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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 (3997 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tracy Wild Colorado 08-01-13
    Tracy Wild Colorado 08-01-13 Member Since 2006

    Tracy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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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
  •  
    Geoff Kane Mesa, AZ United States 07-26-13
    Geoff Kane Mesa, AZ United States 07-26-13 Member Since 2012

    Bulls Fan

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    "Excellent!"
    What made the experience of listening to NOS4A2 the most enjoyable?

    Great Story, compelling for all 19 hours.


    What other book might you compare NOS4A2 to and why?

    It is sort of like "It", but much better.


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

    I listen to a lot of books and KATE MULREW is the best I have ever heard.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    a rose is a rose West Hartford, CT United States 07-24-13
    a rose is a rose West Hartford, CT United States 07-24-13 Member Since 2009
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    "wowwwwwwwww (spoilers)"
    If you could sum up NOS4A2 in three words, what would they be?

    horrific, horrific, horrific


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    maggie was my favorite character. i loved her intensity and her need to do the right thing even though she knew it would hurt her.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    i happen NOT to care for ms mulgrew's voice at all. i knew that going in but still purchased the book. although i'm not sorry i listened to it instead of read it, the way "haverhill" was mispronounced time after time after time almost killed me


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

    yes, it sure was


    Any additional comments?

    i'm afraid i'll never look at christmas the same way - EVER again. what a disturbing book. the characters are very well thought out and described. you can certainly envision them all in your mind (unfortunately, with some of them like bing and mr manx). the descriptions of some of their actions and actions of the children of christmasland (later in the book) are truly horrific.

    in addition to lou and vic (of course), i fell in love with Maggie and was broken hearted at her condition when vic and she got together the second and third times.

    last but by no means least, i can see the wraith driving through fog on it's way to christmasland, the road lined with all of those white faced children who's mouths contain rows upon rows of tiny hooked teeth

    (mr hill gets an extra point for having a strong yet full of flaws woman hero)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Portland, OR, United States 07-23-13
    Julia Portland, OR, United States 07-23-13 Member Since 2013

    I am a writer who loves reading.

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    "A Story that Pulls you in and Doesn't let you go"

    I've been a fan of Joe Hill's since Locke and Key. His vivid, often brutal, descriptions and his amazing world drags me into and through any story he writes. NOS4A2 was no exception. While this is a suspenseful horror novel, it is also the story of a mother's love. I feel that Joe Hill's writing has matured from his first novel to this point. I loved this story. It churned my stomach, made me cry, twinged my sympathy pains, and dragged me through to the end.

    The narration from Kate Mulgrew was spectacular. After the story, Mr. Hill discusses why he chose her to narrate this novel, and I feel he hit the nail right on the head. She has a distinct voice for each character, she pauses in just the right places to drag out the suspense, and is generally one of my favorite narrators.

    I highly recommend both the novel and the reading of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn 07-17-13
    Shawn 07-17-13
    ratings
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    11
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    "Welcome to Christmas Land"
    Where does NOS4A2 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'd say NOS4A2 is probably the leading audiobook I've listened to so far.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of NOS4A2?

    Almost any moment with Charlie Manx feels memorable. The way he speaks and his choice of words feels comforting and creepy at the same time.


    What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

    I loved Kate's variation with her voice and how she could really set the tone. You could feel terror and enthusiasm with just her voice. Brilliant.


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

    Christmas Land. Maybe that's too obvious of a renaming though?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina 07-14-13
    Tina 07-14-13 Member Since 2014

    Im a busy Mama, always on the go! Lover of historical fiction and Sci fi horror.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fresh and Creative!"

    Can't wait to read more from Joe Hill! This book was a fun listen, great characters and plot. I'm a big Stephen King fan, Joe Hill definitely has a the talents of his father. Though the name is suggestive of vampires, you won't really find them here in any familiar sense. Frightening and thrilling. I couldn't put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    liza Zachary, Lao People's Democratic Republic 07-14-13
    liza Zachary, Lao People's Democratic Republic 07-14-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it!"
    What did you love best about NOS4A2?

    Excellent .. from beginning to end!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of NOS4A2?

    LOVED the ending!


    Which character – as performed by Kate Mulgrew – was your favorite?

    Kate Mulgrew's voices were chilling - amazing reader!


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

    Yes! I listen while I run, a true testament is the fact I wanted to listen to it in the car, in the kitchen.. even while getting ready in the morning!! ADDICTING.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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