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NOS4A2: A Novel by Joe Hill
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NOS4A2: A Novel (edition 2013)

by Joe Hill

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1,3821335,514 (4.06)141
Member:BeckyWalton
Title:NOS4A2: A Novel
Authors:Joe Hill
Info:William Morrow (2013), Hardcover, 704 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:horror

Work details

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

  1. 20
    It by Stephen King (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Malevolent entities that prey upon children are the driving force of these creepy, suspenseful horror stories. In both novels, only adults lucky enough to escape the villain's clutches in childhood are later able to battle the evil when it returns.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
Joe Hill is back, delivering another supernatural thriller of epic proportions. According to Hill, everyone exists in two worlds - the physical world and the "inscape." The inscape is the world of the mind that we all create, and this story is about the few rare individuals who can merge their inscapes with the physical world.

The main character is Victoria "Vic" McQueen, also known as the brat. We first meet Vic when she is 8, and Vic is a finder. She rides her bicycle across a dilapidated, non-existent covered bridge of her inscape, and comes out at a point where she needs to be in order to find some lost or misplaced item. Vic's nemesis is Charles Manx, a 140 year old man who "saves" children by taking them to his inscape, a kind of amusement park known as Christmasland, where the children never grow old and never die. Helping Vic is Maggie Leigh, a librarian in Iowa who can predict the future by reading scrabble tiles. And helping Manx is his chief elf, Bing Partridge, who is physically an adult but mentally a child. Bing can not access his inscape, but instead helps Manx tie up "loose ends," which are usually the parents of Manx's kidnap victims.

The merging of the two worlds has a price for all of those able to accomplish the feat. For Vic, it is a searing pain behind her left eye which gets worse the longer she stays and usually requires bed rest when she returns to the real world. For Maggie, the more she uses her scrabble tiles the worse her stutter gets. And for Manx, who has been doing this the longest, it has cost him his very soul. Also, each person needs a tool in order to punch through the real world to get to their inscape. Vic uses her bicycle (and later a Triumph motorcycle), Maggie uses a bottomless bag holding her scrabble tiles, and Manx uses a 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. Nosferatu was a legendary German vampire, and Manx is a different type of vampire who instead of sucking blood, sucked the souls of the children while he drove them to Christmasland.

Each of the characters is shown as a mixture of good and evil, which I feel mirrors the real world. Vic is predominantly a good person, but is terribly flawed. She was a rebellious teen who became mentally unhinged after she became a mother, and constantly fought to maintain her sanity. Manx, for all the evil he represented, actually believed he was doing the children a favor by sparing them a life of poverty and abuse and making every day Christmas, which is usually a child's happiest time.

It was Vic's testimony that caused Manx to be arrested and incarcerated, spending more than a decade in a Colorado jail. When he is miraculously resurrected, he vows revenge against Vic and decides to take her 12 year old son Wayne to Christmasland. This sets the stage for the final confrontation between Vic and Manx with Wayne's soul as the prize for the victor.

I thought this was a very well written book and brought up some interesting points, especially the fact of spending time in our inscapes. The only negative I can note is that it seemed a bit long winded. Other than that, it was a top notch horror novel and cements Joe Hill as among the best in this genre. I can honestly say that I will never listen to Christmas music the same way as I did before I read this book. ( )
  NPJacobsen | Jul 27, 2015 |
Strange and terrifying, without the same kind of graphic gruesomeness of the horror of my youth. Loved it. ( )
  aliceoddcabinet | Jul 25, 2015 |
Another horror filled fantasy that kept me up way too late two nights running. It might be too graphic and unsettling for many readers. If you hate Christmas music and can handle reading material steeped in gore and violence with a twisted sense of humor, you might join me in enjoying Joe Hill's material. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
Known as “the brat” to her father and Vic to her mother, Victoria McQueen has an uncanny ability to find missing things. You see, Victoria gets on her beloved Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, thinks about what it is she wants to find, rides across a bridge that really no longer exists and presto … at the other end is the exact thing she went looking for. Of course this is no easy feat and it takes its physical toll on Victoria. It’s also very difficult to explain to people, so she has to make up stories about where she finds all those lost objects. Victoria was not aware of the fact that other people have their own versions of her “ability” until one day she sets that as her goal and finds a kindred spirit.

