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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 (3755 )
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4.3 (3489 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Yvonne 05-15-13
    Yvonne 05-15-13

    Vonne

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Full Tilt Listen!"

    Couldnt stop listening! Excellent book. Narrator did a phenomenal job. Lots of twists and turns in this one!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 05-22-13
    Patrick 05-22-13

    The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Enthralling Listen"

    Superbly narrated and well told. There were a few moments where I laughed throughout the book b/c villains sometimes aren't put in certain situations that you'd expect them to be in. Which is exactly why I liked this book. It was a different story but it'll keep your attention. The narration was great, can't go wrong with her.

    The only drawback, which is what I read from previous reviews, is that the author tends to ramble on with irrelevant subjects that could be omitted. It reminded me of Steven King. By the time I reached the last section of the book, I was fast forwarding through a few mundane parts. That doesn't mean it was a bad story, but the author could leave out some details that have nothing to do with the overall picture. Also, I'm a short and to the point type of person, so maybe that's another reason for the fast forwarding.

    I'd say give it a try if you're randomly interested in a thriller, you most likely won't be disappointed.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 05-05-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 05-05-13 Member Since 2014

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "And Gold Doesn't Come Off"

    I usually don't rush out to buy the newest hot book to come out. I let those I am following read first before I chance my money. Having loved Heart Shaped Box and Horns, I knew I did not need to wait on someone else to tell me this would be good. In my humble opinion this is the best Joe Hill has written yet.

    I am sure JH gets tired of being compared to his dad, but having recently read "IT" by Stephen King I can not resist. I mentioned in that review that even though King throws a lot weird stuff and mean monsters at you, it's all just cover, to introduce you to some great flawed characters that you fall in love with. Hill has lots of weird things and mean scary monsters, but he mostly builds characters. You are scared, not because of the monsters, but because you don't want anything bad to happen to the people you have fallen in love with. All though I am not sure that I like the fact that in the book "It" you learn to hate clowns and then Hill ruins Christmas in this novel.

    The bad guy is described as a bald Keith Richards with big blue veins covering his bald head. You learn in this book that: The blood of a red headed woman is three degrees colder then a normal woman. A cop does not want to pin a murder on the Gingerbread Man, cause word on the street is "You can't catch the gingerbread man".

    Warning: The main difference between Hill and King, is that Hill uses very foul language, a lot worse then his dad would think of and if you read Heart-Shaped Box then you know that Hill is fixated on Blow J@@s. I hate to sound chauvinistic, but the stuff that comes out of the mouths of the women in this book made me cringe. I grew up around foul language and have worked around over the road truck drivers most of my life. If you were alright with Heart-Shaped box then you will be okay with this. Like I said I loved both books.

    I hate nepotism, so I am in the position to dislike this author, but the talent of Joe Hill can not be denied. I have all his books in First Edition and plan on collecting everything he writes.

    Now if you are not tired of me gushing like a little girl, let me remark on the narrator. I am in total awe of Kate Mulgrew. If you have read the hardback, you still want to get this audio. Nobody could have done a better job. She even does male voices better then some males. I am hoping like Muller and King were, so will be the team of Hill and Mulgrew. I don't know what they paid her but it was not enough.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 12-19-14
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 12-19-14 Member Since 2010

    MTF

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    "Too familiar territory"

    I got this book because I have enjoyed many Stephen King novels, and this story seemed similar. The first 15 minutes were great, and then I quickly grew bored. What makes many Stephen King books so good is the way the reader cares about everyday people before the creepiness and supernatural kick in. Thirty years ago, I may have liked this, but I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I had read this before, and I quit halfway through the first part. The novel was too long for me to wait and hope it picked up. Maybe it did, but I didn't care to wait.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S MA 09-04-14
    John S MA 09-04-14 Member Since 2014

    Avid audible listener for over 10 years.

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    "Great alternative to Stephen King"

    I know that my title might be a down put for Joe Hill, but it is not. King has the "brand" recognition for this genre of supernatural. I would rate this book with the best of any King novel. Again maybe the comparisons are not fair, but for this review they are because you will know hat you are getting. We have time/space shifting, people who seem to be immortal, ghosts, and freaky kids. Aka Carrie. It makes for great fun and a good listen. My only complaint is that the heroine seems to sustain grievous bodily harm time and time again and keeps on going. Good fun with not to be expected ending.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Minor Indiana/USA 04-26-14
    P. Minor Indiana/USA 04-26-14 Member Since 2003
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    "Modern day adult Grimm's fairy tale!"

    The only reason I didn't give this book a 5 star is that I several times stopped listening to do other things and really didn't want to come back to it. The supernatural just isn't my cup of tea and I didn't care much how it ended. That said, Kate Mulgrew's performance was so outstanding that I did keep coming back to it and she got me through it. The story was good, I guess, for the subject matter. Well written but even better performed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    whatcanido4321 01-14-14
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    "Great Story- AWFUL Narration"
    How could the performance have been better?

    A different reader. I am sorry to say the reader really spoiled the story experience. She added too much of her own inflection in the reading of character parts, and her voices were horrible.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story, horrible reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean YUKON, OK, United States 01-02-14
    Sean YUKON, OK, United States 01-02-14 Member Since 2011
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    "A gripping tale, but terrible narration."

    Joe Hill might be edging his dad out in the creepy story genre.

    This story was weird, crazy, eerie, and disturbing. I loved the concept of In-scapes and the characters Hill introduces here. If you like Stephen King, this is right up your alley. The little crossovers between the Hill and King universes are fun for veterans and newcomers alike.

    In regards to narration, I'm not sure why Joe Hill enjoys Kate Mulgrew so much. Her performance was dumpy, homespun, and grating. I fought through Part One; I struggled to concentrate on the story while actively ignoring how dopey the "voices" sound. Vic and Charlie Manx aren't really bad, but Lou, Wayne, Vic's parents, Maggie, the numerous extras, etc. all sound like awful Fargo imitators. Her "Bing" voice, in particular, felt like she was trying to imitate Patrick from Spongebob while simultaneously doing her best Lenny voice from Of Mice and Men. Based on this book, I'd never listen to another Kate Mulgrew performance if I could help it.

    If can you bear Mulgrew's performance, the payoff is a great story and a fascinating universe I'm eager to see more of.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 12-19-13
    Richard 12-19-13
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    "Hard to listen to"
    Would you try another book from Joe Hill and/or Kate Mulgrew?

    Joe Hill: Yes Kate Mulgrew: Absolutely not


    How could the performance have been better?

    Stop overacting and making everyone sound like a dolt.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barb Navarre, OH, United States 12-13-13
    Barb Navarre, OH, United States 12-13-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poor narration"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The voices used by the narrator were disturbing and made it difficult to continue to listen. If the story hadn't been so intriguing I would not have been able to complete the book. I would have enjoyed it better if the narrator had simply read the book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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