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

by Joe Hill

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,8921693,624 (4.05)170
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. 30
    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)
  2. 30
    The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: Well: Time-traveling serial killer powered by unexplained forces. You'll see the comparison in many reviews. Shining Girls gets a more mixed reaction, and is unconventional in its structure and uncomfortable violence, but is worth looking into for fans. (The audiobook is fantastic, with a full cast of readers for every character.)… (more)
  3. 20
    Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (sturlington)
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Showing 1-5 of 169 (next | show all)
Imaginative, exhilarating, frightening, Joe Hill's "NOS4A2" is a wild sleigh ride through a thrilling wonderland of creativity and a perfect seasonal read. ( )
  Birdo82 | Jan 15, 2017 |
NOS4A2 pays tribute to a King of horror, by mentioning the True Knot crew, from Doctor Sleep. Very cool, Joe Hill. Very cool! I enjoyed this novel very much- but to say that this one was a truly horrific and scary tale isn't true.

The story is a scare of a different breed. Instead of something coming to snatch away children for a stew or to extend life or even to sacrifice to some blood-thirsty diety, Charlie Manx (the beast of the story) comes to rescue children from a certain future. It knows what may or may not happen, so it seems... but for Vic, now the only one who's escaped the Christmasland horrors, Charlie is finding himself in a bit of a holiday nightmare himself. Vic is a formidable foe.

I wasn't sure what to make of this tale at first. It carried the feel of a King novel, but Hill didn't follow in his father's footsteps per se (hence the pen name). NOS4A2 carried a different sort of vibe, and for that, I enjoyed this story. Although I can say, when it came to henchman, Bing Partridge, was like a fellow from daddy's arsenal of dimwitted sidekicks!

The horrors weren't gruesome and gory, as I was expecting. I didn't even get the vampire I thought was coming- but Manx was a vamp of a new age, so to speak, stealing lives through deception. Because of this creative style, I found myself intrigued- especially in the land before you entered Christmasland. It was right out of one of my own nightmares!

For the full review: http://bit.ly/NOS4A2Novel
NOS4A2
Joe Hill
Harper Audio
April 30, 2013 ( )
  AReneeHunt | Jan 3, 2017 |
This was a pretty decent book by Stephen King's kid. The others that I've read have been horrible. Incoherent babbling to reach a particular page count.
This book also goes a bit long, but has some creepy memorable moments. ( )
  mikemiracle | Jan 3, 2017 |
it was pretty creepy!!! ( )
  Greg_Hunt | Dec 30, 2016 |
N0S4A2 is a standalone horror story written by Joe Hill, son of Stephen King. This was my first time reading anything he’d written. Maybe it’s because I read a lot more fantasy than I do horror, but this book felt as much like a fantasy book to me as it did a horror book. I guess that line is a little blurry, at least in my mind. There were definitely elements of horror to it, but I never felt scared, not even a little bit. I expect it might bother others, though, especially mothers. Maybe all those horror books I read in junior high left me a little numb…

There are several characters in this book, but the one I thought of as the “main” character was a girl named Vic. She starts off as an 8-year-old, but grows into an adult over the course of the story. Vic has a special skill. She can find lost things by riding her bike over a non-existent bridge. Clearly there’s a lot more to the explanation than that, but I don’t want to spoil the fun. Meanwhile, kids are being kidnapped and taken to a place called Christmasland, where they can have all sorts of fun forever and ever... as long as they don't mind becoming deranged. I didn’t know when I started this book that I was picking such an appropriate time of the year for it! If horror books tend to bother you, though, you might not want to read this book until you can safely go through your days without hearing any Christmas music anywhere.

I liked this book, for the most part, but I also have complaints. I liked the general story, and I liked the characters. Sometimes I was annoyed by their decisions, but I didn’t feel like they were doing stupid things just because the author needed them to do stupid things so he could move the plot forward. At times I couldn’t put the book down, but there were also times when it felt like a slog. There were a few cases of what I call Omniscient Gut Syndrome, which is one of my pet peeves. This is that dastardly disease that causes a character’s gut to be all-knowing. The gut tells the character, and thus the reader, that something is true even though there hasn’t been any tangible evidence. The character “just knows” it’s true, or “feels that it’s true”, or “her thought feels right to her”.

I also thought there were a lot of small details that didn’t quite fit correctly, and some plot threads that were really far-fetched even within the confines of the fictional story. These things dragged me out of the story and niggled at me throughout the day when I wasn’t reading. I could come up with my own explanations for many (but not all) of them, but I felt like I was doing some of the author’s work for him.

I have a couple examples in the spoiler tags.
The whole idea of Maggie’s tiles fell in the far-fetched category for me. They weren’t clearly defined and therefore seemed mostly like a plot device to help steer the story. Where does the info come from? How could the titles “chatter” about Vic for months in advance and yet not know the least useful clue about other things? I guess one could really ask the same question about Vic and her Bike – how does it know where to go? In the case of things that got lost when she was around, you could say her subconscious remembered what happened to them and thus helped her direct the bridge. That explanation doesn’t work to explain how she used her bike to find Maggie the first time, though.

Another big one for me was the way the map of Manx’s inscape roads showed up on the cops’ iPads when they tried to locate Wayne’s cell phone while he was in Manx’s car. Technology doesn’t work that way. You can’t just magically have a map show on an iPad with labeled street names unless somebody has first created that map. Not only that, but technology certainly can’t pinpoint somebody’s location on imaginary roads. One explanation could be that Manx somehow caused them to see that image, just like the denizens of Christmasland made Vic think she was hearing phones ringing. But what would that accomplish? It would only lend credibility to an otherwise insane-sounding story if Vic wanted to try explaining it to anybody, and it would in fact help Vic herself feel confident that she wasn’t crazy so that she could make better decisions about how to handle the situation.


I did like the ending. I had thought it was going in one direction, one that’s entirely too typical for horror stories in my experience, so I was happy when it ended up differently than I’d expected. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Dec 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 169 (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 editionscalculated
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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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