NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

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.

AUTHOR: Joe Hill
PUBLISHER: William Morrow
YEAR: 2013
LENGTH: 692 pages
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Fantasy, Horror

Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Secondary Character(s).

NOS4A2 is smartly written, insightful, reflects an understanding of inner life... and is a spiraling well of darkness and depravity so deep that I had to take a several month break before finishing it. A horror novel, both damn good and deeply disturbing.

Horror is not my usual genre (and reading this book on my lunch break was a TERRIBLE idea), but I am glad that I read this book, and I am optimistic that I'll like more books by this author, as I hadn't read his work before. If you like horror, I recommend it. If you aren't sure, give it a try, but don't try to push through if it stresses you out too much because it will NOT let up.

*Updating my review to say that after thinking more about the ableism surrounding a secondary character's stutter (difficulty speaking is treated as part of the horror), and killing a character immediately after heavily implying that they're queer, I no longer highly recommend this, but if you already like horror you might enjoy it. 

CW for ableism, sexual assault, violence, gore, mental illness, child death, major character death, death.


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