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The Fireman: A Novel by Joe Hill
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The Fireman: A Novel (edition 2016)

by Joe Hill (Author)

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1,293949,144 (3.83)123
Member:Blondie539
Title:The Fireman: A Novel
Authors:Joe Hill (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2016), 768 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:to-read

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The Fireman by Joe Hill

  1. 10
    Bird Box by Josh Malerman (Shelby_Kuzma)
    Shelby_Kuzma: Both books deal with a female character attempting to protect herself and her children in the wake of a widespread, apocalyptic event.
  2. 10
    The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: Both books cover the subject of the aftermath of a terrible widespread disease.
  3. 10
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (sturlington)
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» See also 123 mentions

English (93)  Italian (1)  All languages (94)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
The Fireman is a post-apocalyptic novel, where the culprit is a spore called Dragonscale (a bit of a Game of Thrones ripoff for the name although the disease is far different). Dragonscale causes those who carry it to light on fire under stressful conditions and propogates itself by transferring the spore to others through the ash. It’s really kind of an ingenious spore. This wipes out much of the population and brings out the worst in people. The infected are in a camp in New Hampshire trying to survive but they also learn how to control the spore, which has its pluses and minuses.

I thought this was probably the best Joe Hill novel that I’ve read, which have been a little hit or miss. The writing is strong and the characters are well-developed. The disease brings out the worse of the survivors. By and large, they are trying to kill the infected, without having a full understanding of the disease. The worst character is Harper Willow’s husband. Even before she contracted the spore, he was a total nitwit. The only redeemable characters in the novel are a small circle of those close to Harper, including the Fireman, a British microbiologist who has complete mastery of the spore and can even manifest it out of his body. Both the concept of the execution of the story are good. I did have a couple of issues with the novel. For one thing, the whole stone in the mouth thing at Camp Windham was supremely irritating. Also, it was a bit too dim of a view of humanity for my liking. I would think some of the non-infected would be redeemable. But on balance this was a strong novel that I would recommend.

Carl Alves - author of The Invocation ( )
  Carl_Alves | Feb 17, 2019 |
I like Stephen King, and Hill proudly demonstrates being one of his dad's constant readers throughout this book to a degree I haven't seen before. King references were a rapid fire constant through the narrative - and the book itself pretty much answers the question "What would it look like if The Stand and Firestarter had a baby, in 2016?".

There was a pretty long lull in the middle that left me wondering if I wanted to continue. Think of half of The Walking Dead, season two (no really - think of it, because he's aiming directly at tWD fans with this book). I like moving into a book and living there a while, but not when it feels like sating this desire is the only reason for the page count.

It's not clear why the book is even called The Fireman. He's not the main character... and remains, to the end, almost one-dimensional.

The story seems to carefully follow a Walking Dead trajectory. Perhaps Hill wants to write for tWD, or maybe the sets, scenes, effects and pacing seem custom fit for a screenplay (small screen) that made Hill's proud declaration that the film rights were sold seem like the real goal - and therefore a little cringe-worthy... seeing as though I just read the book.

If you wanted it to be primarily enjoyed on screen, and celebrate this in a first edition of your book... maybe it isn't suited for prose? Is that an illogical assumption?

I'm going 3 stars though, because I liked the little pokes at Constant Readers - and I loved seeing the mechanics of earlier work expanded upon and made modern for a readership 30ish years after the originals. Firestarter was in 1980... so the vibe feels sort of zeitgeisty, in a world where Stranger Things recently made a splash.

I really hope his work continues to improve, and that he continues to be the Constant Writer his family of readers wants to grow older with. Maybe don't have 9 months pregnant women literally carrying grown men around on their shoulders so much in future efforts, though. ( )
  Ron18 | Feb 17, 2019 |
Phew...that book was intense. I'm officially a Joe Hill convert! While I usually keep my distance from anything that remotely smells like dystopian fiction, I decided to take a chance on this one. Glad I did.
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
Well now, Joe Hill has thrown me for a bit of a loop with The Fireman. It fascinates me that he has managed to write an entirely different sort of book than I expected, and yet it still has me entirely enraptured. This book was excellent, and further proves to me that Hill's books will always be an auto-add to my reading list.

If you want to know a secret about me, I'm thoroughly intrigued by the concept of group think. The fact that people have the ability to completely lose themselves in fanaticism is terrifying and yet fascinating. Hill already had me sold with the idea of the Dragonfire sparking the end of the world. When he took it a step further, into the territory of cult behavior, I was helpless to look away.

Better still, are the somewhat paranormal elements that play a part in this story. Harper's story already had me hooked. A pregnant woman, burning from the inside out, caught up in a place where the people aren't at all who they seem. Then she was introduced fully to John, the fireman, and everything took on a whole new sheen. There was no possible way I was going to be able to resist this story. It grabbed my emotions by the reins and pulled. Hard. I was immersed from beginning to end.

Let's be honest, I already knew I was going to enjoy this book. What really impressed me was how much I enjoyed it, despite it not being at all what I expected. I was anticipating horror. I got that, for sure. Just not quite in the manner I was expecting. Hill is teaching me that sometimes the horror that people can create is often much more terrifying than any monster could ever be. Long story short, this was great. It needs a spot on your reading list. ( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
The Fireman by Joe Hill is a novel about a plague, Draco Incendia Trychophyton, also known as Dragonscale.

I love how Hill brings his characters to life, and the world he creates is chilling. With incredible writing, I recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian tales. ( )
  feeroberts64 | Jan 11, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe Hillprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mulgrew, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Outside the street's on fire
in a real death waltz...
--"Jungleland," Bruce Springsteen
Though I spends me time in the ashes and smoke
In this 'ole wide world there's no 'appier bloke.
--"Chim Chim Cher-ee," Robert and Richard Sherman
It was a pleasure to burn.
--Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
Dedication
For Ethan John King, who burns bright. Your Dad loves you.
First words
Harper Grayson had seen lots of people burn on TV, everyone had, but the first person she saw burn for real was in the playground behind the school.
Quotations
Humanity is a germ that thrives on the very edge of catastrophe.
The people in charge can always justify doing terrible things in the name of the greater good.
But we need kindness like we need to eat. It satisfies something in us we can't do without.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
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 fire fighter’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.
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From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling 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 fire fighter 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.… (more)

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