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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 (3798 )
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4.3 (3523 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Wilson St. Petersburg, FL, United States 06-05-13
    Wilson St. Petersburg, FL, United States 06-05-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Still hasn't Duplicated "Heart Shaped Box""

    Hill plays with some interesting ideas but it never gets that, on the edge of your seat sense of desperation he achieved in "Heart Shaped Box". Its still worth a listen, but I keep hoping he will get back there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Brantford, ON, Canada 06-04-13
    Sharon Brantford, ON, Canada 06-04-13 Member Since 2010

    Please contact me if you find Stephen King, Catherine Cookson, Joe Hill, any good horror books.

    ratings
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    21
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    "VERY GOOD ENTAIRTAINMENT!"
    Where does NOS4A2 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I think it rates an 8.


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

    Yes. She read one of Ray Bradbury stories. She has an ability of really making you believe you're actually seeing the children.


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

    Same as the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I don' tknow if you can ever top 'Heart shaped Box' Joe. But this was a winner also!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert A. Goldberg Wayne, NJ United States 06-04-13
    Robert A. Goldberg Wayne, NJ United States 06-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Joe Hill at his finest, but not the right narrator"
    Would you try another book from Joe Hill and/or Kate Mulgrew?

    I love Joe Hill's writing but I cannot recommend any books narrated by Kate Mulgrew. There was no characterization beyond Charlie Manx, with all females sounding the same and all males sounding like a bad John Wayne imitation.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-04-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "GREAT IN EVERY WAY!"
    What made the experience of listening to NOS4A2 the most enjoyable?

    I am very torn as to whether the narration or the writing was the better part of this recipe, but the fact is that they are both so darn good,that they make one of those things where the " is greater than the parts". Unbeatable job on both ends.


    What other book might you compare NOS4A2 to and why?

    Even if I had no idea who the authors were, I would clearly see that NOS4A2 has really strong parallels to The Talisman, by Stephen King. They are both dealing with double worlds, a gifted young person on an inner and outer quest. NOS4A2 is definitely much darker and scary as heck, though!


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

    She has such a talent, a good narrator can take an okay story and make it really good, but in this case, we got a great narrator and a great book and they made each other really something much more than you could get by reading alone.


    Who was the most memorable character of NOS4A2 and why?

    Really, Hills characters are vey well realized and he got a remarkable gift from dad in the way he can make you really FEEL a situation. I'd have to say that I'd pick Charlie Manx as most memorable though. He was creepy as hell, and Mulgrews voice for him just gouged out a place in my brain for him. Scary dude! (The Wraith HAS to go along with Manx as part of his character, as they are really inseparable when thinking of one or the other!)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronny Purvis, MS, United States 06-03-13
    Ronny Purvis, MS, United States 06-03-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "NOS4A2 Showed me my bridge"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Where are you the most safe in this world? I would say in your own mind. Joe Hill took this thought and shook us all up with his newest book NOS4A2.

    From the beginning of the book to the very end I was spellbound by this young girl that grew into a woman who traveled the world of her mind to the real world using a bridge that was long gone. After her son is kidnapped by a man who sucks the life out of children and keeps them in his own world inside his mind called Christmas Land, this woman struggles to keep her grip around reality while using her bridge one more time to find her son and bring him home.

    This book is full of characters you will love on many levels and even identify with. I think on some level we would all love to escape inside our minds...we all long for a " shorter way " if you will.


    What other book might you compare NOS4A2 to and why?

    NOS4A2 Is not a book I would compare with any other. It truly is an original. ( or at least to me it is )


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

    Hands down Maggie Leigh. You can't help but to love her stammer and all.


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

    Absolutely, I am actually listening to it again now


    Any additional comments?

    If you are wondering about this book, take me advice. TAKE A CHANCE. Worst case scenario you can always return it...but I dont believe you will. I believe you too will find your bridge...your shorter way. Can you find the Wraith?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Sodus, NY, United States 06-02-13
    Amazon Customer Sodus, NY, United States 06-02-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Surprise"

    When I started listening I was afraid I would be too frightened to continue. Instead I got sucked into the story. I found myself wishing I could listen at work or when there were other things I had to do. I chuckled at times, laughed out loud and I even cried. Great book with an amazing narrator!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Nauvoo, AL, United States 06-02-13
    Robert Nauvoo, AL, United States 06-02-13 Member Since 2010
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    "One of the best I've listened to"
    Would you listen to NOS4A2 again? Why?

