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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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1,1251047,293 (4.03)108
Member:BeckyWalton
Title:NOS4A2: A Novel
Authors:Joe Hill
Info:William Morrow (2013), Hardcover, 704 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:horror

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NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

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English (103)  French (1)  All languages (104)
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The Basics

Vic McQueen is really good at finding lost things. Good in that wow-that-shouldn’t-be-possible kind of way. It’s a power she has, and she’s not the only one with secret modes of psychic travel. Charlie Manx, an incredibly unsettling guy who kidnaps children, has this power, too. And he’s taken Vic’s son.

My Thoughts

Incredibly positive reviews are the hardest. Figuring out why a book is bad is easy, but what makes a book really, really good? Let me count the ways, I guess.

For one, Vic is an engaging protagonist. She’s not always likeable. She can be selfish and hedonistic and the queen of bad choices. She’s damaged is ultimately the excuse, but by the time we reach the culmination of the plot (which is Wayne’s kidnapping), she’s in need of some redemption. And she gets it. But here’s the magical part: even in need of redemption, as a reader you will be interested in her and rooting for her and hopeful about her. And liking her. Joe Hill is the king of unlikeable heroes. Check out Heart-Shaped Box as well if you don’t believe me.

Point the second, the pacing here is lightning fast. So if you’re looking at the page count and wondering if you can handle a book of this size, rest assured it will only take you a couple of days to read this. I read it in three. That’s because Hill doesn’t fall into the kind of traps other authors would in handling a story of this scope. He doesn’t believe that every, single, minute detail in Vic’s life is worth mentioning. He understands that some things can be summed up effectively in a couple of pages, and then we get back to the plot at hand. He sets up what we need to know and moves forward rather than bringing the story to a grinding halt.

The last thing I want to cover about what makes this book so successful is its originality. It’s not a vampire story really, but it sort of is. It’s not about psychics really, but it sort of is. It’s scary, but it also has a magical quality that makes it sort of a fantasy. But then it’s also a thriller. And it manages to make Christmas sinister. Said all that to say, I’m left feeling the same way I did when I finished Heart-Shaped Box and Horns: I’ve never read a horror novel quite like this. And that’s assuredly a good thing.

Final Rating

5/5 ( )
  Nickidemus | Sep 18, 2014 |
Even though I liked the story, I was a little disappointed with it. What I liked: new take on a vampire novel, strong female lead, a few twists. What I didn't like: drawn out/overdone dialogue (there were several scenes where I was thinking "get to the point already"), the book seemed a little longer than necessary, the narrator's voice for NOS4A2. ( )
  bohemiangirl35 | Sep 13, 2014 |
Ok so I am so glad I gave Joe Hill another chance. For some reason I didn't like his earlier books. Guess what? I'm going to reread them just because I liked this book so danged much. The boy has definately came into his own.

Creepy book that I couldn't put down. Vic was the perfect heroine. She has her flaws but I think that made her even stronger. Charles Manx creeped me out..Perfect, perfect, perfect!! ( )
  bookqueenshelby | Sep 9, 2014 |
Fantastic story worth 4-1/2 stars. Just one thing in the end bugged me and it had to do with scars after a medical procedure. For that particular procedure scarring would have been minimal and not in that location. I just can't believe that someone with some medical knowledge didn't read this and catch that glaring error prior to publication. ( )
  jules72653 | Aug 30, 2014 |
My review is gone, it was here... now it's not. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (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.
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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

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:03 -0400)

(see all 2 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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