- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow & Co (1 October 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062200674
- ISBN-13: 978-0062980571
- Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 612 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Full Throttle: Stories Hardcover – 1 Oct 2019
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"The Weather quartet unleashes a perfect storm of styles, from a slow-burn thriller to ethereal sci-fi, all told with a consistently strong voice.... Hill whips up emotional moments in all four that strike like lightning and thunderously rumble your soul."--USA Today on STRANGE WEATHER
"Original and gripping, a page-turner."--George R. R. Martin on THE FIREMAN
"[The Fireman] reaffirms [Joe Hill's] gifts for riveting attention and pushing genre conventions to new extremes. "--New York Times Book Review on THE FIREMAN
"[A] superb supernatural thriller . . . a tremendous, heartrending epic of bravery and love set in a fully realized and terrifying apocalyptic world, where hope lies in the simplest of gestures and the fullest of hearts."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on THE FIREMAN
"[An] undeniably readable work."--Booklist (starred review) on NOS4A2
"A genuinely scary novel filled with people you care about; the kind of book that still stays in your mind after you've turned over the final page. I loved it unreservedly."--Neil Gaiman on HEART-SHAPED BOX
"Powerful . . . a fast-paced plot that crackles with expertly planted surprises and revelations . . . a truly memorable debut."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on HEART-SHAPED BOX
"A four-pack of mayhem in this sparkling collection of short novels. . . .Worth waiting in line for, if you're a Hill fan. If you're not, this is the book to turn you into one."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on STRANGE WEATHER
"[A]nother must-read from a increasingly impressive storyteller [...] Strange Weather speaks to the versatility of Joe Hill's craft, telling deeply disturbing stories in which cataclysmic forces of nature seem like a gentle rain when set against the actions of villains who are all too human."--barnesandnoble.com on STRANGE WEATHER
About the Author
Joe Hill is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Fireman; NOS4A2; Horns, which was made into a major motion picture starring Daniel Radcliffe; Heart-Shaped Box, which won the Bram Stoker Award and the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel; and the prizewinning story collection 20th Century Ghosts. He is also the Eisner Award-winning writer of a six-volume comic book series, Locke & Key. He lives in New Hampshire.
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More than anything else, what Full Throttle gives you a sense of is Hill's range and command of so many different tones and styles. He's undeniably capable of horror, as the supernatural revenge tale "Dark Carousel" shows, following a group of teenagers as they decide to taunt and rob a carnival roustabout, only to find forces aligning against them. Or there's Hill's collaboration with his father, "In the Tall Grass," in which a pair of siblings stops by the side of the road in response to the voice of a lost child calling from an overgrown field, but soon discovering that this is no ordinary field at all. Hill's even willing to see what he can do under clever restrictions, including "Twittering from the Circus of the Dead," a truly chilling story told entirely through the tweets of a teenage girl on a doomed vacation with her family, or the literal stair-step structure of "The Devil on the Staircase." And Hill doesn't even require supernatural elements for his horror, as shown in "Thumbprint," the relentless story of a soldier who's returned home after a stint at Abu Ghraib bringing her own trauma and mental scars home with her, along with an inability to escape her past actions.
And if all Hill had was his gift for horror, that would be enough. But Full Throttle constantly shows other sides of his talents. Take, for instance, the hauntingly beautiful "By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain," which tells the story of a little girl as she lets her imagination run wild down by the shores of a lake - or, is what's happening real? Whichever way it goes (and the end seems to make clear which it is), Hill captures that childish sense of carefree fun effortlessly, reminding us of a time when anything seemed possible. Or take "Late Returns," a ghost story set mainly on a bookmobile which reminds us of how books can so often be a link to key moments in our own lives. Then there's "Faun," which feels like Hill spliced together "A Sound of Thunder" with C.S. Lewis's Narnia books, only to add in a wholly unexpected new wrinkle that delighted me by changing the entire story around me.
And none of that even touches on the beautiful and unexpected final story, "You Are Released," which Hill describes as his effort to write a David Mitchell story. Told, in Mitchell style, through a series of different narrators all on a single flight, Hill first seems to be looking at how our different views in the modern world can lead to us failing to understand each other. But then the story reveals itself to be something else entirely, leading to something both optimistic and painful at the same time, and ending the story on a more hopeful note than the story's content might have suggested it would.
There's so much more to this collection - the eerie "The Devil on the Staircase," whose text layout reflects its subject in compelling ways (except, it must be noted, on the Kindle version, where that layout is lost; luckily, the story retains its unsettling mood), the Duel homage "Throttle" (the other King collaboration), the outwardly sweet science-fiction friendship of "All I Care About Is You," and more. But it all adds up to an immersive plunge into the wide gamut of Hill's ability, giving you horrors, suspense, rich characters, perfect moods, and stories that stick with you far beyond their short length. It's a great collection from a horror writer whose made it clear that his success is all his own, and not just due to his family connection. Read it and enjoy the talent on display on every page.
Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of Full Throttle in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this eARC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the collection.
Short story collections are typically like boxes of chocolate: you open up a box, try a piece, you either like it or you don’t, and you move on to the next. If you don’t like the first handful, you either scan the box for a last hope or you toss the rest of the box in the trash. Every now and then, there is a box that has a fantastic assortment and each piece is as good as the last. Full Throttle, unfortunately, was not that box.
I have been a fan of Joe Hill for a couple of years now, having read and enjoyed NOS4A2, Horns, and The Fireman, as well as his graphic novels including Locke & Key and Wraith. These are some fantastic examples of Hill’s talent for originality, story, horror, and character creation. I have also read some of his novellas (all are included in this collection) that include By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain, Throttle, Twittering from the Circus of the Dead, and Wolverton Station. Each of these received 3-4 stars from me on their own merit and gave me hope going into Full Throttle as to Hill’s talent for the short story.
Having said that, while Hill has natural writing talent and ability, I don’t know if I am a big fan of his short fiction after finishing Full Throttle. The two (2) unpublished stories did absolutely nothing for me, and re-reading the same novellas I had previously finished didn’t increase my enjoyment of the collection.
Who’s Your Daddy, which is the prologue story of the collection, gives us a glimpse into Joe’s childhood, growing up with Stephen King as a father (who wouldn’t want that?) and set the rest of the book up for success. Throttle, which was co-written with King, was one of the better stories which tells a story of revenge with plenty of grit and blood. Dark Carousel, which was previously released as a vinyl, gave me great King vibes and was one I thoroughly enjoyed. Wolverton Station is about werewolves on a train. Can’t go wrong with that. In The Tall Grass, co-written with King, was this collection’s saving grace for me. I had not read it as a stand-alone when it was previously released in 2012, but it has been on my radar for some time now. It is creepy AF and is being turned into a Netflix original (because we can’t get enough Stephen King or Joe Hill right now). It reminded me of Stephen King’s “N.” and was an almost perfect ending Full Throttle.
Otherwise, peeps… I was underwhelmed. I actually skimmed over a couple of stories due to lack of engagement and slogged through a few more, knowing there had to be one or two left that would bring this collection back up to snuff.
If you enjoy Joe Hill’s short stories, or haven’t had a chance to read any of them because you prefer print over ebooks, give Full Throttle a shot. Like I said, there are some stories to love in here, but there are also some you may shrug at.
I have loved every story in this book. Classic Joe