Just when I thought it couldn't get any better than Stephen King, his son Joe started writing novels... NOS4A2 reads like a classic King story, but wiJust when I thought it couldn't get any better than Stephen King, his son Joe started writing novels... NOS4A2 reads like a classic King story, but with Joe Hill's own unique spin. There are references a-plenty to the classic King novels, in clever little snuck-in ways. I love that, and that some of King's newest works cross-reference back to Hill's. They add in-the-know snarky and fun references for an insider, but aren't integral to the plot; if you aren't familiar with the earlier books and don't get them, that does not in any way affect your enjoyment of the story or ability to follow things. It's not like they're trying to enforce an "us v. them" club; more like they're offering treats as inducements (much like Mr. Manx himself)...
The story is seriously creepy and horrific. That is de rigeur for a Joe Hill novel. What made it particularly so for me is the addition of a child-focus. What is it about creepy kid books?? Is it that they resonate with the child we used to be? Are we extra scared because we remember what it is to be smaller than the bad things around us? Or is it because they remind us how fragile our control over the world around us is? Whatever the reason, things like The Shining and now NOS4A2 hold a special, super-freaky, place in my literary heart - I can't read them when I'm alone, can't read them at night, can't read them in the dark. But at the same time, I can't NOT read them... It's a testament to the author(s) indeed when you can force me to cover my eyes with one hand, while frantically flipping pages with the other!!...more
Another thought-provoking, ethically-challenging and very enjoyable story from a talented author. I met KareMY REVIEW COPY WAS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.
Another thought-provoking, ethically-challenging and very enjoyable story from a talented author. I met Karen through an invitation to review her first novel (Twin-Bred - a review of which is also available on here, and another book you will want to pick up), which I also thoroughly enjoyed (it's sequel, Reach, is on my to-read list and the only reason I haven't read it yet is that the birth of my daughter interrupted my reading schedule, teehee). She crafts clever, inventive, unique stories peopled with very human (even when they're not!) characters that are real and flawed and complex in all the best possible ways.
Division is a story of conjoined twins - not a subject I ever gave much thought to, honestly, but one which let her explore the ideas of family and self in ways all to applicable, I think, to all of us. The tale of Johnny and Gordon made me think, rage, cry, blush, and laugh out loud - the full range of emotion is here, with a spin I doubt you've ever considered but which she manages to handle deftly with sensitivity but not sentimentality. The boys' struggle to live individual lives is guaranteed to leave an impression - and to make you think about your own concept of what it means to be you and live your life, limits and opportunities all.
Excellent job Karen. If you aren't familiar with her books I simply can't encourage you enough to pick them up. They aren't like anything else you're reading - in the best possible way....more
(Most of this is taken from a comment I left on another review.)
The reference to Anna Karenina and unhappy families sure laid a tone... After a so(Most of this is taken from a comment I left on another review.)
The reference to Anna Karenina and unhappy families sure laid a tone... After a somewhat innocuous start I couldn't believe where the story was going - and that feeling of disbelief just intensified right up to the end. Incredibly dark and no doubt WAY too prescient about the desensitization of violence the world over - but also, in a VERY twisted way, a paean to family and the increasingly lost art of familial love and support.
I didn't like or enjoy it but I am not at all sorry I read it, if that makes any sense (kind of like The Kite Runner). Not sure how/when I'd recommend it - unless and until someone asks me for a disturbing yet thought provoking trip to the dark side of love......more