    Absolutely.. It's a long book, but it was so enjoyable and I love, love. love the reader- Mrs.Kate Mulgrew.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story made me love, care, and hate the characters- just the right amount of information and backstory - the emotions came out of the reader's words - I found myself longing to hear more, hating to have to stop the story and looking forward to listen again.


    What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

    The way her voice carried the emotion and painted a perfect picture of the cast of characters, the way she transitioned locations- perfect reader for this story.


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

    YES!!!! It's quite a book to listen to- almost twenty hours- but it never left me cold or wanting the story to pick up.


    Any additional comments?

    It's been a while since an audio book has grabbed me and satisfied me the way this have. It has restored a lull in my love for audio books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua G Mrazek St. Paul, MN United States 06-01-13
    Joshua G Mrazek St. Paul, MN United States 06-01-13 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    "Rich, engaging, and powerful"
    Would you listen to NOS4A2 again? Why?

    I will definitely listen to NOS4A2 again. It's a great story, and Kate Mulgrew nails every single character perfectly.


    What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

    Kate Mulgrew voices all the characters differently, and perfectly captures each of them. I'm still freaked out by her Charles Manx.


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

    I don't usually shout while I'm listening to audiobooks, but I was on the edge of my seat for most of this listen. I had two or three very loud "Oh no, no no no!" moments.


    Any additional comments?

    I feel like this was a real team effort. Joe Hill wrote an excellent, engaging story and Kate Mulgrew did a masterful reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 06-01-13
    Sarah 06-01-13
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    "The book that's gotten me hooked on Joe Hill"

    The genius of this book is in its characters. They are all flawed, some of them broken, most beyond repair. Joe Hill is an absolute GENIUS at creating despicable characters and then insidiously forcing you to like, sympathize with, and even sometimes root for the villains. Also, it's clear that the author has a deep understanding of mental illness, and that makes his characters all the more believable.

    When I began listening I was (a) really turned off by the narrator's shrill voice, and (b) annoyed by the seemingly cheesy stereotypical villain and his completely, disgustingly repulsive sidekick. However, when I got further into the book I got used to the narrator's voice and began to appreciate her dramatization skills, and realized that Charlie Manx is NOT what he seems. The "theory" behind this book - "inscapes" - is endlessly fascinating and I wish the story had explored that aspect more, but i hear that Hill has explored it in his other works.

    The heroine of the book begins as a girl, but when she grows up, the story really takes off. For the last 2/3 of the book, I didn't want my commute to end because I wanted so badly to keep listening. For what it's worth, if I was to do it again I would buy the PDF because there are parts of the book I would have liked to refer back to, and some excellent artwork and other fun style choices.

    Right after I finished reading the book I felt like I was emerging from a movie theater. I immediately went out and bought Heart-Shaped Box - which I didn't like as much as NOS4A2. It's a very different vibe, and it really shows the versatility of Hill's abilities.

    A+!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jcs 06-01-13
    jcs 06-01-13
    ratings
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    47
    3
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    "Joe Should Stick to Short Stories"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I listen during my work commute. It was better than news, disasters, and politics...


    What was most disappointing about Joe Hill’s story?

    Joe always starts off strong, and has some interesting story ideas. His work just always finishes flat for me.


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

    Decent narration. The characters could get rather annoying at times, but that was a function of repetition from the author and not the fault of the narrator.


    Did NOS4A2 inspire you to do anything?

    It inspired me to stop buying Joe Hill books, and just reread 20th Century Ghosts every few years instead.


    Any additional comments?

    This book seemed like a hodgepodge of ideas pulled from the shelf of his father's writing. To me it just came off as mashup of Pennywise, Christine, and the Dark Tower -- with some more vintage King tossed in to try to make Christmas creepy. I love a good scary story, but this one just had me shrugging my shoulders and rolling my eyes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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