NOS4R2 is the first book I have read by Joe Hill, son of Stephen King (‘Joe Hill’ is his pen name, his full name is Joseph Hillstrom King, but all credit to him not riding on his old man’s monicker). Its the story of Charles Manx and his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the licence plate ‘NOS4R2’ which, yep, spells out ‘Nosferatu’. Manx is a serial killer who is over a century old, a vampire that lives on the youth of children, who he abducts and spirits away to Christmasland, a place where it is Christmas everyday and from where children never return.
I guess its a little bit Christine, a little The Shining, a little The Dead Zone… which is not to depreciate Hills achievement here, its just that the style of Stephen King is so heavy in this, if I hadn’t been aware it was written by his son, I would have been convinced that King himself had written it under a pseudonym. Its even as overlong as so many of King’s novels are, totaling almost 700 pages long when a bit of editing would have helped no end. But length not withstanding, its a rollicking read, a real page-turner and a reminder of back when King himself was at his best.
Inevitably, there’s a damn good film here in these pages- I haven’t read a book so certain there’s a great movie on the page since Andy Weir’s The Martian. I think the book has actually been optioned as a mini-series on TV, which on the one hand makes sense as its such a big book, but really, I’m certain it could make a better film with a little editing.
Great summer read though. I’ll try other books by Joe Hill in the future.