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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Horror/Suspense Novel, 24 Mar 2014
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This review is from: NOS4A2 (Paperback)
I liked Joe Hill's shorter fiction more than his novels up til NOS4R2. This novel is wonderful 700+ pages fly by.
Excellent characters and a wonderful monster a perfect combination of suspense and horror.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the gory horror that terrifies adults, 2 Feb 2014
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This review is from: NOS4A2 (Paperback)
This is the proper book to read on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. Don't miss that opportunity to straighten up your vision of the world of children. Christmasland is the future for us all, to get rid of all adults and to turn the whole world into an entertainment and amusement park. Another version of Joyland of course.

Joe Hill is settling accounts with life and he seems to have a lot. The slave maker in this world is an old Rolls Royce car of the 1930s and the Savior of this world is a Raleigh bike and a couple of Harley Davidson and Triumph motorbikes. He does not really like Father Christmas. He prefers the reindeers and the snowmen. And be sure the Moon is not any motherly figure but the great master of this world of total liberation known as Christmasland. Let's sing together the debunking of all mothers, and respect the exclamation marks on that one:

"In Christmasland we'll build a Snowgirl!
And make believe that she's a silly clown!
We'll have lots of fun with Missus Snowgirl!
Until the other kiddies cut her down!"

If you have the guts and the courage to enter one of the most cruel and gory book I have read lately (that definitely makes Stephen King the father look pale with his trilogy horrify / terrify / gross-out), put on your lifejacket and body armor and dive into this maelstrom of aggressive violence that is only believable if you are convinced there is a passage between this world of landscapes and the other world of your own secret inner landscapes, or inscapes. We all have an inscape, or several, but some of us have the tool to get into it and to bring into it the young boys and girls that will enable us to remain young for ever, to rejuvenate ourselves with the youth of these children. That is not cruel at all for these children because that's the only thing they want: to play all the time, to unwrap presents all the time, to indulge in games all the time, provided these games enable them to kill after some nice torturing sessions one or two adults a day, a night, a minute even if they would be listened to and followed into their own deeper impulses. Childhood innocence is an infantile deadly lethal disease.

It is impossible to even try to give you a spoiler about this story because it is so twisted, perverted and logically illogical that I would sound like a ranting, raving and roving fool if I even and only tried to select one single spoiler about it.

So let me remain simple. Joe Hill loves mothers, that's obvious and the mother, Victoria, aka Vic, of the main character, a child of course named Bruce Wayne (a mixture of Bruce Lee and John Wayne, Joe Hill's phantasms guaranteed), has to be sacrificed after she has fulfilled her only task, saving her son from the grasp of the monster Charlie Manx (don't try to see Mannix in this one because he is evil and the good FBI agent is a female: Tabitha - like Joe Hill's mother - Hutter - nothing to do with the Anabaptist Jacob Hutter, or in fact maybe perhaps everything to do with him).

The only redeeming character in this family, I mean the family of this poor Bruce Wayne, an unmarried family what's more, Bruce Wayne being a child out of wedlock, a poor child who has all the stigmata of perdition, the only redeeming character thus is the father, Louis, aka Lou (no allusion to Louis Armstrong since he is not black nor Lou Reed, though this one is more difficult to justify) Carmody. We expect to have the triplets Huey, Dewey and Louie, but the other two, besides Louis, are two girls, Lorrie and Millie, the daughters of the Monster Charlie who is the fourth wheel of the cart, except if we see the triplets in Lorrie, Millie and Charlie, and Louis then is the fourth wheel of the cart since he carries an s at the end of his name and not an e.

Don't be surprised if the way to this Christmasland is in three stages: the House of Sleep, the House of Sleigh and finally Christmasland itself. Sleep is for the parents who are tortured into non existence to save their own children with dental anesthetic gas that tastes like gingerbread. The Sleigh is for the children to slide into Christmasland in one swooping slip into the dream, in the Rolls Royce of course since it is the sorcerer of the story that extracts the youth of the children to invest and implant it into Charlie Manx. Goody good and sweet candy.

Apparently under the influence of Joe Hill's mother - so the author says - the last chapter was rewritten and the final destruction of all the children who were captured and abducted by the Rolls Royce, NOS4A2, the modern Nosferatu, the postmodern vampire, are finally redeemed though we can imagine the end was their total annihilation. No future indeed. We can thank Tabitha King for this last page of redemption.

The book is going to appeal to your deep sense of cruelty because that's the main characteristic of man according to Joe Hill: man is cruel to all other human beings and to himself too. Don't bother with women since they are only the salvaging character who has to be sacrificed to achieve the final salvation of the child. You understand then why the father is Lou, aka Louis. He is an eternal child, especially after he was cleaned up of his mountain of excessive fat. He is a child. And the FBI agent, Tabitha Hutter, can only be the merger of a mother, who will have to be sacrificed when she is finished with salvaging some kids, and a puritan punisher who will have to be sidetracked in her attempt to prevent children from being cruel as they naturally are, should be and have to be.

And don't expect the Moon to be a motherly character. She is the voice of vengeance and revenge against parents commanding the redeemed children to kill all adults. That moon who is a pure male in the deepest gender tradition of the Germans does not hesitate on words:

"GET GER! KILL HER! SHE CAME HERE TO END CHRISTMAS! KILL HER NOW!"
"SHE'S DOWN, SHE'S DOWN, CUT HER, KILL HER!"
"SCISSORS-FOR-THE-DRIFTERS! SCISSORS-FOR-THE-BITCH!"

In all that pile of supernatural events yet there is no real illogical twist, I mean no twist that is not logically illogical and certainly not illogically logical. Joe Hill's children have reached the age of reason and they can make the difference between 2 + 2 and the fall of Babylon, though the fall of Christmasland is quite similar to the Book of Revelation of the Horror Planet of the King of all gory terror and his direct descendants.

There is only one shortcoming in this book. It is maybe slightly too short. The author used a couple of shortcuts here and there to make the trip hold within seven hundred pages. Maybe a couple more hundred pages might have make our pleasure last longer.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, 30 Dec 2013
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K. Handley (Derbyshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: NOS4A2 (Paperback)
This is a very good read, Joe Hill has certainly inherited his father's talent for writing a good story. I couldn't put it down!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joe's best yet, 28 Jun 2013
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Dr Satan (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nos4a2 (Paperback)
Great story-writing clearly runs in the family. I read this back to back with Stephen King's 11-22-63 and while that novel was superior (come on though - King is an excellent writer) NOS4A2 shows that Joe Hill is finding his voice and having fun. He even pokes fun in a few places regarding the inevitable comparisons to his illustrious father.

Fast-paced, at times truly horrific and good-humoured, NOS4A2 is highly recommended and having read all of Hill's previous novels this is easily his best yet - hopefully an indication of things to come.
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NOS4A2
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (Paperback - 15 Oct 2013)
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