the most horrifying question that the book poses maybe how readily an adult Vic was to accept that she was criminally-insane rather than magical. It m the most horrifying question that the book poses maybe how readily an adult Vic was to accept that she was criminally-insane rather than magical. It makes us question what in our own lives we are accepting, rather than letting ourselves create, or believe, or be what we want to be. If Joe Hill has established anything in Heart-Shaped Box and Nos4a2 its that we all have powers of creation and creativity, and they can save us, if we let them.
Joe Hill has already polished up a lot as an author in the three books he has written. I listened to heart Shaped Box earlier this year and while I enjoyed it, there were a few pitfalls, a few redundancies, and a little dragging- all problems that I never thought occurred with Nos4a2. Why do I love this book out of all the horror novels I’ve been reading the last few years? Vic. I love Vic. I love that she is an (im)perfect heroine. Honestly, after last year, I was totally tired of reading another horror/murder mystery novel that was just one more in the string of “oh look, another dead woman.” The violence against women was tiresome. Even when Clare was a perfect, logical female hero in Silence of the Lambs, I was just bored with it all, and mildly disgusted. Terrible violence happens to Vic, she is almost burned alive, she gets beaten to shit, she is almost raped, but through it all she is a god damn resourceful bastard that refuses to slide into insanity or roll over and die like a good girl. She scrabbles for survival, protects her son like a power of the earth, and goes to the ends of it to do so. You want a sweet, bechdel passing main character in a horror novel? Boom- I give you Nos4a2 and Vic McQueen in all her shoddy, insane, grasping for normal, damaged wonderfulness.
Also you get a wonderful villain. A true believer, as it were. A real monster. And a real monster’s side kick, which I thought was more terrifying and sickening than the Wraith any day, because he is one of us, and yet so easily manipulated. He is the perfect example of how tenuous our perceptions really are, and how warped they can become.
And you know, even the sidecast is pretty great. I desperately want a pair of FU Scrabble earrings now. The periphery characters were fleshed out and interesting enough that I had about ten thousand theories in each chapter about who had powers, who didn’t, who was crazy, what was happening, etc…. and I still didn’t see the end coming, which was fantastic. But it was a fun and mentally interactive book that kept you guessing, worrying, and listening intently (Did I just hear mention of a Dalek? Did he just mention Frobisher’s Cloud Atlas sextet? Omg Craddock was just there!)
The suspense was real. Ugh, that was the thing about listening to the audiobook- I couldn’t make it go any faster. I had to sit there and dwell in the terrifying moment like the good listener/reader I am supposed to be. If I had actually been sitting there with the book in my hands I know that I would have had my eyes skipping all over the page. So if you are like that then you might want to get this one on audiobook, the narration is fantastic and it will force you to slow down and really be present for the story. And that’s probably the most horrifying part.
With this story I really feel like Hill has done his part to reclaim the state that horror has fallen into- namely torture porn. Anything really graphic happens off scene, and leaving it to the readers imagination is always so much worse than what a writer can do. He knows this and exploits it. Not to mention that Christmas used to be the traditional time for ghost stories, hark, the bells of Christmas soon will toll and now you can add Nos4a2 to your haunted Christmas read list with Dickens and A Christmas Carol. fun and love same are not Also, in the same vein I would like to link this article that I thought was very interesting:
George Eliot agreed with Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments that “the sympathetic imagination is the foundation of all morality” (Austen 560). And for Eliot, literature fostered this imagination. I suspect that although George Eliot was a staunch Victorian realist, she and Joe Hill are really on the same page. (See also Dickens’s contrast between Fact and Fancy in Hard Times for more of the same idea from another Victorian “realist.”) A weak imagination means an inability to sympathize with others—one fails to imagine oneself in another’s shoes. If that someone else is experiencing something horrific, you won’t sympathize in the proper way. And if you can’t sympathize, you don’t fully understand what’s happening. Hill explores the effects of a lack of imaginative sympathy further after Manx is defeated. We realize that Manx’s kidnapping victim, Wayne, is still damaged by his experience. Wayne discovers that he takes a kind of sick pleasure in horrific things. When he sees things like a plane crash or news stories about wars in other parts of the world, Wayne feels “charged, jolted by excitement and guilt, as if he were looking at pornography” (p. 677). This is the flipside of horror fiction; it’s exactly what happens when horror loses half its effect, and becomes, instead, a kind of pornography. In the interview I quote from above, Hill notes “I’ve always detested when horror in the late ’90s turned into torture-porn,” because such works “failed at accomplishing the aims of horror.” In other words, they left out the most important part, the ethical dimension of horror. This is also the hardest part, because it requires real imagination. You have to imagine yourself in the shoes of the victim in order for the horror to really hit home, in order for you to fully understand it.
Not as good as the first but still excellent. I loved the backstorLOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE
Not as good as the first but still excellent. I loved the backstories, however, did wish the presentation had not been so disjointed. Still in no way was I disappointed by this amazing sequel. Dear god I love these comics.
female looking for three others to cosplay Rat Queens with?...more
I recently acquired a farm cat which my husband rescued from starvation in literally the middle of a cornfield. His name is Gringer. He spends all dayI recently acquired a farm cat which my husband rescued from starvation in literally the middle of a cornfield. His name is Gringer. He spends all day training and plotting to kill us when he isnt walking around begging for tummy rubs from anyone at the farm. He likes to hunt bugs as practice until he is old enough to move on to bigger prey (presumably, us), and he also likes to crawl up into saplings and wait for passerbys* to startle them by mewling loudly, then hopping down from the tree, and running away.
I love that cat. Its completely insane.
* can passerby even be made plural? Passerbies? That just looks strangly french....more