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)
Audible is better than TV
At first I was put off of this book because Hill is the son of Stephen King. This was because I thought he would probably be a fair writer, but he was only published because of his father. I was wrong, and if this is a thought of yours as well you are wrong.
Hill develops characters as well as his father, and his imagination that he puts on paper is wonderful. It is my belief that Hill has the tighter prose when a comparison is made with his father's writing. I am a fan of King so this is a compliment.
Kate Mulgrew did a great job narrating the book. Her emotional tone was spot on and drew me into the story without distraction. So why did I rate the performance at only 3 stars? It may be too low of a rating, but I found her male voices to be fairly weak and poorly differentiated. This may be typical of a female reader. This is the first time I have listened to a female reader that did both male and female voiced. After I listen to more female readers I will probably grow just as antiquated with females reading male parts as I am with males reading female parts. I have just talked myself into changing the 3 stars to 4. I would listen to Ms. Mulgrew read more stories.
I will get the rest of Mr. Hill's books and short stories. This was a fun and original piece of fantasy that is perfect to read during the Christmas season. If you like King you will like Hill at least as much. I actually liked Hill's book a bit more than his fathers current offerings.
I did not care for her narration found her voice characters annoying.
none, never made it out of the first section. Bounced around way to much with the narration just didn't hold my interest.
I thought this book needed a good editor - things dragged on a little too long and the middle dragged too far from the heart of the story i.e. the ongoing relationships between those who can cut through reality to thoughts (Vic, Mags, Charlie). I did like that heart of the story, but Hill's writing suffers too much from excessive and unnecessary scatological and juvenile language (including all the swearing, which is a significant amount). His father had a tendency to lean a little too far that way, but either he has a better editor or enough self control to rein it in (and enough talent in other places to make it tolerable). This is the first book I listened to that was narrated by Kate Mulgrew, and she did a terrific job with all the characters.
Unable to get interested in the characters. The narration was great, but book just couldnt' hold my attention.
NOS4A2 is a well-written book and the narration is superb. But I couldn't finish it, had to stop with about 4 hours remaining, I just didn't really care about any of the characters enough to have to know how it ends. The very beginning was excellent, downright terrifying. But I didn't encounter that degree of creepiness again. Even the very suspenseful sections didn't really grip me. I confess I don't listen to this genre much so I may not be representative, clearly this book has gotten lots of rave reviews and if you are a horror fan I wouldn't discount those reviews. I'm disappointed that I didn't love the book more, I was hoping for a good scare for Halloween. With 4 hours remaining it just felt like it was losing steam rather than gathering it.
Couldn't finish it so can't comment on the ending.
She did a fantastic job. Her performance definitely helped shape the characters.
The writing is good enough that I would check out other books by the same author, definitely will check out books by the same narrator.
So many outstanding reviews for this book. It is not for me. I did think the artist did a wonderful job with the various voices, but the story matters. I was disappointed. Thank goodness you have a return policy. J.Gilbert
The narrator had a good command of the various voices.
Kate Mulgrew's performance was great!
Charlie and Bing were some creepy dudes. Very effective.
Joe Hill certainly has a similar style as his dad, but he retains his own voice. Good stuff, I say!
There is so much to like about the story... Joe Hill's characters seemed like real, flawed people. AND the little easter-egg nods to his father were fun!
She seemed to understand the characters. Perhaps it is the actress in her, but she is able to differentiate characters for the listener just with an accent or tone so that you can tell who is speaking. Sometimes dialogue between characters can be confusing and I don't know who is saying what, but Kate Mulgrew made it much easier to follow. My only minor criticism was the way she used the word "Dude." One of the characters uses the word frequently and the way it is read is not how I would imagine it being used in a conversation... but like I said, it is a MINOR criticism. Overall I think she did a terrific job!
Take a trip to Christmas Land! Be sure to pack your gas mask!
Be sure to listen all the way through to the credits or you will miss the hidden ending. Or is it a new beginning???
Joe Hill, who as it turns out is the son of Stephen King, has outdone dear old dad in this one. I have always loved King books and this rivals the best. Joe has a real talent for creative imagery much like his father and this story is a nailbiter and real treat. Even if you are not a King fan this is one of the best reads around.
Chilling, heart-pounding gold
Kate Mulgrew has a way of changing her voice with each character, changing even the tone of the narration until you're deep in that character's mind, feeling their pulse pounding in your veins with every moment that passes.
I have not, but I love her acting. She's phenomenal as Captain Janeway in Star Trek Voyager, as Red in OITNB, and as Jane Lattimer in Warehouse 13. I knew I had to listen to this story and I don't regret it for a second.
Tabitha Hutter. I love that despite her status as an FBI agent, she was able to sense that there was truth in Vic and Lou's story and tried to give them a chance. She's a geek, she's smart, and she seems pretty awesome.
I knew I wanted to read this, based on the summary and the reviews, but the second I saw that Kate Mulgrew was reading it I had to listen. The story is compelling on its own but I don't think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much as I did, would not have been as immersed in the story as I was, without her voice in my ears, telling it to me. It's a screwed up, terrifying horror story, I knew it would be, but every moment of adrenaline pounding anxiety was worth it.
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