NOS4A2 by Joe Hill is a very chilling read about strained family dynamics, but for better or for worse, how love always wins in the end.
For those that don’t know, NOS4A2 is the license plate version of “Nosferatu,” the German word for vampire. So as I’m sure you can assume, this book is also about a vampire… of sorts.
My Thoughts on NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
This book is very difficult to explain without giving too much away. It’s one that you definitely want to dive in and make all the fun discoveries on your own. I will keep my notes below rather brief, but feel free to stop here, and wait to read this post until you have read this book.
Overall, I just love Joe Hill’s writing style! Right from the very beginning of this story, I was drawn in. Since my first read, the tale has really stuck with me. On my second read through, I had just as much fun as the first! I love how chilling it is to think about these abilities and how they can easily be used for evil rather than for good.
The storyline was so creative and organized so well. I really enjoyed how the story had plenty of action, drama, horror, and gore, but that it also had various splashes of sincerely heartfelt moments, which all built up to a very explosive ending.
I mentioned family dynamics in my opening sentence. That was one element of this tale that I hadn’t been expecting the first time around. There are various families included; Vic and her parents when she was a child, Vic and her parents when she is older, Vic and the family that she creates, the daughter and the father that rebuilt the Wraith, Charlie and his daughters, Charlie and all of the children at Christmasland, Charlie and Bing… though that last one is a bit of a stretch. In each of these families, there are various struggles and disfunction, but there was also love.
Another element of this book that was really fun and interesting was the illustrations that were sprinkled throughout the book. These illustrations were created by Gabriel Rodríguez.
I also absolutely adored the acknowledgements section! This is definitely one of the most creative ones I have seen!
The magical bridge is something that I’ve thought about from time to time since reading this story for the first time. It’s such a interesting thing, especially from the end where the bridge appears! I loved when Margaret describes it like watching a Polaroid develop.
Speaking of… Margaret was one of my favorite characters! She was a librarian in Here, Iowa with a bit of a stammer. She had a punk rock style and purple hair! I really loved her humor and thought it was so interesting that she was able to use scrabble tiles to learn things, but that this ability was unfortunately at the cost of her speech, resulting in a stronger stammer.
The search engine puzzle books that Vic created at one point in the book sound so fun! I wish they were real!
My Favorite Passages from NOS4A2
Hearing this man, convicted murderer and child molester, speak of her son made her dizzy, genuinely dizzy, as if she were in a glass elevator rushing quickly into the sky, the world dropping away beneath her.
She had dared herself to slip under the fence and walk ten steps, and the Brat had never been able to back down on a dare, even one she made to herself. Especially on the dares she made to herself.
“Mm,” said Peace-not-War. “Well. That’s helpful. We’ll put an APB out on the Gingerbread Man. I’m not hopeful it’ll do us much good, though. Word on the street is you can’t catch him.”
Christmas was almost three months in the rear view mirror, and there was something awful about Christmas music when it was nearly summer. It was like a clown in the rain, with his makeup running.
You had to know when it made sense to try to untangle something and when to just cut the motherfucker loose.
Was there any human urge more pitiful – or more intense- than wanting another chance at something?
There was no such thing as arguing with delight.
A pair of nuns were getting out of a cab, right out in front of the revolving door. That was damn close to divine intervention as far as Lou was concerned.
The darkness around her seemed to swell and recede like a kind of liquid, like the surface of a black lake.
Fantasy was always only a reality waiting to be switched on.
It collapsed in toward the middle, either end rising, as if the bridge were trying to close itself like a book, a novel that had reached its ending, a story that reader and author alike were about to set aside.
My Final Thoughts on NOS4A2
I really enjoy this tale. This was my second time reading it, and it was still so much fun. This is definitely one that I will reread from time to time!
TIP: If you are one of those people that stops reading once the final chapter ends, and skip the acknowledgements and the other added text, DO NOT MISS IT IN THIS BOOK! The story continues!
Will there be a follow up story? I HOPE so!
And of course, I cannot wait to see the adaptation!
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Thanks for reading!
Have you checked this book out yet? If so, what did you think?