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NOS4A2 Audiobook

NOS4A2: A Novel

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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

4.2 (7528 )
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  •  
    Lynne 01-13-14
    Lynne 01-13-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gratuitously Negative"
    What would have made NOS4A2 better?

    Careful editing might have reduced the slow pace of the story. It dragged out needlessly, sometimes seeming to imitate Stephen King's style, but without success.


    What was most disappointing about Joe Hill’s story?

    Gratuitous obscenities. Gratuitous vulgarity. Gratuitous violence. It was as though the author set out to decide what behavior and images would be most repulsive, sickening, offensive, disgusting, or distasteful and, then, put it all into his book. The fantasy was not fantastic--it was unrelenting nightmare.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Kate Mulgrew?

    Yes. The narrator was not the problem. The problem was the story and the author's conception.


    What character would you cut from NOS4A2?

    The whole book is flawed, and so are the characters. Even the main character was not a particularly pleasant person. Normally, that would not bother me. I've read many dark books with dark characters. But this one offers no relief from ignorance and bad judgment.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Cuayhoga Falls, OH, United States 12-09-13
    Jennifer Cuayhoga Falls, OH, United States 12-09-13 Member Since 2017

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Buy it!!"

    You know those audio books that you love so much that you start writing the glowing review in your head while doing crunches at the gym when you've barely reached part 2? The kind of book that has you lowering your headphones and casting a withering glare for only the most dire of interruptions?? The kind you finish in record time, pausing only to bathe and even then skipping conditioner and all but the major body parts??? Well this is that book, and if you enjoy nerd humor, awesome characters, a seriously creepy narrator and an even creepier Christmas madman then buy it!!- and listen allllll the way to the end....

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 05-17-16
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 05-17-16
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    "Slowly Sets Solid Supernatural Santaland Story"

    Kate Mulgrew did an awesome job on the narration of this book. It took a long time for me to accept the Christmas land premise and I kept listening to what seemed like an average book idea by an above average writer on the strength of her recitation skills. If you show some patience and allow the foundation for the book to get firmly laid down there is the payoff of a rip roaring horror adventure.

    Sometimes most of a book is great but the ending is a let down. That is not the case in this finely crafted book by Joe Hill. I am now encouraged to listen to another tale from this author.

    (Sorry about all the S’s in the review title… must be a leftover effect from experiencing an unsettling supernatural tale.)

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason 01-13-16
    Jason 01-13-16
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    "Never mind the cover art"

    At first I was a bit put off by the title (and even the cover art) thankfully my interest in the story line overrode my predilections and I purchased it. Really glad I did! Now, I'm no fan of obscenities, but there are a few in this book and I must say that of all I've heard that didn't need the foul language or over did it, this book carried it well and frankly would have been missing something without it.
    Honest review here so listen up. This guy, Joe Hill, he's a master. I'm no writer so I can't really describe just how good he is, but it wasn't like reading or even listening to a story. It was like living it. Like... I don't know but it was fantastic! And Kate, Oh man! Her narration has truly set the high bar. I had not heard her narrate before so let me say, there's a new standard to which I hold narrators to and its Kate Mulgrew!You don't want to miss this.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Kalamazoo, MI, United States 12-07-15
    Douglas Kalamazoo, MI, United States 12-07-15 Member Since 2016

    Full time in the Arts Industry Addicted to Audiobooks of all kinds...

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    "Excellent"

    This one was like curling up with an old friend and a cup of hot cocoa, then realizing they plan to kill you...

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    liz New York, NY United States 02-23-15
    liz New York, NY United States 02-23-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Haunting"

    Gripping, imaginative, chilling book. You know a horror story has gotten under your skin when it makes you a tiny bit afraid of your own small children!

    The reading by Kate Mulgrew is unbelievable. Possibly the best audiobook performance I've ever heard and I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks.

    There is a fun little reference to listen for if you've read Hill's other work, and that of his father. I love meta-references and appreciate the thematic connection this one draws between many different works.

    1 of 4 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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-10-13 Listener Since 2007

    bargain hunter

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    "Painful to listen"
    What made the experience of listening to NOS4A2 the most enjoyable?

    Good book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Let me ask the producers a question; why this reader?


    Would you be willing to try another one of Kate Mulgrew’s performances?

    I believe such a fate awaits me in hell, so I'm going all in for Jesus... In a word, no.


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

    Nosferatu


    Any additional comments?

    Kate Mulgrew makes every character sound like a 60 year old, washed up, drunk lounge singer. Something of the drunk Mrs. Krabappel.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Wilmington, DE, United States 08-30-13
    Elizabeth Wilmington, DE, United States 08-30-13 Member Since 2016
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    "A waring to natives of Massachusetts"

    I love both Joe Hill and Kate Mulgrew so this book seemed like it would be prefect, right? And it was close to perfect but I couldn’t get over the way Kate Mulgrew said the town name Haverhill (It is Hav’-ril not Have-er-hill)I don’t normally review the audio-books I listen to but it actuly bothered me enough that every time she said it I was pulled out of the story. I figured that people who may be local to MA should know before hand.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darren Oshawa, ON, Canada 08-12-13
    Darren Oshawa, ON, Canada 08-12-13
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    "Not for me."

    The writing and the performance seemed juvenile. Only the 3rd book I have ever started and not finished. And I gave Joe Hill's Horns 5 stars. This one just seemed wrong on too many levels. Most importantly, the character development was just not there. Did not care about any character nor where the plot was going.

    Seems like I'm in the minority with my opinion on this one.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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