Now, when you are twelve this ability seems like a great adventure, but as Victoria gets a little older … and things at home get a little tougher … and her parents split up … and her mom gives her a hard time … and dad has a new girlfriend … Victoria’s mind goes towards causing a little trouble. So, as do a lot of teenagers, she goes looking for trouble. Unfortunately she finds it. Trouble personified in the form of Charles Talent Manx and his 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith. Manx is a fellow traveler of mysterious and unseen roads, but his roads are a little more sinister.

Victoria manages to escape him once … but soon enough … trouble comes back to find her.

This book was good. Very good! I was turning the pages as fast as I could read them and when I had to put it down I couldn’t wait to have the chance to pick it up again. In my world, that it a definite indication of a good read. Mr. Hill impressed me with “Heart Shaped Box”, which I still consider to be one of the best ghost stories I have ever read. Although this is not a ghost story, he has once again gave me a very good horror story.

I can only assume that when you grow up in a family of writers and your father is considered one of the masters of the genre there is a little back and forth when one of you is working on a book? Constructive criticism, suggestions and ideas must get thrown around the table at Sunday night family dinners? In fact in the author’s notes for this book Joe Hill does give his mother credit for suggesting a better ending, as Stephen King gave his son credit for suggesting a more satisfying ending to “11/22/63”.

I have been a Stephen King fan since Carrie. When a Stephen King book hits the bookstore I buy it without even reading the book flap to find out what it is about. There was a taste of King’s works all through this book - so much so that at times I was tempted to look at the front cover again to check the author’s name. Shades of “Christine”, similarities to “11/22/63” and outright references to Mid-World and Pennywise forced that feeling even further. Are father and son having a little bit of fun with their respective readers? Or is it simply a case of Joe Hill giving homage to his dad, who must have had a profound influence on his writing? Either way, this is a must read for fans of horror, Stephen King and most definitely, Joe Hill.

Two final comments on this book: I may never look at Christmas the same way again and to anyone who picks this book up … for goodness sake … do not get on Mr. Hill’s naughty list.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Creepy antidote to Christmas craziness. This was very different from anything I've ever read. It does a lot more than just take ordinary objects from childhood and Christmas and make them scary. The characters are very human and flawed and believable. The fantastic elements are extensions of the characters and not conveniences or contrivances. I would recommend this to those who like horror and fantasy even if you don't usually read horror (like me). I would say this is a suspense novel with supernatural elements. ( )
  SENSpence | Jun 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
BLOODY DISGUSTING bloody-disgusting.com
[BEST & WORST '13] Top 10 Horror Novels of the Year!

8. NOS4A2, by Joe Hill
(April 30; William Morrow)

Whimsical to a fault, Joe Hill’s newest novel is jam-packed with enough imagination for an entire series. His child-warping, Christmas-loving villain, Charlie Manx, is one of the best end-level bosses in all of fiction, evil and memorable enough to receive a mention from none other than Stephen King (Hill’s father, who name-dropped Manx in Doctor Sleep). This guy Hill is a world-builder working at the top of his game.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe Hillprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rodriguez, GabrielIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Faughnan, LindaCopyeditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hardy, LibertyCopyeditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kerner, Jamie LynnDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mulgrew, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuck, MaryCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sugden, MaureenCopyeditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Die Todten reiten schnell. (For the dead travel fast.)
-- "Lenore," Gottfried Bürger
Dedication
To my mom - here's a mean machine for the story queen.
First words
Nurse Thornton dropped into the long-term-care ward a little before eight with a hot bag of blood for Charlie Manx.
Quotations
What's good stays good no matter how much of a beating it takes.
She breathed deeply of the scent of decaying fiction, disintegrating history, and forgotten verse, and she observed for the first time that a room full of books smelled like dessert:  a sweet snack made of figs, vanilla, glue, and cleverness.
But everyone also lives in the world inside their own head. An inscape, a world of thought. In a world made of thought--in an inscape--every idea is a fact. Emotions are as real as gravity. Dreams are as powerful as history.
Christmas was almost three months in the rearview mirror, and there was something awful about Christmas music when it was nearly summer. It was like a clown in the rain, with his makeup running.
She thought of mothering, which was really another word for being present and caring what happened to someone.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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. . . .

Haiku summary
NOS4A2 is
the perfect antidote for
Christmas craziness
(SENSpence)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062200577, Hardcover)

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”
 
Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:36 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photography, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it's across Massachusetts or across the country. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing--and terrifying--playground of amusements he calls "Christmasland." Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble--and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx's unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He's on the road again and he's picked up a new passenger: Vic's own son.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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