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Publisher's Summary

From the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it's Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies - before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she's discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: They would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob's dismay, Harper wants to live - at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine, too...if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads - armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn't as alone as she fears: A mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow firefighter's jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as the Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted...and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman's secrets before her life - and that of her unborn child - goes up in smoke.

©2016 Joe Hill (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

What can I say

I don't know where to start. Predictable, uninspiring, author seems to think that the more foul language and gore the better, just like his dad he always has to get political (liberals always good and conservatives bad). He's not a very good writer, so he fills his book with foul language and his PC crap. Oh did I say Predictable!

56 of 59 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Neat premise, amateurish writing, hokey narration

This book is slow to start, winding through a lot of tedious build-up. Then when it gets interesting, it feels cornball. The basic idea is very fresh, and this book might do the trick as a beach novel, but 22 hours is a lot of time to put into something that's generally mediocre and sloppy.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

M

The book is awful and the worst book I ever started to read from audible. After 34 chapters I gave up.

26 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Painfully overwritten

The worst aspects of Daddy's writing style were drawn out and beaten to a pulp in this overwritten and forced book. There was no momentum after the first act, and it became a mindless exercise in slogging through cheesy dialogue and cheap pop culture references. Had a good editor done their job well, this could have been a decent read.

26 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Joe Hill Fan Left Disappointed

I am a fan of Joe Hill’s work. I found this book to be more annoying than compelling. It started out great but the middle made me think of my least favorite book in the Harry Potter series. It was full of references relating to Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Mary Poppins. I enjoy those things but when you keep getting constant reminders of them it becomes highly annoying. I wanted his original work but found myself basically reading a love letter to his dad and other authors. This was the first book I’ve ever returned on audible. Don’t waste your time. Read Horns or Heart Shaped Box.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A good story buried in cliché

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The base story is good however it's encased with cliché character dialog that bordered on grating. Hill tries too hard to insert pop-culture references accompanied with "golly-gee-whiz" character dialog in an effort to build character depth that makes for some cringe-worthy passages. The antagonist's character is way over the top with predictable and lazy traits intended to build a villain that instead makes Jacob feel like a cartoon character. I feel Hill got bored at the end and just gave up trying to make the tale exciting, ending it with a an easy sentimental ploy.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Less kitsch and more exploration of the apocalyptic universes, lackadaisical character development.

Would you be willing to try another one of Kate Mulgrew’s performances?

Mulgrew's narration made the cartoonish characters even more over-the-top and frankly almost convinced me to abandon the book altogether.

Was The Fireman worth the listening time?

About half the time perhaps.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Trash should burn

I started out liking the book but the language became awful. It might not bother some people and that's fine. I just don't like to hear that kind of language. It bothered me enough that I just turned it off..

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enough with the Mary Poppins!

Enough with the Mary Poppins! The story was good, but got ssooo tired of the Mary Poppins and Pete's Dragon references and all the volumes of other writers works and characters alluded to.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

overlong, predictable and sappy

Easily Joe's worst novel, I'd compare it to a Y A fiction derivitive of The Stand (easily enough) with a saccharine heroine that overtly references Mary Poppins with annoyingl consistency.
The titular Fireman character is a fun implausible fungal fire wizard, but the 'rag tag' group of backing characters were intolerable and I was sad any of the characters lived to the end.
I love Joe's other novels, all but Horns anyway, but on this one I got burned.
I'll be more cautious to pick up any of his future novels, unless they're 300 pages or less.
still looking forward to his upcoming short story collection though.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • Harper Woods, MI, United States
  • 08-17-16

Not my cup of tea at all

written by a man in a woman's perspective who has a thing for Mary poppins. need I really say more. in fairness the story had promise but was not really well executed. Not brash enough for men too salty for kids and probably only hits a small audience for women. Don't bother

23 of 24 people found this review helpful