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)
The second half of the book. The characters developed and the story was more engaging.
Already have: The Heart Shaped Box (loved it!)
The intensity at the end when Vic was trying to save her son kept me on the edge of my seat.
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.)
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.
Great Story, compelling for all 19 hours.
It is sort of like "It", but much better.
I listen to a lot of books and KATE MULREW is the best I have ever heard.
horrific, horrific, horrific
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.
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
yes, it sure was
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)
I am a writer who loves reading.
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.
I'd say NOS4A2 is probably the leading audiobook I've listened to so far.
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.
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.
Christmas Land. Maybe that's too obvious of a renaming though?
Im a busy Mama, always on the go! Lover of historical fiction and Sci fi horror.
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.
Excellent .. from beginning to end!
LOVED the ending!
Kate Mulgrew's voices were chilling - amazing reader!
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.
I don't have the print version, so I cannot comment on it. However, I will say that Kate Mulgrew's reading of this book is one of my all time favorites. Ms. Mulgrew caught the essence of each of the characters effortlessly and and brilliantly. I hope to see more readings from her in the future and would listen to anything she has recorded. Her accents were interesting and switching from male to female was also flawless. She really gave a true audio performance.
The book itself was very, very enjoyable. The characters were those with human struggles in very unusual circumstances. I liked the theme of the book of both living in one's creative thoughts and the human world which all of us do. It was one of the few books that I really did not want to out down! It's also nice and long, which I enjoy. I didn't want it to end.
And kudos to Mr. Hill for writing a believable and touching story about a woman and motherhood.
I had previously read Joe Hill's story- " Horns", but enjoyed this book much more.
She had so much courage and mother energy even though she didn't so much have a model for how to be a great mom.
Bing, Bing, you malevolent thing! Ms.Mulgrew captured the childlike qualities of this crazy man but also his evilness. Loved it!
Lou. He had a big role to Olay and was s loving and supportive under ver chalking times.
Go read it!
The heroin Vic, starts her story as a young girl with the dream bike we all wanted in one way or another. Her imagination becomes a form of reality and her adventures bring the reader right back to their days of adventure out on their bikes as kids. The supernatural elements are well done and believable, and nothing is over done. It is a story of adventure, redemption, and heroism that exists in many forms.
While the main character, Vic, has the spotlight, Lou was my favorite. He calls everybody "dude", and is one of those extremely nice people who you root for throughout the story. He is a hero in his own right in all of the ways a good parent can be.
The voices and expression were very well done. She does a great voice for our evil Charlie Manx and the stammering Maggie Lee. She even pulls off a convincing Boston accent without missing a beat. I am and audiobook addict, and this is one of the best narrators I have encountered.
There are moments of laughter and moments that tug at the heart strings, but again, nothing was overdone. I would recommend not listening to the third part alone in the dark, however.
For a long novel, the story is so well done that it holds the reader's attention throughout without the dry spots or dredging unneeded details. This is my first book by this author, but it wont be my last.
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