NOS4A2 (Joe Hill)

NOS4A2 (or alternatively NOS4R2) is a novel by Joe Hill.
Finished on: 19.5.2019

Content Note: fatmisia, ableism

When Vic was a child, she learned that she has a special ability that leads her find lost things. That very same ability brings her to Maggie who has the ability to predict the future with scrabble tiles. She warns Vic of a man, Charles Manx, who abducts children in his Rolls Royce Wraith. When Vic goes looking for Manx, their fates become twined together – until Manx even comes looking for Vic’s son.

There were a couple of things that bothered me about NOS4A2 but overall it was a really good read that reminded me more of Stephen King than Hill’s other novels.

The book cover showing the title as a license plate written in blood.

To get the things that bothered me out of the way first: there was, above all, Lou’s fatness or rather the way it was treated. It seemd to be mentioned whenever Lou made an appearance. And I get it, he is fat, it’s not something that needs to be hidden. But the way it was overdone here, it felt like the fat equivalent of “she breasted boobily down the stairs and titted around the corner” (or however that glorious sentence went).

I was also very bothered by the fact that the queer person dies (because heaven forbid a queer person gets to live through shit), the fact that the disabled person is a villain (albeit a manipulated one who doesn’t know any better, but I’m not sure if that makes things any better) and the sacrificing mother trope.

In short, the book definitely has issues. But it was still compulsively readable and really pulled you into the story. I very much liked the characters – Lou and Vic and Tabitha and Maggie. The pacing was fantastic and there is not a boring moment. Inscapes were a really nice concept. And it’s the first book I ever read that actually has a post-credit scene and that is fantastically implemented. So, I still very much enjoyed it, despite the problems.

Summarizing: very engaging.

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