Summer. Massachusetts. An old Silver Wraith with a frightening history. A story about one serial killer and his lingering, unfinished business. Anyone could be next. We're going to Christmasland…
NOS4A2 is an old-fashioned horror novel in the best sense. Claustrophobic, gripping and terrifying, this is a story that will have you on the edge of the seat while you read, and leaving the lights on while you sleep. With the horrific tale of Charles Manx and his Silver Wraith, Joe Hill has established himself as the premiere horror and supernatural thriller writer of his generation.
©2013 Joe Hill (P)2013 Orion Publishing Group Limited
If the cat wasn't already out of the bag about Joe Hill's semi-secret parentage, this book would have freed the feline for sure as this could easily have been one of his dad's mid-80s books. "NOS4R2" particularly channels "Christine", with a hint of "IT" (which it even references).
So, if you're a fan of King's, or of Hill's for that matter, whether to pick this up or not is an easy choice.
Oh, and I was surprised to find that this Audio-version actually contains an epilogue (hidden in the audio-book production-credits) not found in my e-book version - and it's also very well read by Kate "Janeway" Mulgrew, so if you're wondering which version to get, Audio is it.
I would listen again. A horror story where the villains and heroes are all characters and the story is a great listen. Bing and Mr Manx are despicable people who I almost liked.My first and hopefully not my last Joe Hill book. He's taken over where his father left off with horror some years back. Thank you Joe!!! The narrator was just brilliant - unlike some other books that I've heard recently, she was able to give the male and female characters - character plus.
I've recently listened to Doctor Sleep (by the authors father). Both books reference each other once and the stories have a similar main stories of vampires after special children. I'm afraid they are different classes of books - Joe's book beats his dad's by a country mile. The narration of the female characters in King's Doctor Sleep reminded of a drag queen in full cry. NOS4R2 was made even better by Kate Mulgrew. With Doctor Sleep I ended up caring less if the protagonist (Danny) lived, died or went to Tahiti. I have 'known' Danny for about thirty years now, and I wanted know about the man.
Every character in NOS4R2 I had some likeness for - even the bad ones. Danny's badies were just crap baddies.
The narrator was just brilliant - unlike some other books that I've heard recently, she was able to give the male and female characters - character plus. She made the story so much better and was able to lend even the male characters authenticity.
It made me cry a bit (no spolier) and laugh a lot - all in the appropriate places.
Thanks Joe and Audible. Worth the time listening.
Kate Mulgrew's performance has to be the best thing about NOS4R2. Mulgrew has a distinctive sound and gives each character its own personality. Her performance of Charlie Manx and Bing Partridge were particularly excellent, in my opinion.Hill has a knack for setting up and describing the imaginary world he has created. At first I was sort of put off by the Christmas obsession, but it grew on me over time. While the story itself was so-so, I absolutely loved Joe Hill's story *telling*. He's a good writer, and I may pick up some of his other stuff.
No, this was the first one for me. Unsurprisingly, his style is reminiscent of his father's, Stephen King. He largely employs the same recipe: deep character depictions, interwoven with the supernatural, and some gore. It was a bit long in the tooth, however (like many of King's books), and it was slow to get going after the initial build-up (Vic's first encounter with Manx). The novel could have been redacted by a quarter without doing the story any injustice, especially the middle part.
Her understanding of the story and the subsequent depiction of the the characters. If you just read the book, you would miss the profound "evilness" she creates for the Manx character.
There aren't a bunch of characters in this book, which makes it easier to keep track of them . But obviously the two main characters, Vic McQueen and Charlie Manx stick around in your mind. The disgusting Bing Partridge was also quite enjoyable.
Overall, I ended up liking this book quite a lot. As I mentioned earlier, Joe Hill drags his feet a bit in the middle part of the story, stretching certain concepts a bit too much. The story may come across as a bit juvenile at first, in part because the main character starts out as a child/teenager. In addition, the Christmas-thing keeps that theme alive throughout the book. It bothered me too, at first.
In NOS4R2, Hill introduces us to his two-world concept, which includes the world of stuff and the world of thought. NOS4R2 is about intermingling the two, and more notably, bringing Manx' sick imaginary world of eternal Christmas into the real world, and his revenge on Vic McQueen for finding him and getting away.
All in all, this was a good read. If you like Stephen King's earlier works, or like Mulgrew, it's a no-brainer. Otherwise, it's not too bad either, you won't feel like you wasted a credit (you may struggle with the middle part a bit, but it gets better).
Oh and, don't let your kids listen to this. Christmas would be ruined forever.
