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Buddy-Reads > Strange Weather by Joe Hill

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message 1: by Heena (last edited Sep 26, 2018 08:29AM) (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Hello, everyone.
Welcome to the October Buddy Read of one of Joe Hill's latest and exceptionally sensational novels - Strange Weather
The buddy read for this book will officially begin on 1st October and will continue till the end of the month, i.e., till 31st October (as per your time zone) making it easy and feasible for everyone interested to participate. We start the thread early to let everyone know about the planned book in time for them to be able to arrange it, but you can start posting and sharing the excitement before the buddy read kicks in.
Note: This buddy read would be led by Moderator Cheryl.

Following are the guidelines:
- You can join the buddy read any time during the entire month
- We encourage interaction so feel free to share your views, thoughts and experiences related to this book
- You can share extra stuff related to the book - quotes, graphics, news, interviews, links or articles (even your own blog posts)
- Please refrain from sharing spoilers before the 15th of the month as most of the participants might not have finished the book. Though if everyone has finished reading, then you can discuss the spoilers as well.
- Do share about the buddy read on your social media channels to get more people to join the buddy read - the more the merrier.

We picked this book keeping in lieu of the month of Halloween and our Genre Challenge. If you are a horror fan then you're at the right place and if you're new to the genre or a rare reader of it then this would be a great place to explore yet another title in the genre that is better read with buddies.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead an announce your participation!


message 2: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (MadameVauquer) | 1833 comments Mod
I'm in! I currently have it on hold, hopefully I'll get it at least by mid-month.


message 3: by Heena (last edited Sep 26, 2018 08:21AM) (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
I did a post on this buddy read, thought I'd share the link here: https://thereadingbud.com/rmfao-buddy...

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Also, I shared it on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, so feel free to share or retweet on your social media as well :)

Looking forward to reading this book so much!


message 4: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Since I am moderating this Buddy Read, I thought I'd post some general things about the book.

First, this book is actually a collection of four novellas. They are from four different genres: supernatural horror, thriller, science fiction/fantasy, and dystopian. All four novellas have scary/creepy elements in them.

Second, since there are four novellas, you can read all four or you can just read the ones that appeal to you. Since they are not connected in any way, they are stand-alone reads and can be discussed separately. I will say that I liked some of them more than others, but I did read them all. They are very quick reads.

Please feel free to post your thoughts about them, but try to refrain posting anything too specific that might be spoilers until after October 15. That way others can catch up with the read and not have spoilers ruin any surprises in the stories.

Enjoy the Buddy Read!


message 5: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Starting today :)


message 6: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Since I am moderating this Buddy Read, I thought I'd post some general things about the book.

First, this book is actually a collection of four novellas. They are from four different genres: super..."


Thanks a lot for the info, Cheryl! I'll be reading all 4 stories.


message 7: by Chinmay (new)

Chinmay Janbandhu | 1 comments I've read this book 6 months ago!!! No spoliers alert but my favorite story was 'Rain'.
A splendid book with amazing narration and story for most of em. Can't wait to discuss!!!!


message 8: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Chinmay wrote: "I've read this book 6 months ago!!! No spoliers alert but my favorite story was 'Rain'.
A splendid book with amazing narration and story for most of em. Can't wait to discuss!!!!"


I'm glad you enjoyed the book, Chinmay! 'Rain' was a good story. I especially liked that the origin of the apocalyptic situation was explained. So many books have no explanation for the "apocalypse" that's happening in that world.


message 9: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Has anyone started reading the first story, 'Snaphot' yet? If yes, what do you think of it?


message 10: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (MadameVauquer) | 1833 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Has anyone started reading the first story, 'Snaphot' yet? "

I just checked and there is still one person ahead of me. I hope they're a fast reader!


message 11: by Heena (last edited Oct 09, 2018 10:32AM) (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
I started reading it but then the guests came and I had to take a break on page 9. So far, I'm really intrigued by ShellyBeukes' fear/paranoia for The Polaroid Man. Will start reading again tonight. Can't wait!!


message 12: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
I read the first one - Snapshot. I enjoyed it for the most part but didn't like the ending. I mean, the build-up was great and I enjoyed till the part where Michael (the lead) clicked Shelly's pics and the next day she dies. After that, I saw no point and have no idea why Hill continued the narration. For me, it kind of killed the entire fun. Still, I'd rate it 3/4 if I would have to rate the story individually.


message 13: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "I read the first one - Snapshot. I enjoyed it for the most part but didn't like the ending. I mean, the build-up was great and I enjoyed till the part where Michael (the lead) clicked Shelly's pics..."

