• NOS4A2

  • A Novel
  • By: Joe Hill
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
  • Length: 19 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (16,329 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The spine-tingling, bone-chilling novel of supernatural suspense from the number one New York Times best-selling author of The Fireman and Horns - now an AMC original series starring Zachary Quinto, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, and Ashleigh Cummings.

"A masterwork of horror." (Time)

Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. 

Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. In the Wraith, he and his innocent guests can slip out of the everyday world and onto hidden roads that lead to an astonishing playground of amusements he calls Christmasland. 

The journey across the highway of Charlie's twisted imagination transforms his precious passengers, leaving them as terrifying and unstoppable as their benefactor. 

Then comes the day when Vic goes looking for trouble...and finds her way to Charlie. That was a lifetime ago. Now, the only kid ever to escape Charlie's evil is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx hasn't stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. On the road again, he won't slow down until he's taken his revenge. He's after something very special - something Vic can never replace.

As a life-and-death battle of wills builds, Vic McQueen prepares to destroy Charlie once and for all - or die trying. 

©2013 Joe Hill (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Quite simply the best horror writer of our generation, Joe Hill’s masterful storytelling is on full display in NOS4A2. It is by turns terrifying and hilarious, horrifying and full of heart, and relentlessly compelling." (Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of The Prophet)
"Fascinating and utterly engaging, this novel is sure to leave readers wanting more. One thing is for certain, however. After reading this book, readers will never hear Christmas carols in quite the same way again." ( Library Journal, starred review)
"[A] new take on the fantasy-horror genre...Highly recommended." ( The Sun Herald Sydney, Australia)

Featured Article: Authors Like Stephen King


Best-selling author Stephen King has published a staggering amount of work, from gripping crime thrillers to epic fantasy series, winning prestigious awards. Yet King’s varied writing is united by common themes, styles, characters, and settings. King fans will recognize a book by him for elements ranging from child characters to atmospheric settings, from eerie psychological horror to New England locations. Undeniably, King’s influence is evident in many of the horror genre’s leading and emerging authors. If you're a fan of Stephen King, these horror authors should be on your radar.

What listeners say about NOS4A2

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • B
  • 08-28-18

Narrator was OUTSTANDING!

I am not a big fan of horror so my rating is probably a little biased. I thought the story was "OK" overall but what really jumped out at me was Kate Mulgrew's narration. It was quite possibly the best narrator I have ever heard. 3.5 stars for the story ... 5 stars for Kate!

46 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Gripping performance by Kate Mulgrew....

I'm a visual designer. I listen to audiobooks throughout my day while I work. So, to me, a "good" audio book is one that keeps my interest even while I am not focused on it 100%.
Once I started this ride, I couldn't turn it off. I listeneded in the car, at the gym, and as I went to sleep. Stayed awake until 4am on the 3rd day- just to finish.

I have sampled ( and rejected) so many audiobooks that promise a "kick-a$$" heroine, but deliver a shrill and unconvincing performance by the narrator. Mulgrew was perfection! I believed every word as Vic, and her performance of Charlie Manx struck just the right creepy chords.

I'll look for more from Joe Hill. But I think my next purchase may be anything narrated by Mulgrew.

286 people found this helpful

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I’m trying, but...

...I returned it halfway through. Joe Hill May be critically acclaimed. Lots may like this book. And I saw many comments praising Kate Mulgrew’s narration, but they must have been written by family. She was what killed this book for me. Her confusing portrayal of every character sounding and read the same (Why is everyone yelling?) distracted and detracted enough to drive me away. LISTEN TO THE SAMPLE BEFORE BUYING! I also agree with other reviews that a) the characters lacked any sympathetic qualities giving reason to like them, and b) suggesting the book could have been half as long and not lost anything. Too much irrelevant detail made the story wander. This may not be my last Joe Hill attempt, but you better believe it’s my last Kate Mulgrew listen.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

And Gold Doesn't Come Off

I usually don't rush out to buy the newest hot book to come out. I let those I am following read first before I chance my money. Having loved Heart Shaped Box and Horns, I knew I did not need to wait on someone else to tell me this would be good. In my humble opinion this is the best Joe Hill has written yet.

I am sure JH gets tired of being compared to his dad, but having recently read "IT" by Stephen King I can not resist. I mentioned in that review that even though King throws a lot weird stuff and mean monsters at you, it's all just cover, to introduce you to some great flawed characters that you fall in love with. Hill has lots of weird things and mean scary monsters, but he mostly builds characters. You are scared, not because of the monsters, but because you don't want anything bad to happen to the people you have fallen in love with. All though I am not sure that I like the fact that in the book "It" you learn to hate clowns and then Hill ruins Christmas in this novel.

The bad guy is described as a bald Keith Richards with big blue veins covering his bald head. You learn in this book that: The blood of a red headed woman is three degrees colder then a normal woman. A cop does not want to pin a murder on the Gingerbread Man, cause word on the street is "You can't catch the gingerbread man".

Warning: The main difference between Hill and King, is that Hill uses very foul language, a lot worse then his dad would think of and if you read Heart-Shaped Box then you know that Hill is fixated on Blow J@@s. I hate to sound chauvinistic, but the stuff that comes out of the mouths of the women in this book made me cringe. I grew up around foul language and have worked around over the road truck drivers most of my life. If you were alright with Heart-Shaped box then you will be okay with this. Like I said I loved both books.