Lover of sci-fi and the occasional horror story. Philosophical inclinations. English is my second language.
While I found the story only slightly better than average, Mulgrew's performance blew me away. I could not stop listening. She gives each character a distinctive and very convincing voice. I get the feel she at times know the text better than the author, giving it dimensions that are not there for most readers of the book. Please, employ Mulgrew to record Heart Shaped Box as well! The existing recording by Stephen Lang is pitifully off the mark.
Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to listen to Mulgrew's other audiobook recordings, but I definitively will.
Yes but only if I knew they liked thrillers
The bridge scenes
cant name a favourite
The narration was very good
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry. I also love to listen to the same whilst not paying attention to other things. I aim for my reviews to be short and succinct so that they are easy to read.
The narrator did a great job and the story had enough action and "nastiness" to keep you interested. The idea of teeth shaped like fish hooks has stayed with me. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone interested in this genre.
all books horror. especially zombie
Joe Hill is a master storyteller and he doesn't disappoint. It is a long story and it takes a bit to get into it but give it a chance you wont regret it! All hail Joe Hill!!
I have no idea.
The story got a great start and a great build up but it just got boring closer to the end, I did not even finish the last 8 chapters
i expected more from this
Somebody who is deaf would probably enjoy listening to this. Then again I am sure they would be happy to hear anything.
Have somebody else write it with different plot and certainly a different narrator too.
I couldn't bare listening to her whining on any more. Fingernails down a chalk board would be easier to listen to.
All characters should be removed.
Ok, so this one just wasn't for me. Wouldn't mind a refund but have a feeling that feature is now missing from the website. Nice one am Amazon, look at how much I spend with you.
I will sum up this book as... Well I can't really post what I want to say here. But compared to my massive library of audible books, this is certainly the worst so far.
NO BODY THAT I KNOW
I HAVE BEEN TRTING TO RETURN THIS BOOK FOR A CREDIT BECAUSEB I TOOK IT WHEN I WENT INTO HOSPITAL IN MAY IT IS NOT WHAT I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE ABOUT .I WOULD LIKE TO RETURN FOR A CREDIT .I GOT OUT OF HIGH CARE UNIT ON SUNDAY THE 2/06/2013
"Go on, buy this!!!"
This is a great novel from Joe Hill, it's a little uncomfortable in places (ok, I'm a bit prudish and the unnecessary sexual usage made me squirm a bit) but overall it's a great book. It takes you right into Vic McQueen’s life from 8 to 34, it really in depth without waffle which can sometimes happen even from the best writers.
It's one of the most engaging scary stories I have read in a long long time and I was really wondering what was going to happen, I felt the end was a little too tidy - it was wrapped nicely and left with an opening for a second novel and the thing that lost it one star; one of the characters which was built up (like all the others) layer by layer to give you the whole complete, damaged person suddenly doubled in intelligence and made a great play which really really bugged me, big time, if you write a character, they are that character, you don't get to add in s**t like that just because you can, it's not right. It was even more annoying because it is such an in depth, engaging story that this almost booted me out of story, also it felt lazy, the scene worked really well but that character just could not have pulled it off like that, he could not and it could have been done 'right'.
But I'm emphasising the negative, this is a great story, as I've said completely engaging and enthralling, I'm been deliberately finding reasons to listen to it from making trips out to going to bed early.
Oh and the reader, Kate Mulgrew, she is just - well I won't use my favourite expression just in case - but she is incredible, absolute incredible, blew me away. She’s got an amazing voice, it was so well suited to this story and the characters, considering the range, she has an angry girl, who becomes an angry, trouble woman, a chilled fat guy, children, a deranged child stealer, an incredibly stupid but dangerous guy, cops and she’s gives them all distant personalities and does a great job with each and every one. I would consider listen to something purely based on the fact she is reading it because she is that good.
So go on, buy this!!!
"Back to Brilliance"
I loved Heart Shaped Box, Horns was very disappointing, this story is fantastically gripping and Kate Mulgrew has to be the best narrator ever. She could narrate the telephone directory and it would be worth listening to! In all seriousness, NOS4RS cannot be compared to any other car horror story, it is unique, clever, has twists and turns and doesn't disappoint. Best horror story since 'Meat'
"Yes! Loved this Audiobook in every way!"
The narrator was superb, fantastic gritty voice which really matched the atmosphere of the novel. Great characters, fantastic descriptive writing. Perfect!
I loved all of the characters because they were just so well written.
Wow, she has a fantastic gritty voice which matched the novel perfectly. I always say that a narrator can make or break an audiobook and she really did make this come alive for me.