I think (and I don't have the book in front of me) that it went on so that Michael would find the origins of the Polaroid Man. He found a picture of the Polaroid Man in a basement that looked like a human sacrifice of the little girl. The entity summoned by this gave him the camera.

I do agree the story could've been a bit stronger. It turned from a horror story into more of a contemplation about memory, and how it contributes to who you are.


message 14: by Heena (last edited Oct 11, 2018 12:07AM) (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
SPOILER ALERT!! ---- Don't read if you haven't finished reading Snapshot

Umm... I guess by the time Shelly died, the story of Polaroid Man was already revealed. I have no idea why he went on and on about his kids and the playground and the fair (or wherever the end part took place.) I loved the concept a lot, but then the narration continued for so long that I wasn't even sure if it was even gonna end. At one point I even thought that maybe the Polaroid Man will be seen again at the end by his sons or something like that. Lol.


message 15: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "Umm... I guess by the time Shelly died, the story of Polaroid Man was already revealed. I have no idea why he went on and on about his kids and the playground and the fair (or wherever the end part..."

OK, like I said, I don't have the book right now, so I was unsure of the very end. I just wonder if this was going to be a novel at some point but it fizzled out and the author just decided to publish it in a collection, instead. I do know that at first I rated this story a 4, but then thought it was more like a 3. It was good, but could have been so much better.


message 16: by Cheryl (last edited Oct 09, 2018 12:21PM) (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
The second story, 'Loaded', made me a bit angry at the heavy-handed preachy approach the author took in writing the story. He really made it political. I did read the entire story, in spite of these feelings. It's fast paced, but a pretty ugly story. My least favorite.


message 17: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I just wonder if this was going to be a novel at some point but it fizzled out and the author just decided to publish it in a collection, instead. ."

I agree, even I felt that it would have read better as a complete novel rather than a short story that seemed to have ended at a point that made very less sense on the whole.


message 18: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "The second story, 'Loaded', made me a bit angry at the heavy-handed preachy approach the author took in writing the story. He really made it political. I did read the entire story, in spite of thes..."

I'm only 2 pages in and I'm not sure if I want to continue it. I have no idea what it is about the story, maybe the way it is written or the characters (or maybe the way they think - everything leading to some or the other kind of racism), but I might not complete this one and after the last story's ending I'm not sure if it would be worth it to read it only to see it end badly. I'll read another couple of pages to see if it manages to engage my mind at all.


message 19: by Cheryl (last edited Oct 10, 2018 04:00AM) (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Heena,

If you want to skip 'Loaded' please do so. It is very political and was written as a pro gun-control cautionary tale. Every character that has a gun in the story is racist, crazy, and over-the-top unstable. I thought it wasn't very subtle. It would have worked better if the author showed well-meaning, normal people with guns but bad situations still happened because of gun use. You know, I might agree with the author on the need for better gun use laws in the U.S., but he doesn't have to hit me over the head with a shovel to make his point. His father Stephen King has a tendency to do that, too.


message 20: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Heena,

If you want to skip 'Loaded' please do so. It is very political and was written as a pro gun-control cautionary tale. Every character that has a gun in the story is racist, crazy, and over-..."


Sorry, this story was this way. I think I'll skip it, as you suggested. And I agree about Stephen King being forceful in trying to make a point about something (esp. if it is even slightly political) - a reason, I think, why I feel I prefer his earlier works to the more recent ones.


message 21: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
I've started with Aloft and it is such a breezy read! I'm enjoying it every bit so far (I'm only at the part where Aubrey has fallen on the cloud) and looking forward to knowing what exactly is the deal with the cloud.


message 22: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "I've started with Aloft and it is such a breezy read! I'm enjoying it every bit so far (I'm only at the part where Aubrey has fallen on the cloud) and looking forward to knowing what exactly is the..."

Heena,

Aloft was my favorite story in the collection. No politics, just pure speculative fiction. Such a unique idea, too.


message 23: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (MadameVauquer) | 1833 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Aloft was my favorite story in the collection. No politics, just pure speculative fiction. Such a unique idea, too. "

Thanks Heena and Cheryl. I'll make sure to read this one no matter when the book is available to me.


message 24: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Has anyone else has started reading this book? If so, please feel free to post your comments about it, even if you only decide to read one of the stories.


message 25: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (MadameVauquer) | 1833 comments Mod
I just received notice yesterday that I'm now first in line. Fingers crossed.


message 26: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: "I just received notice yesterday that I'm now first in line. Fingers crossed."

Good news, Dagny!


message 27: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: "I just received notice yesterday that I'm now first in line. Fingers crossed."

