are a person destroying your life moment by moment, or you are a person that you knows someone destroying their life one decision at a time. You see the bad decisions and know the outcome already, but cannot make it stop. That is the story of this book. It gives credence to psychosis in a way that I want to believe also. I don't generally enjoy horror or science fiction that much. That said, if my friend likes that genre, then YES this book is for them. The book is well written, the characters so well developed that you find them friend or foe. The heroine is amazingly real and heart-wrenching. Her family is real and you live the story as you hear it. I could not stop listening as I wanted to be there with them, even when I was scared and in the dark at home!


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    There is nothing to change. The story is creative, scary, well-written, and creative.


    What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

    At first, her voice is abrasive and rough, but as you listen you completely understand why her voice and her pace work so well. I became completely enthralled in her voice. The scratch adds character details and made me really love the main heroine and live in the story at the moment.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Lucas 08-03-13
    Greg Lucas 08-03-13 Member Since 2014

    gwlucas

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    "Welcome to Christmasland"

    This is an amazing listen. Kate Mulgrew is a revelation as a narrator. She brings the characters to life in a way that few readers do, not just by creating a "voice" for the character, but by tone, inflection, timing, emotion... She clearly put much effort into understanding the overall book before she developed her characterizations. Absolutely phenomenal performance.

    And she had great material to work with.This is my first Joe Hill book and it won't be my last.Hill has developed a world (well, two worlds really) that you very easily step into when listening to this book. You become a part of the action, feel the pain behind your left eye, feel a stammer coming on, feel the planks of the Shorter Way Bridge creaking under your ride. Christmasland is no less vivid. One clearly imagines the terror of Scissors for the Drifter.

    If you are at all a fan of horror or even just great fiction, this is a book you shouldn't pass up. I'll almost certainly be listening to this again in a couple of years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryann Cleveland, OH, United States 08-02-13
    Maryann Cleveland, OH, United States 08-02-13 Member Since 2012
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    "This was great book"

    worth the credit.. I loved the narrator.. the story... I listen back and forth to work.. couldn't wait to go to work and back..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Wild Colorado 08-01-13
    Tracy Wild Colorado 08-01-13 Member Since 2006

    Tracy

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    "Thoroughly Enjoyable!"
    What did you love best about NOS4A2?

    Engaging story from start to finish. Quick to draw you in and then kept you in. Dark and with an imperfect ending. Moral struggles but high action.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Different and inventive storyline. Would love to have gotten to known Maggie better.
    As always, the best compliment to any book (audio in this case), is the reader's prolonging their exercise or errands, sitting in a parking spot, whatever, because they want to listen a little longer and "can't put the book down". This book brought out those actions in me.


    What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

    Skilled and emotive. Reflective of the content and engaging. Only a couple "oops" when shifting characters. Overall, great job!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    'ChristmasLand'

    "Imagination becomes reality everyday"


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed Heart Shaped Box, still haven't been able to get into Horns (though I've tried repeatedly), and now have been very pleased with NOS4A2. So I guess with Mr. Hill, for me, it's going to be a hit or miss.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nolan Malone Hawai'i 08-01-13
    Nolan Malone Hawai'i 08-01-13 Member Since 2015

    Books have always been an escape for me: initially from my studies, now from too much work. A good story is my favorite remedy.

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

    Wow...this was the first time I'd heard a book for which Kate Mulgrew provided the "voice." Like other listeners, I was blown away by her incredible performance. It makes sense, of course, given her substantial acting credits -- I've been a fan ever since "Mrs. Columbo" -- but she still managed to keep me enthralled throughout a book I wouldn't normally consider owing to its violent content. Kudos Ms. Mulgrew!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, I did. I was seriously creeped out by it: less so because of the horror story elements, but because Mr. Hill created such real, flawed characters. The raw "realness" of the protagonists in the unreal world conceived by Mr. Hill left a lasting impression on me. As a result, I will certainly seek out his other work and look for new books in the future.


    Any additional comments?

    POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT: As the book drew to a close, I thought to myself, "I'll need to look for an interview with Joe Hill to hear more about his inspiration for this book..." Imagine my surprise when we were treated to a brief commentary by Mr. Hill at the book's conclusion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudia Roswell, GA, United States 07-30-13
    Claudia Roswell, GA, United States 07-30-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Immaginative"
    What did you love best about NOS4A2?

    The second half of the book. The characters developed and the story was more engaging.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Joe Hill? Why or why not?

    Already have: The Heart Shaped Box (loved it!)


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The intensity at the end when Vic was trying to save her son kept me on the edge of my seat.


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

    ?


    Any additional comments?

    Had some trouble wrapping my head around "Christmas Land" early in the book. By mid-book though, I was hooked into the story (no, not by teeth--read the book, you'll understand.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dawn clio, MI, United States 07-29-13
    dawn clio, MI, United States 07-29-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome Book. Highly recommend for a great listen."

    Joe Hill is an awesome writer and this is his best book so far. The reader is pretty good although her voice was annoying in a few areas. If you enjoy supernatural and fantasy books don't miss out on this one. Christmas land is brought to life with vivid detail and great imagination of the writer. I laughed, cried and almost peed my pants (lol) in different parts.

    Don't miss out on this great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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