Yes! I have a long journey to work and this book made it bearable!
As you may be aware Joe Hill is Stephen King's son, this novel really has all the best elements of some of my favourite King novels- I didn't know when listening to it that there was a connection but kept thinking this guy could give Stephen King a run for his money. Great audiobook, pleasure to listen!
"fantastically dark and creepy"
The perfect narrator for a fantastically dark and creepy book.
Christmas will never seem quite so magical again.
"Echoes of Christine"
Not as good as "Horns", his previous book, but still a good listen.
A car seems to have the ability to drain the life out the kids it kidnaps and bestow it to a deranged old man. Nobody has ever escaped its clutches until now, and it wants its revenge.
great narration, such a wonderful voice.
Great story, nice twists. Very creepy, well paced action. A good piece of work
From the first 5 minutes to the last word, I was totally entertained. I had never read any of Joe Hill books before and to be honest this was an impulse buy but I didn’t regret it in the slightest.
This book is so descriptive that it takes you to the characters highs and lows. This leads to the only negative point in the book – that is the main characters are created in such a way that it takes little imagination to visualise them in front of you. A bit like a Victoria sponge, easy to identify and enjoyable to eat but can be slightly boring as there is no surprises.
Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable listen. I love the way that Vic McQueen is the heroine but is still human, a mother who tries her hardest even when there is so much staked against her. The author has managed to cram in so many twists and turns that it keeps you totally engaged. Just as you think that you could turn it off the story takes a dark turn and begs to be listen too for just another 10 mins (that turns into the next 30 mins).
There is a theory that everything in this world originates in our thoughts and feelings and this novel takes this idea to a whole new level. The author builds delicate and sinister inner worlds called inscapes and transports you there. Christmas Land a place all children would love to go but all parents fear.
The narrator was fabulous as well. She is easy to listen to and not once did I have to rewind. She brings the characters to life and it is easy to work out which personality is speaking.
"Creepy as f*ck"
It's an audio page turner. I listened to it on a long drive through the night. I was wary of stopping in a service station in case there were monsters waiting for me. THAT'S how scary it is!
As good as Joe Hill's other books.
Kate Mulgrew has the strangest voice, passing between biker chick, fat, bear-like dad, teenage son, ancient evil, downtrodden rapist and stammering librarian seamlessly. She's either is one very talented or one very mentally ill individual.
"Like father, like son..."
Creepy, exciting, original
Kate Mulgrew's narration was fantastic. There are a lot of characters in the book and she voiced them all brilliantly. Each voice was easily identifiable. It was a pleasure to listen to this book and I would search out other Mulgrew narrations.
I listened to this book with a sense of dread.You never quite know what is going to happen and which characters are going to be "safe!"
Its hard to write about Joe Hill's books without mentioning the fact that he is Stephen King's son. There are a lot of similarities between the two writers. There work deals with talented but damaged people who are affected by something they don't understand and protecting people they love from harm. But he is now beginning to mention his fathers book in his own so he can't be bothered with people comparing the two. And to be honest when his writing is as good as this as well as Horns and Heart Shaped Box. He has no need to be worried. I've read all of Hill's books and this as good if not better than the others. I couldn't recommend it highly enough!
"What a story!"
A good narrator can make an average story better so imagine what a great narrator like Kate Mulgrew can do to an absolutely stonkingly good read like this. Joe Hill writes with such imagination and verve. I was gripped from beginning to end.
The book is crammed with memorable moments and characters. There's a great opening, which hooked me instantly and I would also mention "scissors for the drifter", a game played in Christmasland made all the more disturbing by the fact that it's never really explained so the reader/listener's imagination probably invents something far more horrific than if the author had described it.
I like Kate Mulgrew as an actress but her skill as a narrator is something else. She breathes so much life and individuality into the myriad of characters from the twisted henchman, Bing Partridge, to the stuttering Maggie Lee, to the ever reliable Lou. Charlie Manx seeps out of your headphones, putrid and vile, as one listens
A good book only works when there is a strong emotional connection between author and reader/listener. I cared deeply for Vic McQueen. Her flaws made her all the more human. Her story grabbed my attention from the get-go and did not lose it till the author interview at the very end of the recording had finished. I listen to audiobooks a lot - usually when I'm walking my dog. My dog also loved this book as it meant he got even longer walks than usual - once more round the block so I could listen to a little bit more.
Just downloaded a Ray Bradbury tribute book that Joe Hill recommends at the end and I shall be adding more of Joe Hill's work to my wish list.
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