Joe Hill | Published October 2019
A little door that opens to a world of fairy tale wonders becomes the blood-drenched stomping ground for a gang of hunters in “Faun.” A grief-stricken librarian climbs behind the wheel of an antique Bookmobile to deliver fresh reads to the dead in “Late Returns.” In “By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain,” two young friends stumble on the corpse of a plesiosaur at the water’s edge, a discovery that forces them to confront the inescapable truth of their own mortality . . . and other horrors that lurk in the water’s shivery depths. And tension shimmers in the sweltering heat of the Nevada desert as a faceless trucker finds himself caught in a sinister dance with a tribe of motorcycle outlaws in “Throttle,” co-written with Stephen King.
I think, summer of 2019, I fell off writing reviews. Oh, I continued reading, I just failed to tell y’all about them. Then, coincidentally, is when I started getting the most requests to read and review certain content. I attempted to follow the model, thinking this was the path of all book reviewers. It wouldn’t be a problem, surely I could accommodate a few requests of people who share my same love of books but find the process of choosing books intimidating? But, alas, I am who I am and it took its toll. As fiscal and operationally sound as I must be in my professional capacity, I revolt against structure and authority in my personal life. I desire to be wild and free. To that end: no more book clubs and requests from the peanut gallery. I’ll pick books off my TBR list the old fashioned way – my gut. 😏😉 #Cheers 🥂 She’s back.
Full Throttle wraps up 2019’s content at 38 books and reviews. I finished it late in December while getting ready for holiday house guests. This was an Audiobook listen for me and it was a great one. I’ve grown to like good listens while doing otherwise repetitive or menial tasks like wrapping gifts, cooking/cleaning, hanging Christmas decorations or housekeeping. Books are more entertaining than television and because I’m legit doing more than one thing at a time, I feel uber productive.
Anyways, this was a collection of 13 short stories from young Joe, 2 of which he wrote with Papa King. F I N A L L Y. Like, lean in kid. Claim your birthright. Enough of all that ‘I wanna make it on my own, without your name’ crap. Besides, as Nana would say, you look like he spit you out kid – no ones fooled. My audio version included an Intro from the author speaking about his childhood and ‘becoming’ in regards to finding his writing voice outside of his fathers (and mothers, this kid was twice blessed). The Intro resonated with me because, I think, we’re all tasked with finding our voice outside of our parents/family/mentors. His path was made harder because of celebrity but, not much different than many of us. He does articulate the struggle better than most. An excellent reality check about standing on your own two feet, regardless of others opinions. (See first paragraph😉, Thanks for the reminder Joe!)
The stories were all creepy a’la typical Joe Hill and I think all revolved around an automobile of some sort.
Stories that stood out to me:
Throttle, one of the two stories written by father and son about a broken relationship between a father and son. This one has a harsh ending but, I wonder if the writers were working through issues.
Dark Carousel: About teenagers that piss off a Fair carousel attendant. The Attendant gets his revenge. You really have to be careful who you piss on these days. 😧 If you’re a fan of Joe’s Locke & Key horror comic series, you will love this story. I don’t think it mentioned any keys but, its written in the sane style with mean, stupid teenagers to boot.
My second favorite was Faun. Its about a young man that somehow finds a portal into another world. The world has all sorts of fauna and creatures that he decides to exploit by charging rich men to hunt and kill creatures found in the land. Someones comment online said “think if colonizers found Narnia”. (Uh, didn’t they?🤨 Please, Universe, protect Wakanda!) I digress. Hill definitely has a future in fantasy. Here, he’s built a world complete with magic, death, legacy, hero, heroine, and bad guys in 20 pages. The story is open ended so this could easily develop into his Dark Tower. Prayers up. 😉
My most favorite was Late Returns. It is a beautiful story about an out of work man, back home taking care of his recently deceased mothers affairs. Her past due library book leads him to becoming the attendant on a mobile bookmobile. He winds up getting visitors from the past, interested in returning very past due books. I love the elegant way the story deals with sudden death, closure and reconciliation.
Last but not least, we have In the Tall Grass. This is the second collaborative effort and equally as scary as the first. The thing is, Stephen doesn’t typically kill characters in some big way. He’s just gonna scare u and let you run to your own death, Delores Claiborne’s husband. But, Joe..well his a bit different. He couldn’t give a shit about letting some kid lure you into the woods, to your death and eating your fucking guts. Literally. 🍽
In The Tall Grass is now on Netflix and y’all can watch that shit if you wanna. I’m cool. 😩 Well, maybe i’ll just wait until I have a house full of witnesses in a few weeks.
Overall, I loved Full Throttle. All the stories were horrific in that Hill/King style of twisting our reality against us in the worst possible way. I was throughly frightened! I loved the more fantastical pieces and I’m hopeful the open ended stories will appear again in a fuller format. #GoodBook Book 38 of 36. #2019WrapUp