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The Fireman

A Novel
By: Joe Hill
Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
Length: 22 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6,561 ratings)

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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    3,532
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    1,892
  • 3 Stars
    735
  • 2 Stars
    270
  • 1 Stars
    132

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    111
  • 1 Stars
    62

Story

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

Gave Up

Sounded like a great story premise, but just could not get into it. Extremely slow moving plot and very little tension. At 1/3 of the way through the book when the main storyline was focused on the mystery of someone stealing a bag full of worthless personal items, I decided this one wasn't really going anywhere.

Written by anyone else, I doubt this title would have been published, or at least would have been drastically edited to focus the plot.

Fans of Stephen King will probably appreciate the references to his works, and maybe that will be enough to carry the story for them. But this book fell really flat for me. Very disappointing.

50 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Clayton
  • Providence, RI, United States
  • 06-25-16

The longer it dragged on, the less I cared

As many have said, this book started out great. Even as I approached the last third, it had me. However, as it started to go way too long, things really went off the rails. The last few hours (100ish pages) could have been condensed down. Totally killed the story for me and finishing it seemed like a chore. Very disappointing.

45 of 48 people found this review helpful

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

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

44 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • adam
  • SAINT GEORGE, UTAH, United States
  • 01-19-17

turds on wheels

please stop writing the same crap. S. king should sue his son for plagiarism. loved the stand, hate most new King work. only a young teenager would buy this cheeseball writing, however no teenage could with stand the length of this drivel.

44 of 47 people found this review helpful

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

rambling boring

I got to chapter 5 I kept waiting for action to start and it never did just random dribble with no point that I could be bothered to wait on anymore

43 of 46 people found this review helpful

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

Save your money

What would have made The Fireman better?

Shorter, more believable, etc.

Would you ever listen to anything by Joe Hill again?

Probably not

What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

It was OK

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Fireman?

All of them

Any additional comments?

1. Lousy story

2. Far too long

3. Waste of a selection

43 of 46 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

Possibly the worst book I've read.

I cannot understand how this got good reviews. I read ALOT, all kinds of books and this may be one of the worst I've read and/or listened to. The plot is extremely juvenile, it's like when you talk to a 4 year old and they keep adding ridiculous details to a tall tale. I can't even
believe this actually got published. I feel like I've wasted hours of my life listening. It's only sheer stubbornness that prevented me from deleting it after an hour and I wish I would have. Characters are unrealistic and there is no real development. Plot is basically a horrible plagiarism of the stand.

43 of 46 people found this review helpful

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

What the hell was this?

I am an avid audio book listener. I have read good books and bad ones. This book takes the take. I want my credit back. The last few hours were torture. They only reason I finished it was I hoped it would get better. It's like the author had an idea of a story, started it and the a bunch of evil kids took over. It's like he was trying for Steven Kings the stand. No character depth at all. The heroine is 26 but she is written as if she is twelve. The hero gets hurt more than a wwe wrestler. You go from Mary Poppins to sexual connotations in the same breath. Do yourselves a favor do not waste time or money on this crap.

43 of 46 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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garbage book.

hated every moment of this stupid book. Joe Hill is such an obvious dweeb. Giving your characters a pop culture reference every 3 minutes is his idea of character development. hope you like classic rock.

42 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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terrible. no point whatsoever.

p,.............u..........bad no point...waste of time and money. how did this ever get published. at best...very poor.

42 of 45 people found this review helpful