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Full Throttle: Stories by Joe Hill
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Full Throttle: Stories (2019)

by Joe Hill

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2431476,015 (4.15)1
"In this masterful collection of short fiction, Joe Hill dissects timeless human struggles in thirteen relentless tales of supernatural suspense, including "In The Tall Grass," one of two stories co-written with Stephen King, basis for the terrifying feature film from Netflix. A little door that opens to a world of fairy tale wonders becomes the blood-drenched stomping ground for a gang of hunters in "Faun." A grief-stricken librarian climbs behind the wheel of an antique Bookmobile to deliver fresh reads to the dead in "Late Returns." In "By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain," two young friends stumble on the corpse of a plesiosaur at the water's edge, a discovery that forces them to confront the inescapable truth of their own mortality, and other horrors that lurk in the water's shivery depths. And tension shimmers in the sweltering heat of the Nevada desert as a faceless trucker finds himself caught in a sinister dance with a tribe of motorcycle outlaws in "Throttle," co-written with Stephen King. Featuring two previously unpublished stories, and a brace of shocking chillers, Full Throttle is a darkly imagined odyssey through the complexities of the human psyche. Hypnotic and disquieting, it mines our tormented secrets, hidden vulnerabilities, and basest fears, and demonstrates this exceptional talent at his very best"--… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I’m tired of dragging myself back to this, it’s just not working for me.
October 13-25th, 2019.
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
Joe Hill is one of those rare authors who seems equally adept at short fiction (see the previous 20th Century Ghosts (HarperCollins, 2007) as he is with full-length novels (my favorites being his debut Heart-Shaped Box (William Morrow, 2007) and The Fireman (William Morrow, 2016). He's also had award-winning success with the Locke & Key comics series and a number of his works have been adapted for movies or television. It's all rather irritating for those of us who struggle to master even one of these creative art forms. Despite these personal peeves, I always look forward to new work from Hill, and his latest story collection does not disappoint.

The stories in Full Throttle (William Morrow, 2019) run the gamut from thriller to suspense to supernatural to indescribable, and kept me turning pages to the very end. The collection hits the ground running, so to speak, with the opening story, "Throttle" (co-written with the author's paterfamilias Stephen King) which sees a gang of aging biker thugs being terrorized by a truck driver carrying a grudge. And from there, we're off to the races. Not all of the stories have supernatural elements ("Throttle" doesn't, for instance) but the ones that do are very effective. The standout for me in this sub-genre was "Faun". I thought I knew early on where this hunter-and-the-hunted story was going; I was delighted and horrified to be so wrong. Other stories have a sweetness to them, like "Late Returns," about a bookmobile driver who keeps encountering patrons from the past. And "You Are Released," the final story in the collection, offers a high-altitude look at how the world ends — with both a bang and a whimper.

Bonus content comes at the end, where Hill has written notes describing his inspiration and influence for each of the stories. And don't skip the About the Author section, where you'll find a bonus micro-story titled "A Little Sorrow."

The Stories
Throttle — See above.

Dark Carousel — Four teens carelessly cross paths with a carousel operator, only to find themselves on the run from the ride's supernatural spirits.

Wolverton Station — A wolf of Wall Street meets his match on a British train.

By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain — The childhood wonder of discovering a legend is true, and the childhood frustration of not being believed by adults.

Faun — See above.

Late Returns — See above.

All I Care About Is You — Money can't buy you love? Don't tell that to this teenager of the future.

Thumbprint — The sins of the desert visit an ex-soldier in Maine.

The Devil on the Staircase — A poetic fable about the true costs of selling your soul.

Twittering From the Circus of the Dead — Predictable but enjoyable modern zombie tale.

Mums — A boy digs up dirt on his dad. As I read, I wasn't sure if this was a tale of the supernatural or mental illness, and I'm not sure it matters. It's compelling either way (though please note, Mr. Hill, it's Iowa State University with the ag program, not the UI Hawkeyes).

In the Tall Grass — This one gave "Faun" a run for its money as Story Raising the Most Hairs on the Back of My Neck. Forget everything you thought you knew about the children of the corn; here, the Kansas prairie strikes back.

You Are Released — See above. ( )
  rosalita | Mar 3, 2020 |
I think it's safe to say that Joe Hill is one of my new favorite writers. After completing Strange Weather last year, I was very excited to tackle Full Throttle. It took me awhile to get to it, but it certainly does not disappoint. Every story is gripping and full of a sense of mystery and adventure. The additional social and political commentary that runs in each tale is will what make his stories so special when they are absorbed by fans in the future. Although I have enjoyed many of Joe's full-blown novels, I think I may enjoy his short stories even more. He's able to pack an incredible punch over 30-40 pages that always leaves me stunned in the end and craving more. For me, "Mums" and "In the Tall Grass" are the most devastating, but all of them are worth the time! Keep it up, Joe! Can't wait to read what's next. ( )
  rsplenda477 | Feb 16, 2020 |
Another masterful work of art from one of my favorite authors working today. Joe Hill channels his father, Richard Bachman, Ray Bradbury and many other legends of the craft in this stupendous collection of stories delving from the scary real world to the supernatural. Even with a small lull in the middle, the first few stories and the last few kept me reading and yearning for more. The audiobook had a delightful menagerie of narrators that enhanced the tales and a few of the stories had me literally creeped out as I listened. I can’t wait for more of Mr. Hill’s work. ( )
  Tim.Roberson | Jan 11, 2020 |
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