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NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
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NOS4A2 (edition 2013)

by Joe Hill

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1,5981504,549 (4.04)151
Member:Willie3
Title:NOS4A2
Authors:Joe Hill
Info:William Morrow (2013), Hardcover, 704 pages
Collections:Your library, ARC, Signed Copy
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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)
  2. 10
    The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (rickyrickyricky)
    rickyrickyricky: 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)
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» See also 151 mentions

English (148)  French (1)  All languages (149)
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
So, I did everything I should have. I read the publisher’s book summary and it appeared to be just what I was hunting for. I read a fair number of the reviews on Goodreads and was convinced that I had struck reader’s pay dirt, found a real page turner. I was amped and ready for a good supernatural thriller. I waited for the wife to go to sleep, got comfortable on the sofa, opened my Kindle, and jumped into chapter one. It was pretty good, and continued to be pretty good until about half way through the book when reading became a struggle. As I labored to finish the book I kept trying to determine why I had lost interest. Silly as it may seem, it wasn’t until I began the last 100 pages or so that I figured out why reading this book had become such a chore. It was the characters. The protagonist was completely unmemorable. I really didn’t care what happened to her! In fact, I didn’t have a great deal of empathy for any of the characters. The most interesting figure in the story was the villain. Throw in a ridiculous ending, even for a supernatural thriller, and I was left wishing that I had not added NOS4A2 to my book list.

I know that it’s somewhat of a cliché, but I really wanted to like this book. It seemed to have everything. The first half I kind of did. But, it was all downhill from there, and enjoyment turned to work.
( )
  baggman | Feb 11, 2016 |
I liked the book, but I was a bit disappointed with it, mostly because I thought it would be better than it was and also that the book didn't have any characters that I actually liked very much. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Feb 9, 2016 |
I liked the book, but I was a bit disappointed with it, mostly because I thought it would be better than it was and also that the book didn't have any characters that I actually liked very much. ( )
  DariaZav | Feb 9, 2016 |
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 | Jan 28, 2016 |
Probably the longest book I've ever read, it was a humdinger! Joe Hill has the honor of writing the scariest book I've ever read: Heart-Shaped Box. With that in mind, it was a natural choice for me to read this in the month of October.

I was not disappointed. This son of horror king Stephen King, the writing styles are very similar. Hill takes time to develop his characters, set the stage, and build anticipation, stress, and ... did I say anticipation?

Victoria finds a way to find lost things, but at a cost. A cost that she doesn't see until it is almost too late. Her father blows things up for a living, including his marriage. Lou is a big 'ole teddy bear that we would all like to invite over for a beer. Charlie Manx and Bing Partridge are evil incarnate. On the periphery, Maggie is a completely likable drug-addict-turned-prostitute, and Agent Hutter is a no-nonsense profiler who listens to her gut when she most needs to. All of these characters meld to make one helluva story.

Highly recommended. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 148 (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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