Reviews tagging Violence

NOS4A2, by Joe Hill

9 reviews

shepherd's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

This was my Halloween read after reading reviews stating it was the scariest book people had ever read. Maybe I'm immune to being scared, because this did nothing for me in that aspect. I found the mentions/description of rape, child abuse, and pedophila disgusting. Did that scare me? No. 

I think I was expecting some horrifying blood sucking adventure of chaos and murder. Instead it was an energy vampire or some shit. 

The characters are fleshed out and Vic is ballsy and incredibly damaged, I dug that. Lou is amazing, enough said.

I did feel the entire novel was paced medium to slow. I should have expected that, given the family ties. The end was incredibly rushed after 650 pages. The finally chapter left me wondering how it even made sense. Lou was so absolutely in love with Vic, bit a couple months after she dies he's basically shaking up with the FBI agent? Excuse me, but no, that made absolutely no sense after spending 700 pages explaining how tied to each other these two characters are emotionally.

I likely will skip all other Hill books as they're too much like King, which is slow and superfluous.

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chelsmm's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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ranocchietto's review against another edition

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dark sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

I enjoyed the novel, I particularly liked the well-rounded characters, how each had its distinctive "voice" and the descriptions matched their personalities.

The book deals with cycles of trauma, growing up and the loss of innocence, and how people close to us make a difference in our lives, it was quite moving at times.

I would say my main problem was with the pacing, it felt unfocused towards the last third, it would have benefited from fewer digressions. I also felt the tone towards the end didn't match the tension the author was probably going for, but it didn't really spoil the experience for me.

Do check the content warnings before reading, it can get a bit heavy. The fatphobic undertones made it quite uncomfortable for me.

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alohiel's review

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adventurous dark funny mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0


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donegal's review against another edition

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dark reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25


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michellepc's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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daisydil's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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caidyn's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

CW: rape, sexual assault, kidnapping, murder, child death, child abuse, drug use, mental illness, and general violence

Apparently, all it took was trying multiple of Hill's books (including this one) a few times and also buddy reading one with my very good friend to finally find a book I like by this author. I mean, I've tried him so many times with so many books that this was a last-ditch effort. And I really enjoyed it!

I like how the book was split up and it felt like there were multiple climaxes in it. A first with Vic when she was a kid, then another when she was an adult. I also found Bing ten times freakier than Manx. Honestly, he was scarier to me because he was so unhinged, although that's what Manx profited off of. Then, there's the vampire mythos of it almost being like an energy vampire, so that was fun.

I think the only thing that was a pro and a con was that it piggybacked so much off his dad's works. In my opinion, that's the double-edged sword for Hill. On one hand, it's fun to see him linking his books in with his father's creations and seeing little Easter eggs in that regard. It also comforts me because I know that Hill will take charge of his dad's unfinished manuscripts when he eventually dies and will be able to keep it going for a while. On the other hand, I wish that Hill was more of his own person and didn't rely on those little things. Again, a double-edged sword that is both good and bad.

So, overall, I did enjoy it. I'm glad that I liked this and can feel confident that I'll try some of his books again. Maybe not Horns since I've tried it twice already and DNFed both times, but I will try him again in the future.

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booksthatburn's review against another edition

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dark mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

NOS4A2 is smartly written, insightful, reflects an understanding of inner life... and is a spiraling well of darkness and depravity so deep that I had to take a several month break before finishing it. A horror novel, both damn good and deeply disturbing.

Horror is not my usual genre (and reading this book on my lunch break was a TERRIBLE idea), but I am glad that I read this book, and I am optimistic that I'll like more books by this author, as I hadn't read his work before. If you like horror, I recommend it. If you aren't sure, give it a try, but don't try to push through if it stresses you out too much because it will NOT let up.

*Updating my review to say that after thinking more about the ableism surrounding a secondary character's stutter (difficulty speaking is treated as part of the horror), and killing a character immediately after heavily implying that they're queer, I no longer highly recommend this, but if you already like horror you might enjoy it. 

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