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. . . .
"In his third novel, Hill gives himself a broader canvas of 600-some pages and two more decades to tell a story of good vs.evil than he did in Heart-Shaped Box or Horns, and the result is a spectacularly exciting ride, by bicycle, creepy Rolls-Royce, and motorcycle.
Vic McQueen, a little girl with an otherworldly knack for finding lost things, is the only child ever to have survived the clutches of serial kidnapper/killer Charles Talent Manx. Her escape results in his comatose incarceration in a federal prison, but he's not the only one with unusual abilities. Years later, Manx fakes his death and slips out, and hits the road again, in his car with the license plate NOS4A2, this time coming after Vic's son Wayne, intending to take him to join the other children he's collected over the years, in a special place called Christmasland....
The good characters, none more than Vic herself, are flawed and dysfunctional, though in a generally sympathetic way that makes them more interesting and endearing. Among those who help Vic in her desperate attempt to retrieve Wayne are a stammering librarian who divines things using Scrabble tiles, an adversarial but goodhearted FBI agent, and Vic's ex-husband Lou, the father of Wayne.
It seemed to me for awhile that it was an open secret that Stephen King is Joe Hill's father, but that he was trying to establish himself on his own merit, and it wasn't polite to talk about it. Maybe now that they've collaborated on Road Rage, the cat is out of whatever flimsy bag it may ever have been in, or maybe it was just my own misperception. In any case, NOS4A2 contains direct references to several of King's works, including It, The Dark Tower, and even the forthcoming Doctor Sleep. Manx's assistant Bing Partridge, aka the Gasmask Man, parrots The Stand's Trashcan Man at one point, and there are less direct similarities to many others: Firestarter, The Dead Zone, Christine, and the short story "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut," to name just a few. Hill dedicates the book to his mom, and it can't be a coincidence that the FBI agent is named Tabitha! Lovecraft also gets a nod, and his own brief career has been embellished by many other writers wishing to share in his literary creation. It's all in good fun, and why not?"
Save The Date!!!
Joe Hill will be reading from and signing his new book at our Historic Lodo Store on Thursday, May 9, 20013 at 7:30 pm
Free numbered tickets for a place in the signing line will be handed out at 6:00 pm. Seating for the presentation prior to the signing is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis to ticketed customers only.