Yay... hope you'll enjoy the read.


message 28: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
I finished Aloft and so far it was my favourite. I liked it a lot, but somewhere around the middle of the story, I found myself drifting away from the story which resulted in a 3-4 day break I took from it without even feeling guilty. I don't know why, but I'm starting to think that maybe Hill's writing is not for me. Or maybe it's simply that I picked the wrong book as his first book for me.
I'm starting to get concerned because this was a very expensive book and I also bought Fireman at 3 times the original price (actually my husband bought it for me) so now I'm beginning to think that it was a huge mistake! I hope to hell that Fireman turns out to be better than this collection.
Anyway, I started with Rain and so far I'm liking it (just like I liked the other two stories) but I'm not sure if I'll end up hating it like Snapshot or might actually like it like Aloft. Or maybe abandon it like Loaded. I'm really not sure why this book is not appealing to me as much as I wanted it to :(


message 29: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Heena,

Not every writer is for every reader. Some people really like Joe Hill's writing, but some don't. I gave this book 3 stars, which means (to me) "good, but not great". I haven't read anything else by him, so maybe The Fireman is much better.


message 30: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Heena wrote: " Anyway, I started with Rain and so far I'm liking it (just like I liked the other two stories) but I'm not sure if I'll end up hating it like Snapshot or might actually like it like Aloft. Or maybe abandon it like Loaded. I'm really not sure why this book is not appealing to me as much as I wanted it to :(  "

I wonder if these stories started out as ideas for novels, but the author got stuck and then turned them into stories? They do tend to wander a bit in the middle, like the author wasn't sure where to take the plot. Maybe a better editor could've polished these stories and made them flow better? I think writing shorter works (like short stories or novellas) takes a different skill set than writing novels. I think Stephen King, when he's at top form, can do both quite well. I've enjoyed most of his short story collections.


message 31: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Yes, some stories did feel like they were meant to be something else, but the author decided to change course mid-way. This is Hill's first venture into short stories (according to an interview, which also mentioned that he wanted to try different themes and forms in writing) so maybe his full-length novels are better than the short stories.
I do enjoy most of King's short stories, in fact, he is one of the best short story writers I've read so far.


message 32: by Cheryl (last edited Oct 21, 2018 05:21AM) (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
I thought Joe Hill wrote a short story collection years ago: 20th Century Ghosts

Maybe he meant novellas in the interview? Anyway, it's good to see an author trying new things. He certainly tried a variety of genres in this book. I didn't think it was bad for a first attempt.Hopefully it will help him grow as a writer.


message 33: by Heena (last edited Oct 22, 2018 09:46PM) (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I thought Joe Hill wrote a short story collection years ago: 20th Century Ghosts Maybe he meant novellas in the interview? Anyway, it's good to see an author trying new things. He ce..."

Yes! I meant novellas :D
Yeah, as you said, it was good but not great. And I checked a few reviews and seems like his fans of the full-length novels didn't find this collection that thrilling either, so that means that his novels might be better (I hope that they are, otherwise I'd be doomed as Fireman is a very lengthy book.)


message 34: by Heena (last edited Oct 22, 2018 09:47PM) (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
I'm still liking the story 'Rain', in fact, I think it is the most interesting story, for me, so far in the collection. For a change, I love the characters. And the rain apocalypse seems very interesting too. Honeysuckle has just embarked on her quest to visit Yolanda's father, so it's still pretty early to say anything I guess. Let's see what happens next.


message 35: by Cheryl (last edited Oct 23, 2018 01:48PM) (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "I'm still liking the story 'Rain', in fact, I think it is the most interesting story, for me, so far in the collection. For a change, I love the characters. "

I thought that 'Rain' was the most well-planned story in the collection. The author started writing it with the ending in mind, because of the way the plot progressed. The characters were interesting. I was a bit distracted by the author's somewhat politicising of Honeysuckle's sexual orientation. Alot of mentioning that she's a lesbian and that she's frequently harassed because of this and such. I have no problem with her sexual orientation, but I don't need to be preached to about it. It would have given a better flow to the story, in my opinion, if he would have been less forceful about it.


