First Lines: NOS4R2

The Missus and I can’t split up anymore, and it’s all Joe Hill’s fault. At a book signing in an excellent bookstore in London, he asked us if we were really sure he should put both our names in this copy of NOS4R2, and we said we were. He was a bit hesitant, because at a previous signing there was this this couple where he said “Both” and she was all, like, “Well, actually, …” and now he was a bit worried who would get the book in case of a break up. We assured Mr. Hill we had no intention of splitting up whatsoever, we laughed, books got signed, and good times were had by all.

NOS4R2 is the ­‘proper’ English edition of his latest novel NOS4A2, and it’s about two hoots and half. There’s a bad guy, and a good girl (well, mostly, anyway) with some special powers, and she has to stop him from hurting her kid.

In my yearly recap I called it the best Stephen King novel not written by Stephen King. A door-stopper of a book, containing an sprawling, epic horror story littered with references to King’s work, written by his son, earns such a qualifier easily. In the afterword, Hill states that he doesn’t regret cruising his father’s back roads. Nor should he. While he has said that he was just fooling around and didn’t mean to ties his work into some over-arching King/Hill-shared meta-universe — I wouldn’t mind if he did. Those tiny links (as well as those to Hill’s own earlier novels) provide a much richer backstory, and made NOS4R2 all the more awesome.

Book read
Joe Hill — NOS4R2
First line
Nurse Thornton dropped into the long-term-care ward a little before eight with a hot bag of blood for Charlie Manx