➸ Full Throttle Free ➮ Author Joe Hill – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk

Full Throttle In This Masterful Collection Of Short Fiction, Joe Hill Dissects Timeless Human Struggles In Thirteen Relentless Tales Of Supernatural Suspense, Including In The Tall Grass, One Of Two Stories Co Written With Stephen King, Basis For The Terrifying Feature Film From NetflixA 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A Sinister Dance With A Tribe Of Motorcycle Outlaws In Throttle, Co Written With Stephen KingFeaturing Two Previously Unpublished Stories, And A Brace Of Shocking Chillers, Full Throttle Is A Darkly Imagined Odyssey Through The Complexities Of The Human Psyche Hypnotic And Disquieting, It Mines Our Tormented Secrets, Hidden Vulnerabilities, And Basest Fears, And Demonstrates This Exceptional Talent At His Very Best

10 thoughts on “Full Throttle

  1. says:

    a child has only the two parents, but if you re lucky enough to be an artist for a living, ultimately you wind up with a few mothers and fathers When someone asks a writer, Who s your daddy the only honest answer is, That s complicated You might need some version of Ancestry.com to label all the literary influences at play in Joe Hill s latest story collection Or maybe not, as Hill gives us a pretty good idea right off the bat, in the introduction Pretty obvious who influencer number a child has only the two parents, but if you re lucky enough to be an artist for a living, ultimately you wind up with a few mothers and fathers When someone asks a writer, Who s your daddy the only honest answer is, That s complicated You might need some version of Ancestry.com to label all the literary influences at play in Joe Hill s latest story collection Or maybe not, as Hill gives us a pretty good idea right off the bat, in the introduction Pretty obvious who influencer number one might be In fact, dad is listed as co author on two of the thirteen stories But the writerly genetic material that feeds these stories comes from some pretty heavy hitters, like Ray Bradbury, Bernard Malamud, Lawrence Block, Stephen Spielberg, George Romero, and the publication Fangoria Fango to fans Part of the fun of reading this collection is to think about the influencers noted in the intro and suss out what manifests where Hill adds some further explanatory comments at the end of the collection, which furthers our appreciation a bit Fangoria cover compendium image from Mental Floss Hill offers an interesting take on the structure of a short story collection, one he derived from the writings of Bernard Malamud A book of stories isn t a novel and can t have the simple narrative drive of a novel I think it should still try to have a feeling of progression, of connectedness It s like a road trip You re staying in a different inn every night One evening it s a romantic Victorian BB with a supposedly haunted gazebo out back, the next it s a cruddy Motel 6 with what looks like old bloodstains on the ceiling The places where you stop to rest and dream are unique but the road is the same, always waiting to carry you on to whatever s next And when it s over, you ve arrived someplace new, someplace you hope with a good view A place to breathe deep and take it all in Or maybe kiss your ass goodbye This is Hill s first short story collection since 20th Century Ghosts, which came out in 2005 Strange Weather being a collection of novellas But it is not like he stopped writing stories in the intervening fifteen years The stories here come from as long ago as 2006 Several have been published elsewhere, sometimes in surprising formats.The author, appearing as Billy in the 1982 George Romero Stephen King film, CreepshowSo, the stories any good You betcha And they cover a range of sorts, from warm and fuzzy to gut punch, Holy Sh twists, from highly stylized to familiar There are many references, homages, or influences take your pick to be seen here Hill points them out for you in the intro In realizing so well the feel of the work of the masters, Hill yet again reinforces his place among them.Just when you think you ve read what absolutely has to be the best story in the collection, along comes another that makes you think you have, for sure this time, read the best story in the collection until you read the next I am not saying that I loved all thirteen tales In truth, I did not While there is a considerable diversity in their sorts, what impresses me most is the feeling for people that Hill clearly possesses He has a talent tor writing believable characters, and the creativity to come up with interesting situations in which to manifest their humanity.Joe a bitrecently image form WikimediaThis is not flash fiction OK, except for that bonus nugget at the very end The stories in Full Throttle range from 24 pages Wolverton Station to 49 Late Returns , so, depending on how long your train to work takes, or how much time you allow yourself for reading before bedtime, you should be prepared for the possibility of not getting through every story in one go But if you are someone who plops down into a comfy place and has at your book du jour for however long, no worries THE STORIESThrottle picks up Richard Matheson s classic story about a truck bearing down on a hapless everyman A very young Steven Spielberg made it into a pretty good film Hill was asked to write a story for an anthology honoring Matheson s work Throttle is the result Instead of an everyman beset by a dark force, a group of bikers are returning from a particularly dark deed when they are pursued with evil intent Pop s expertise with hogs came in pretty handy here Dark Carousel takes place at a rundown seaside resort The air was redolent with the cloying perfume of cotton candy, an odor that doesn t exist in nature and can only be described as pink smell There was always a puddle of vomit on the boardwalk that had to be avoided There were always soggy bits of popcorn floating in the puke There were a dozen sit down restaurants where you could pay too much for fried clams and wait too long to get them It also featured a carousel called the Wild Wheel Clearly not their first rodeo, this group looks like they have been burned, and are screaming Enjoy the ride A group of 19 year olds, full of themselves and a bit too much alcohol, behave badly and get an unexpected something extra A couple of the characters are named for the hitman in dad s Battleground Look also for a reference to a Hill novel tucked in between the animals The story was released as an audio book, on vinyl, read by Nate Corrdry Wolverton was inspired by a UK town Wolverhampton Hill and his PR man passed while on a book tour, prompting a loop of Warren Zevon s Werewolves of London running through his head A Wall Street wolf comes across a different sort while riding a train in Jolly Olde By the Silver Waters of Lake Champlain was written for a collection honoring Ray Bradbury, but was as much inspired by a childhood