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
I loved Joe Hill's Heart Shaped Box and maybe that excellent debut somewhat influenced my expectations of his latest offering. It felt as though this story was lifted from one of his father's notebooks for stories he might wish to write in future. And then written by either of the Kings. There was even King's obligatory reference to the Dark Tower hidden in the story; which was really one of several things including the tone of the story which had me questioning the origins of the story.
I couldn't even get 5 minutes into this. Very odd. Maybe just me but disappointed
Didn't getto know any
"A must for King fans"
The plot felt like a return to Stephen King.
I didn't think I would be able to enjoy the reading but it was masterfully done.
Absolutely couldn't put it down.
One of the best audio books I have listened to !
"Story was fantastic held interest"
Dark frightening fab
I can't, the story was completely unique and stood on its own
Her voice was a bit irritating
I would buy another of Joe Hill books no question
"The wrong narrator ruins it"
The narrator had a really irritating voice - and the put on 'creepy' voice just grated. I have tried for a couple of months to get into it, but can't. I suspect it would be a book I'd enjoy as a paperback, but I'm giving up on the audio and will return it.
A male narrator would have done the mainly male voices better.
"Christmas just got scary!"
This is an awesome reading of the most genuinely frightening novel I've read for many years. A child rides her bike over a magical bridge to find things that are lost. A classic Rolls Royce roams the highways of America and children vanish, never to be seen again. Those are the ingrients and they've been turned into a perfectly-paced horror story: a quest to save a missing child, with an unlikely heroine so well-drawn you feel you know her.
Vic McQueen is unsympathetic in places, but she's a damaged character and her behaviour always makes sense even when you want to yell at her to do something differently. She's an ordinary person destined for an ordinary live, until a life-changing encounter with the villain of the story sends her into a tailspin of addiction and mental illness. She's strong enough to pull through it all, and has a good life. But then the villain resurfaces and no one will believe her crazy story of a dead serial killer.
But he's very real and he's not dead. Charlie Manx is not the pedophile everyone believes him to be, but a kind of vampire who has created 'Christmasland' - a kind of twisted Narnia for demonic children where Christmas is every day. He abducts children from the real world to populate his 'Christmasland', aided by Bing - the latest in a long line of henchmen who take care of the parents of the targeted children. Only Vic knows the truth, and now Manx has her son.
The thing I found outstanding was how sympathetic even the worst of the characters are. I expect to identify with a protagonist, but there's no character in this with whom I don't empathise at some point in the story. The good guys have their faults. Vic herself becomes the villain a few times, but even the villains have moments when it was easy to understand them. Bing, too trusting and so desperate to get to 'Christmasland' that he'll do anything Manx wants. Manx himself - undoubtedly evil, yet justifiably angry that the world thinks him a pedophile and you can see - just - that his 'Christmasland' began as a father's love for children.
It has all the elements of a fantastic listen. Kate Mulgrew has the perfect voice for this story and I can't fault her narration at all. Usually when listening to audiobooks there are places where I 'zone out' and miss a bit; in this one I caught every word, caught up an involved in the story every step of the way. It's a race against time, it's full of suspense and peril; you genuinely don't know which characters - if any - are going to make it to the end. For fans of the genre there are little 'easter eggs' scattered throughout - mostly references to Stephen King's novels but there are others, too - a character listening to the Cloud Atlas sextet, for example. It gives the narrative an interesting slant, as if the author knows that in the most terrifying moments, we need that small reassurance that this is indeed fiction.
Christmas will never be quite the same again.
"Spooky original horror"
Loved the premise of the 'two worlds'. It allowed a 'supernatural' element while keeping a foot in the real world, and not going off into bizarre fantasy. The main villain and his sidekick are most wonderful characters, and I felt I could actually see them in my mind at times - really nasty (but also victims?). Lots of lovely twists and turns.
Kate Mulgrew's narration is awesome, I would look out for her as a narrator again.
My only negative is that I think some judicious editing might have moved the story on with yet more excitment. No matter, I'm glad I heard it.
"Terrifying,well-crafted story&firstclass narration"
Absolutely. It was full of rich description, colourful and multi-layered, complex characters, and had the ability to terrify me, even when I listened in broad daylight (I couldn't listen to it in bed, for fear that Charles Talent Manx would find his way into my dreams!). It was a brilliant story, and one that - even though i now know the ending - I would listen to again and again (although with quite long breaks in between - it was an emotional journey, listening to NOS-4R2, and I need a bit of time to recover!)
I have only just started getting into horror films and - by extension, horror books - and so I have little in the way of frames of reference to compare with NOS-4R2. That said, I have read Stephen King's 'The Shining', and I would say that there were similarities between the two in that both had me cowering in fear, such was the power of the story the authors both created, and their ability to make a fictional character a real fear.
I haven't, but I definitely would seek her out - I have nominated her for Narrator of the Year, because I thought the range of voices/accents she used, the emotion and energy she put into the story, really made it come to life. My only issue was that some of the accents - particularly the English and the Indian ones - were a tad ropey, although the majority were spot on. I can still hear Kate in my head, speaking as as Charlie Manx, imploring me to Christmasland, and it sends a shiver of terror through me - *that*, surely, is the mark of an excellent narrator!
I would have loved to! I seriously had trouble putting this book down - I was glad I was driving so much for my work, as it gave me an excuse to listen to it for hours on end!
"Joe Hill is a worthy Heir!"
Joe Hill is absolutely one of the best story writers in the genre, which is not surprising considering his parentage. I am absolutely in love with his books, and this performance was perfect: creepy and fascinating. and wonderfully twisted!
Her vocal performance is absolutely wonderful and brings the story to life.
I'm probably a quarter way through and have just realised that this is a child's book, I had my doubts from the first few chapters but it's now confirmed.
This is the sort of book 'Grownups' used to read to the kids to keep them close.
Some reviews have said 'creepy' and 'scary' really? where?.
Yes, the narrations ok but as far as I can see that's it and another book beckons.
"thank god there are more good writers born everyda"
the shortcut bridge
a girl with a bike that gets to a place where her mother lost something
xtmas land is a nightmare
I was so happy I found a writer who can actually write....so I looked on the net to learn who he or she (actually I thought "this must be a she-Joe, so clever to describe women`s feelings...) is (but I wish I didn`t, you`ll understand why). Please, if you don`t know who Joe Hill is, wait until the end to search about his/her where-how-who-abouts. Congratulations to the author, I`m sooo glad I met you and yr books! I will read all I can find and hope for more.
"Good story, some very strong language"
Took me a while to really get into the story, but well worth it. The story has depth and once hooked I just wanted more.
Meting Maggie Lee in the library
Those with Maggie Lee, she was a strong well defined character for a supporting role.
Good story, well written and narrated
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