I hate nepotism, so I am in the position to dislike this author, but the talent of Joe Hill can not be denied. I have all his books in First Edition and plan on collecting everything he writes.

Now if you are not tired of me gushing like a little girl, let me remark on the narrator. I am in total awe of Kate Mulgrew. If you have read the hardback, you still want to get this audio. Nobody could have done a better job. She even does male voices better then some males. I am hoping like Muller and King were, so will be the team of Hill and Mulgrew. I don't know what they paid her but it was not enough.

252 people found this helpful

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Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This

When you read this novel, it will become clear why my headline is written as it is.

NOS4A2 is a story you won't want to miss. Well written, with a fresh, compelling storyline. A chilling start, and then it slows a little, but that is just necessary for information gathering, and character building--which all comes together with dizzying speed. I literally could not stop listening - everytime I put the ipod down to do something else, I couldn't wait to get back to it.

At times I completely forgot I wasn't listening to a Stephen King novel, but I guess it is only normal that his son would have picked up some of his style over the years. Joe Hill is an excellent author, as shown by his many publications so far. This one is my favorite.

Charlie Manx is a really bad man of 100+ years old, who loves Christmas, and claims he has to "save" children from bad parents by kidnapping them and taking them to his Christmas Land to live. Unfortunately, most of the parents are killed or maimed in the process, unless they are saved to be used for "fun" games by the children in Christmas Land. One of the children who Manx kidnapped, escapes. Known as Vic (Victoria), she was a scrappy, tough kid who had a knack for "finding" things that were lost -in a way that even she didn't understand. Her gift becomes more clear to her as she grows into the strong and determined adult who fights the evil Manx to protect those she loves. It's hard to write a review without divulging too much information, but I haven't given anything away here, as this is all information you get quite quickly.

This is the first novel I've listened to narrated by Kate Mulgrew--and what a talent. She has a real grasp on what each character should sound like, and puts her heart and soul into it. I will definitely check out other works by her.

I feel lucky that so many King horror stories seem to primarily take place in my state of Colorado (Misery, The Shining, the Stand, etc) as does this one. I can picture where all the action takes place, as they are loosely based on actual locations or structures, which makes them deliciously creepy to read.

A special treat at the end of this novel is Joe Hill speaking about his writing, some favorite authors, and a little about growing up in the King household. Very interesting.

141 people found this helpful

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D*mn near flawless

WOW! NOS4A2 puts Heart-Shaped Box to shame, no question. This is a phenomenal book made all the better by Kate Mulgrew's superb narration. We all know that a bad narrator can made an otherwise-great book unlistenable; believe me, no danger of that here! Mulgrew is pitch-perfect with every single character. Her interpretation of Manx in particular is skin-crawlingly good. I will certainly be purchasing any other projects to which she lends her vocal talents! Out of the 100+ audiobooks I've downloaded from Audible, I'd say I've had about a 50/50 success rate. Some have been sublime, others downright unlistenable. NOS4A2 definitely falls in the former category!

NOTE: This one starts off with a terrific bang then slows down for just a little bit to do some set-up. Don't be thrown off by the momentary lull---by the time you hit the two-hour-mark, things are revving up again and they never slow down for the rest of this incredible ride!

87 people found this helpful

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Terrific from beginning to end

What made the experience of listening to NOS4A2 the most enjoyable?

The wonderful characters and rich descriptions. And the "can't stop listening" level of suspense.

Any additional comments?

Very early on in this book I wondered "WOW, who the heck is this guy and why haven't I heard of him before? He could give Stephen King a solid run for his money" having no idea in the world that he was, in fact, a chip off the old King block until I looked him up online. As an author Joe Hill stands firmly on his own even though this acorn didn't fall far from the tree. Hill's style is in no way a lesser imitation of his fathers' work, although the writing is clearly influenced by it in all of the best possible ways. If you loved "It" or any of King's best, you really must read this one. Personally I can't wait to read more of his work.

Also: be sure to listen right through the credits where Hill sneaks in a creepy little plot epilogue, followed by an interesting author's commentary on audiobooks, the wonderful Kate Mulgrew, and his experience of growing up in a family of writers.

58 people found this helpful

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Stopped halfway

I know that I'm in the minority, but I did not enjoy the experience of listening to this at all. Most of the voices for the characters were fine, but the description of the main antagonist's voice did not match how Kate Mulgrew chose to act it out. I found the main protagonist unlikable for most of it, and the descriptions of most everything dragged on too long. At the 1/4 point, I was ready for it to be over. It could have been made into two books very easily. I don't normally stop a book or audiobook and walk away entirely, but the deciding factor were some of the over-the-top disturbing descriptions that were given. I'm no stranger to horror, but this was too much.

34 people found this helpful

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Great story with fantastic narration!

I listened to this book while working from home during the Coronavirus stay-at-home order. I could not stop there. I found myself listening while cooking, cleaning, working on crafts, or just relaxing. The story kept me wanting to know what happened next and was never slow or uninteresting. And Kate Mulgrew's spirited narration was the best I've ever heard. She made the characters come to life so well that I felt I was watching them rather than listening to a book. Very well done in all aspects.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Narrator was wonderful...

but I HATED the story. It was foul, blasphemous, and I had to stop listening and just delete it.

3 people found this helpful