interest in the Loch Ness monster as it was of Bradbury s story The Foghorn Shift to Lake Champlain, and engage a group of kids to catchthan a glimpse of an ancient beast But who would believe them Hill has dad s gift for writing kids, and shows it off here This is one of the stories being dramatized in the 2019 Shudder network production of Creepshow, a series.Faun No, not Tumnus mixesBradbury inspiration, from his story A Sound of Thunder with a bit of Narnian trans world portal But what if, instead of curious children crossing over, it was people of amercantile, heartless, armed sort Totally captures Bradbury s feel, while expanding it, and offering a contemporary perspective The tension here is palpable, and there is a killer twist Also, a creative spider who may or may not be named Charlotte weaves an invitation to a web.Late Returns offers a tale that seemed somewhere between Rod Serling This could soooo be an episode of the Twilight Zone and Bradbury again After his elderly parents pass away, a truck driver returns to his hometown to see to their affairs, which includes returning a very long overdue library book It seems the library just happens to be in need of a driver for their Bookmobile, and voila, our guy has a gig, however part time But there is something strange about the bus and the clientele who avail of its services There is a bit of scary in here, but mostly it is a heart warming homage to readers of all ages and all times I get choked up just thinking about it Hill says he wrote it because he hates the idea of dying when only halfway through a book.All I Care About Is You maybe the most horrifying story in the book Hill was asked to write something for a collection being put together by Dave McKean, based on an illustration He already had a draft of the story in hand before the request, but filled the request nonetheless What is frustrating is not knowing the image on which he based the rest of the tale, or if he just ignored the illustrations completely The future set story tells of a young lady who is very disappointed at her lack of wealth relative to her friends She comes across a pay as you go robot, pops in a few coins, and Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship More sci fi than horror in the telling, Hill brings us back to the roots with a gut punch of an ending Have your albuterol handy for the end of this one You will be gasping for air.Thumbprint was written in 2006 and published in Issue 10 of Postscripts Magazine It was later adapted into a graphic novel.Graphic novel cover image from IDWMal s father had served in Viet Nam Mal s war was in Iraq, her darkest battle taking place in Abu Ghraib She s back home now, but has become hardened, someone her father, were he still alive, would not respect She is haunted by her experiences and crimes abroad When pages of large thumbprints start turning up, in her mail, on her car, under her door, Mal is spooked Fabulous tension building in this one, with another outstanding resolution.The Devil on the Staircase Ok, straight up, my least favorite of the bunch The central image in the story is a staircase that may lead down to hell, inspired by the vertiginous stairways on the Amalfi coast, where Hill was vacationing when the notion struck The form of the story is made to mirror the story itself, so, using a monotype Courier font, the text appears as stairways going up and down In the story a young man commits a serious crime in order to win the girl he loves It is mostly about selling one s soul, and has a nice, sharp finish But I never felt engaged.Twittering From the Circus of the Dead Hill says of this one, here in 2019 it s clearer than ever that social media won t save us from zombies it s turning us into them On the road back to Cali from a vacay in Colorado, a family turns off to go to The Circus of the Dead Not The Greatest Show on Earth, I can assure you, but possibly the last A snarky teen reports events as they happen, on Twitter In fact, the entire story is told in her Tweets Some LOL material in here We get what is going on pretty soon, but going through all the steps to the end is still wonderful It offers a take on the importance of actual, you know, reality I was reminded a bit of the 1962 film Carnival of Souls no laughs in that one Bon appetit Mums Anti government zealots in the Ozarks are up to no good in various ways Our young teen every boy, Jack McCourt, tries his best to make sense of a crazy and maybe supernatural situation Or has Jack inherited the family gene for being batshit nuts His father, Hank, is a domineering sort, keeping his family virtually imprisoned on his many acres of Separatist heaven Jack begins to see between the lines and the seeds of his newfound awareness are planted when he learns some things he was not supposed to know In the afterward, Hill says that he fears the national crop is neither wheat nor corn, but paranoia Clearly there are some people we should be paranoid about In the Tall Grass siblings Beck and Cal Demuth are driving cross country, in Kansas, radio off, windows open, when they hear a call for help It came from the tall grass near a church parking lot A boy s voice But then another voice, his mother s calls out telling them not to go in What s a kindly hearted pair of sibs to do Seems the tall grass has somethinggoing on than transforming sunlight into chlorophyll I could tell you the tales this one made me think of, but then I would have to devour you So, if you have already read the story, go ahead, but otherwise, probably not view spoiler It, and Children of the Corn by pops, and The Call of Cthulhu, by H.P Lovecraft hide spoiler It was originally published in Esquire, and a feature length film rendition is due out shortly You Are Released an appropriate title for the last story in a collection, Hill says it is, I suppose, my attempt to write a David Mitchell story Mitchell is the author of Cloud Atlas, Blackswangreen, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, and over the last decade I ve sort of fallen in love with his sentences which float and dip and soar like kites and with his gift for kaleidoscopic narratives that quickly shift from one time and place and perspective to another On a long flight headed east across the USA, we see the interactions, perspectives, and motivations of nine characters as they cope with the stress and with each other during a particularly dark stretch Very nicely done Hill adds a delicious short short extra piece at the very end, a reward for those who read ALL the pages of a book.Strap in Bottom line is that this is a wonderful, satisfying, warm, but scary, classical, but sometimes shocking, collection of stories that will move you, then hit you hard, and leave you knowing that you have been in the hands of a master story teller, writing at Full Throttle Review posted August 16, 2019 Publication date October 1, 2019 Just in time for Halloween EXTRA STUFF is in comment 1 below

