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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 (4083 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Martha Trupiano 06-24-13

    Listening while working on the farm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow what a book"
    What did you love best about NOS4A2?

    The reader was superb and added so much to the book. The book itself with its twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat. It was really scary!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra smithfield, NC, USA 06-23-13
    Debra smithfield, NC, USA 06-23-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
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    "Wonderful, warped and creepy!"
    Any additional comments?

    It's impossible not to compare Hill to his father. This book was right up there with King's and maybe even better. His attention to detail is awesome! The narrator is fabulous and does creepy voices better than any other I have heard! It is a story of the real world vs. the imaginative world of thoughts and how powerful that second world can be. If you are a fan of the King genre, you will love this!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Badger 06-19-13
    J. Badger 06-19-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    11
    3
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    "Good story-Incredible narrator"
    What did you love best about NOS4A2?

    I listened to NOS4A2 without any idea of who Joe Hill is but early on I thought how similar the story is to Stephen King's work. Not in a plagirisim way but in the tone that permeates the novel. For me, calling your child heroine "the Brat" for example, is pure King. I was very delighted at the end to find out that the author is in fact the son of Stephen King. I think he does King proud. Joe Hill is good writer in his own right. He is good at characterization and he writes with heart. By the end of the book you really care about the major characters which is no small accomplishment. I wasn't crazy about the plot and don't think it is completely original but it held my interest due to my caring for the characters and due to an incredibly good narration by Kate Mulgrew. This is one of the finest pieces of narration I have heard since I started listening to audio books twenty years or so ago. I don't know that I found the story that scary but it was a great listening experience all the same.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narrator and the characters.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Couldn't say without a spoiler.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Lusby, Maryland, United States 06-17-13
    Amazon Customer Lusby, Maryland, United States 06-17-13 Member Since 2013

    Voracious reader. Mom. Wife. IT Grrrl.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Killer narration of a great sprawling story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of NOS4A2 to be better than the print version?

    I haven't gotten to read the print version yet; I have it on hold from the library. When I get and complete it, I'll edit this to update.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the story of Vic, because she was more than just a fluff filler character. Especially how she felt about Lou, and Wayne. She seemed more complex and fleshed out than you'd expect a character in a horror novel to be.


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

    I haven't; and initially (based on the sample available from Audible) I wasn't sure I'd like her performance. However, her portrayal of Charlie Manx and Vic were *amazing*. Her other voices were good, but those two stuck with me. I am going to track down other titles she has narrated and give them a try, just based on her performance in this book. No spoilers, but at the end? Total chills based on the way she did it!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian M. Burkhart Greenville, SC, United States 06-15-13
    Brian M. Burkhart Greenville, SC, United States 06-15-13 Member Since 2015

    I have been an Audible subscriber since Jan 2001!!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I kept thinking "Man just like Steven King"..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of NOS4A2 to be better than the print version?

    I think the performance helped this story. It was like a campfire story. I listened straight through and kept finding reasons to drive more in order to listen to it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The pounding sickness of Christmas Land and it's intent will make me think of this book for sometime to come. Child abductions are bad enough but this horror overtone really brings it out. The bad guys are truly loathsome and the good guys are true heroes. I saw a car like this one soon after finishing the read and took a wide berth around it.


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

    Kate Mulgrew's performance was excellent. I had not heard her narrate before but knew her from other work.


    Who was the most memorable character of NOS4A2 and why?

    Of course the main character. She is a genuine heroine - flawed, imperfect - but memorable and you pull for her throughout.


    Any additional comments?

    The pseudonym through me. I kept thinking this sounds just like Steven King, I wonder why he doesn't write anymore, then looked Joe Hill up on Wikipedia. Ha, I felt like a fool! But so what. What an AWESOME book. Thank you Joe!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 06-14-13
    Paul 06-14-13 Member Since 2002

    Radio Broadcaster for 50 years in the National Radio Hall of Fame and Texas Radio Hall of Fame twice . Live in San Diego from Holyoke Mass.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Awesomely creepy, funny and sad"
    Would you listen to NOS4A2 again? Why?

    yes, Story was captivating and creepy, like watching a train wreck!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Cant say it would give story away


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

    Both


    Any additional comments?

    I thought Joe Hill did a great job, well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barc2003 Glendale, AZ, United States 06-14-13
    barc2003 Glendale, AZ, United States 06-14-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Average tale told by a wonderful performer"

    I've heard Joe Hill compared to Stephen King so I had high expectations. While I don't feel this book measures up to King's it is a good story in its own right. When a mentally fragile woman claims son is taken by her childhood bogey man, the FBI wonders if she is the culprit. It doesn't help that they bogey man is dead and she can only tell a portion of the truth to avoid being carted off to the loony bin.

    I loved, loved, loved listening to Kate Mulgrew.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    diane 06-13-13
    diane 06-13-13

    graphic & fine artist

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "creepier than expected"

    Fantastic delivery by Kate Mulgrew! Really impressive - I didnt know she was such a good narrator!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Berg Concord, CA United States 06-13-13
    E. Berg Concord, CA United States 06-13-13

    eric1966

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Errors ruined the story"
    Any additional comments?

    The serious factual errors ruined the book for me. The anesthetic Sevoflurane plays a major role in the plot. Sevoflurane is non-flammable, but yet the book insists its flammable and a major plot twist is dependent on a sevoflurane related fire.

    Once the impossible non-flammable compressed gas cylinder of sevoflurane is turned into a flame thrower, the flame magically is sucked into the cylinder and blows it up. another physical impossibility. There is no oxygen inside the cylinder, so no combustion will occur within it. As the flame approaches the cylinder, the upper flammable limit is exceeded and the flame will not propagate closer to the cylinder. The author has no idea how a BLEVE cylinder explosion occurs.

    Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil (ANFO) is a very insensitive explosive. Even a blasting cap will not set it off. It needs a class 1.1 detonator. Yet in this book, a timer from home depot is used to set it off.

    Why was the author so lazy as to not research some simple basic facts related to compressed gases, explosives, and fire? I have read a lot of his father's book and never ran into similar problems. Even in those books I disliked. If the author is so ignorant and cannot be bothered to do basic research, then the author should just make up fake names for substances, to make it slightly believable.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia 06-13-13
    Cynthia 06-13-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disturbing but Couldn't Put It Down"

    Kate Mulgrew was the perfect narrator. She embodied all of the characters perfectly. This is an incredible, spooky, disturbing story with a great, flawed heroine. I listened every moment that I could; I intended to make my next selection something light or classic, but I just downloaded Joyland by Stephen King. Summer nightmares here I come.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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