message 36: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Yes, I agree with you; this story does seem like it's going somewhere.
Even I noticed a lot of unnecesary use of the word lesbian, sometimes even at random - like when she's being followed by the cat-guy ( I forgot his name), I mean he didn't even know that she was a lesbian!
I guess maybe it has something to do with the fact that the protagonist is Southern (or western?), that she is country folk and maybe inspite of having accepted her sexualoty and coming out in time to be able to live like she wanted, somewhere her brought up still bothers herself about this fact. I have a gay cousin and he sure talks about being gay and the troubles a lot more than unnecessary at the oddest of times (like when we all are having a nice dinner and having good conversation, he'd randomly bring it up and makes everyone awkward and quiet and well... embarresed to be even present there.) So maybe this is something that most (or some) of the people with different sexual preferences feel. Now that I'm talking about it, it's actually starting to make sense to me why Honeysuckle continusly brings it up in her thoughts. It's like not wanting to be a psyvhopath, but not being able to help it either. Okay now that is a weird analogy, but do you see the point in this?


message 37: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Heena,

Your explanation helped me to understand Honeysuckle alot better. I guess it depends on the individual and their experiences. Some people would talk alot about being gay, and others wouldn't.


message 38: by Heena (last edited Oct 24, 2018 11:09AM) (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Cheryl, I'm so glad that it helped you in some way. Come to think of it, reading Honeysuckle's point of view is helping me understand my cousin better.


message 39: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
I'm still not done (I'm not getting any time to read at all!) but I do want to say that I'm finding the comet cult very interesting. One thing I am really liking in this book is Joe Hill's sense of humour. At times, I re-read the funny sentences to enjoy them. Especially, I'm really impressed with Honeysuckle's sense of humour (esp. when it came to the comet crazies.


message 40: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (MadameVauquer) | 1833 comments Mod
Good news, I finally have Strange Weather! Tempted to start it tonight, but know I'll fall asleep since I'm so tired. May not actually get to read much of it until Monday. This weekend is full including the wedding of a friend's great-niece on Sunday.


message 41: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (MadameVauquer) | 1833 comments Mod
Haven't had a chance to read even one story yet. To be honest, after seeing some of the comments, I figured I'd end up only reading one story anyway. Might not even get to that by Thursday. I'd rather finish The Frankenstein Papers which I've been reading for three weeks.


message 42: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Dagny,

That's ok. If you ever decide to read a story, you can still post your thoughts on this thread later.


message 43: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (MadameVauquer) | 1833 comments Mod
Thanks, Cheryl. My reading today was the Frankenstein story which I finished up for the Horror Genre. For tomorrow, I think I'd rather start reading Wanda's book than the Joe Hill one.


message 44: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
I'm finally done with this book. I enjoyed Rain a lot, but the ending seemed a bit far-fetched. But it was the best overall story for me in the entire collection.
Overall I'm rating this book 3 stars ( Snapshot - 3/5, Loaded - 1/5 - DNF, Aloft - 3/5 and Rain - 4/5).
I think this collection could have a lot better (for me) but somehow it just wasn't there. The stories all started out well, but then they all seemed to drift every now and then and it seemed like the author's mind was wandering a lot, and then the endings seemed to be either abrupt or just drawn out.
Another thing I would like to mention here is that in spite of having very interesting concepts, I found the book to be really, really long. Even though I left out one of the lengthiest stories. It felt like a drag and a slog, so the writing was not at all smooth. It had a lot of yps and downs in terms of its tones.
I won't recommend it to anyone except Joe Hill's die hard fans.


message 45: by Cheryl (last edited Oct 31, 2018 12:40PM) (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Heena wrote: " Another thing I would like to mention here is that in spite of having very interesting concepts, I found the book to be really, really long. Even though I left out one of the lengthiest stories. It felt like a drag and a slog, so the writing was not at all smooth. It had a lot of ups and downs in terms of its tones."

Heena,

I agree with what you said. I think every novella could have been shortened into a short story and would have been better because of it. I gave the collection a 3, so it's not horrible but also not great.


message 46: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Cheryl - Exactly! Not horrible but not great either.


message 47: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Another thing I'd like to mention is that I found the use of 2nd Person POV in the stories (except for Loaded as I left that one out), very interesting. Very few authors address the readers directly anf it was a pleasant surprise to have been addressed that way while reading this book.


message 48: by Cheryl (last edited Nov 01, 2018 06:20AM) (new)

Cheryl | 967 comments Mod
Heena wrote: " Very few authors address the readers directly and it was a pleasant surprise to have been addressed that way while reading this book. "

Yes, that was an interesting touch. Joe Hill isn't a bad writer. He had alot of good story ideas. I just think he needed a better editor for these stories - one who wasn't afraid to show him how to improve what was already there.


message 49: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. (HeenaRathore) | 1556 comments Mod
Cheryl - Yes, maybe that's what was amiss with the book. He is indeed a good writer (he did cook up Aloft and Rain brilliantly, even Snapshot, but again, just the start I ngs were great and not the entire plots.)


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