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The Fireman

by Joe Hill

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,0651446,307 (3.83)145
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 is 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)
  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.
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» See also 145 mentions

English (143)  Italian (1)  All languages (144)
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
This isn't perfect: it's longer than it should have been, the main villain is weak and there are a couple of truly terribly puns that would have been better suited to a mid 80s Schwarzenegger movie; but the key characters are a delight, the concept is strong and well executed and I couldn't stop reading it. It may have suffered a bit for me as I read it immediately after Stephen King's 'Under the Dome' which is similar but, IMHO, superior. Well worth a read through and the ending in particular is great. ( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
2 stars is being generous. I feel really let down by other reviewers on goodreads... someone brought up this author favorably in a review of another author's work that I enjoyed- someone who can't tell the difference between good writing and pulp fiction. I feel that with all the data on us that goodreads collects, they should be able to turn me on to decent books. But the"recommended for you" search algorithms are poor and give too few results, other reviewers are unreliable, there are too few ways to search for books, etc etc etc. This place is a wealth of knowledge with no way to sort through it. There should be a way to find out ahead of time if a book is written for a high school reading level (like this one) or for actual literate adults. That would be a start. ( )
  wideblacksky | Mar 19, 2022 |
The book is disappointing and Kate Mulgrew didn't help. ( )
  NancyinA2 | Feb 3, 2022 |
Disappointing ( )
  NancyinA2 | Feb 3, 2022 |
That was REALLY good. ( )
  maryellencg | Jan 8, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

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.
There’s something horribly unfair about dying in the middle of a good story, before you have a chance to see how it all comes out. Of course, I suppose everyone always dies in the middle of a good story, in a sense. Your own story. Or the story of your children. Or your grandchildren. Death is a raw deal for narrative junkies.
FOX said the Dragon had been set loose by ISIS, using spores that had been invented by the Russians in the 1980s. MSNBC said sources indicated the ’scale might’ve been created by engineers at Halliburton and stolen by culty Christian types fixated on the Book of Revelation. CNN reported both sides.
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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 is 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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Average: (3.83)
0.5
1 12
1.5 1
2 28
2.5 9
3 112
3.5 46
4 206
4.5 22
5 136

 

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