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....
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
"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)
Joe Hill, maybe. Horns was OK. Kate Mulgrew, heck no. She was absolutely awful. Apparently everyone but the narrator is either a raspy old man OR a drunk Sarah Palin impersonator hopped up on ecstasy.
No. It's just not that good. It's weirdly written with the strange breaks, Vic isn't a character to root for and the plot is contrived. I just didn't like it, at all.
Anyone, dear God anyone. She was awful. Her narration voice is fine, pleasant in fact, but her characters were just atrocious. Her Bing was so bad I wanted to drive off the road.
It's scary, it's haunting, and Hill does a pretty good job with the imagery, especially the characterization of the children.
Not worth a credit.
Being a short story. There's not enough meat for 18 hours.
He likes to dwell on a scene, telling it from every vantage point possible, over and over. Just get on with it!
I think he's a very poor man's Stephen King. He's got some twisted ideas, but the delivery is lacking.
Audiobook review. Initial observation is that this story is too long, close to twenty hours. Seems to be a legacy this author has inherited, a family trait as Joe Hill’s father is Stephen King. Fortunately, another element inherited is that Joe Hill can tell a good story. NOS4A2 is a page turner, albeit you’ll be tempted to fast-forward through some areas. If you look for meaning behind the title, it’s a stretch. There are no vampires. Just a really bad guy who drives a fancy antique car with the license plate NOS4A2. Synopsis: Victoria (Vic) grows into a troubled woman with the continued childhood ability to transport herself through a covered bridge to adventures that ultimately result in the abduction and eventual rescue of her son from the devious Charlie Manx. There is a credibility issue with regard to the number of times Vic is stabbed, beaten, broken, bloodied, etc., and in the next paragraph or chapter is again a super-wonder-woman. There is a bit of author-trying-to-hard to make the story and family legacy of ‘horror’ carry forth in NOS4A2, a bit over the top with purple prose meant to chill that I found myself rolling my eyes at…just me.The star of this production is the narrator. Absolutely bringing truth to the axiom that a good narrator can turn a so-so production into a true pleasure. Totally out of character for the captain of a starship, i.e., tsk-tsk with that potty-mouth, Janeway. But, boo-ya to Kate Mulgrew, great job.
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.
Great story, horrible reader.
The narrator did a great job with this story that i find believable. This is a horror story definitely and it gave me chills with the children but enjoyable. This reminds of stephen king or dean Koontz. I will spend another credit this authors way for sure.
I would compare somewhat to Stephen Kings IT. The imagination of bridging into other worlds that are intertwined thru pure thought and childish horrific imaginations brings this comparison.
The scene nearer the end at the HERE library, and wayne trying so hard to warn adults but being unable to get thru the veil of un empathetic glee in the face of Maggie's pain.
I would like to take out VIck to see the Search engine books.
This was advertised as others have bought this. I took the chance and have a new favorite author:)
This book would have been better if the heroine would have been at least a likeable person. As a child, she was terrific, but as an adult, she was a foul-mouthed, disagreeable individual with a huge chip on her shoulder. Yeah, yeah, she had to deal with Charlie Manx from the time she was a kid, but the author needed to give me somebody to root for. He did not.
No more Joe Hill. This is the second of his books I have read, and I just don't care for his characters. I don't like any of them as people, so I don't much care what happens to them.
Kate Mulgrew may be a fine narrator, but this book didn't prove it to me. I hated many of the characters' voices--from Charlie Manx to Bing to the stuttering librarian. I wondered every time I tried to get through another chapter if the narrator ended up damaging her throat by the last chapter. Nothing Charlie did to Vic was any worse than the torture inflicted on my ears listening to this.
Note to the author: You can only describe so many horrific, nightmarish scenes before they become routine, even boring. Suspense is the key, not gross.
It is the very rare occasion for me when I absolutely have no interest in finishing a book--particularly when I have paid for it. This was the first Audible book I did not finish; it just got to the point where I dreaded turning my iPod on to listen to it. It finally clicked with me that I was not reading (listening) for pleasure, so what was the point?
I picked up this book after reading that it gave Dr. Sleep a run for best Audible of the year. I had just finished Dr. Sleep and had been satisfied. There were a few more "tidbits" that intrigued me enough try this book, including who the author was, who narrated the piece, that it was 19 hours long and that it might leave me feeling about Christmas the way Pennywise left me feeling about Clowns. Somehow this year, that seemed just right!
I'm a constant reader and I went into this novel with a fair amount of trepidation or at least reservation based on that fact alone. I admit now there was no need. 4 hours in I phoned a friend and said - "you must download this book. You may not google the author." Upon conclusion we both felt exactly the same way about the book.
I can't help but make the comparisons and, frankly I think they were all but invited. When the Author himself invokes pennywise and mid-world, (to name two of many) it is difficult to see how he can rebuff a review noting the obvious from a constant reader. My review is that this is a well crafted and spun story told in a style which felt very familiar and as beloved as my favorite pair of sneakers.
I'll go on to say that the attn to detail is as dead on - I think even greater perhaps than the early King. I feel as if no drop of blood went unaccounted for. I found myself on a couple of occasions wanting to take the headphones off for a particularly brutal scene, but was so compelled by the story that I could not miss a single moment.
I had listened earlier in the year to The Son, which Kate is one of three narrators of. I thoroughly enjoyed her reading there, and even more so here. She captured Manx perfectly and made him even more scary.
Kudos Joseph King, Kudos!
The twists and turns. Easy to follow but not at all predictable
Maggie was one of my favorites. She was trying to help but the more she tried the more she sacrificed. A true friend, motherly yet not motherly at all
I was impressed by her vocal abilities. I must admit I avoid female narrators as they usually do not have the male voice down and just change the tone. Kate was excellent, her characters voices were easily identified by the accent or masking. She did an excellent job of Vic, Maggie and especially Wayne and Charlie. I would listen. To her again.
Yes, if I could have but then again, I didn't want it to end
We'll written but not surprised. Joe Hill was recommended to be years ago with Heart Shaped Box! Excellent read as well
Kate Mulgrew MADE this book. From the first moment I heard her voice I was hooked. I rarely listen to books outside of my car (I commute a lot) but I found myself listening to it whenever I had a free moment. Not only was the story unique and compelling, but Ms. Mulgrew breathed a life into each character that is rarely heard from other actors. I was quickly and eagerly fulled into Joe Hill's world of inscapes and dreams. It's hard to talk about the book without giving anything away, but if enjoy suspense, the supernatural, and strong willful characters then this book is for you.
This book was really out of my genre, so I can't recommend anything.
You can't ask that. It's like picking a favorite child!
Charlie. Yes he's a psychopathic killer, but there's something very moral about him in a sick way.
Kate really needs to do more voice work!!
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