Author: Joe Hill
No. of pages: 720
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication date: April 30th 2013
Date read: December 12th 2017
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.
Exclusive to the print editions of NOS4A2 are more than 15 illustrations by award-winning Locke & Key artist Gabriel Rodríguez.
First I want to say: don’t be intimidated by the amount of pages this book has, because it really reads like a train! I was hooked right from page one and after that I really didn’t want to put it down anymore. Wanting to read on and on (and on) is only made easier because of some of the chapters ending halfway through a sentence and the title of the next chapter being the end of that same sentence. Because of this, and of course the great story itself, it’s literally quite hard to put down the book after “only one more chapter”.
When I first saw the book and got interested in it, I hadn’t a clue on how to pronounce its title. When you read the book you’ll come to understand the meaning behind the numberplate of the Wraith and the way Hill played with the word and its letters. I loved it and of course I had to tell everyone around me about the genius behind the title. Yes, I can get quite excited by wordplays.
I came to love every single character in the book and actually understood every single motive behind their actions. Even those of Mr. Manx and Bing. Of course, their actions aren’t … right, but you just can’t simply say they’re only bad. The characters all have their own reasons and think they are doing the right thing. For instance, Bing Partridge definitely creeped the frick out of me one moment, but the next I could only feel super sad for him (but he mostly creeped me out).
In the end, Hill’s way of telling the story made me doubt everything in the book. What was real, and what was only imagined by the main characters? All of that also didn’t really matter because you know: everything is possible in books. NOS4A2 definitely made me think – I now have my own theory about the character of Bing … but I think I have to reread the book in order to see if it’s actually a possibility. I will definitely be rereading this someday and I may just make it an annual thing: reading NOS4A2 around Christmastime for a voluntary visit to Christmasland (without all the creepy kids hanging around please). Somehow visiting that place did sound quite good at times …. Or am I the only one who thought so?