  2. says:

    I m mostly into novels and short stories are not my first choice to read but when it comes to evil genius thriller writers, like MY ALL TIME KING that I take a bow and THE PRINCE HILL create something new, I jump up and down to perform my happy dance, grabbing the book, turning off my phone, gathering my munchies and soft drinks, locking myself into my bedroom and starting to flip the pages nonstop Don t get me wrong After saying some many highly things and expressing my dedication to those wr I m mostly into novels and short stories are not my first choice to read but when it comes to evil genius thriller writers, like MY ALL TIME KING that I take a bow and THE PRINCE HILL create something new, I jump up and down to perform my happy dance, grabbing the book, turning off my phone, gathering my munchies and soft drinks, locking myself into my bedroom and starting to flip the pages nonstop Don t get me wrong After saying some many highly things and expressing my dedication to those writers, I still gave FOUR SHINY, THRILLING, SHORTY STARS but this is average point for the stories I ve read But if it s only for LATE RETURNS story, I ll give ten gazillion stars I honestly say this is one of the best stories I ve read in my whole life It s about grief, time paradox, unfinished business of the people trapped in limbo and it s about books It s about real good books and their importance for the people who need their own closures I love books and I know how to deal with compelling grief so this is my dream mash up story My other favorite stories which deservethan five stars with their fantastic plots, great characterizations and mouth widening parts All I Care about is you , taken place at the 22th century, Iris who celebrates her 16th birthday with Clockwork boy named Chip she d rented for an hour But things are getting nastier, twisty eventually Murdergame is a masterful invention and story s sucker punching memorable ending is a blast In the Tall Grass Father son collaboration to write this eerie, nerve bending, ominous story that already has sold to Netflix as a movie Something is hiding in Kansas grass Aliens Monsters Cannibals I highly suggest you not to stop your car as you hear a child s scream for help and please do not dare to walk into the grass if you ever want to find your way out You are released You re cruising at 37.000 feet as the Third World War begins What With memorable characters and their fears, their perceptions, their urge to find against the common enemy even they have racial, national, political differences This is the final story and I couldn t choose a better one to end our whole journey Still good ones Twittering from the circus of the dead Your family from hell real and hot one held you captive in a road trip and you write tweets about them Interesting concept Dark Carousel This story reminded me of Body It adapted as Stand By Me , I still remember little River Phoenix s memorable performance with eyes filled in tears and It , a group of boys adventurous spirit to discover the enchanted I think cursed is the better definition carousel at the Cape Maggie Pier We get vibes of Goonies and Stranger Things In my opinion they re all same story s different versions, tomato, tomahto Not enjoyed so much and made me give lower stars Throttle King and prince collaboration but this one didn t work for me I hope they don t expel me from kingdom or send me to the dungeon for writing these words Hail for my king and prince Wolverton Station I m not into wolves stories, thanks By the Silver Water of Lake Chamberlain another version of Body but this one is not my favorite Faun Hunting game for fantastical creatures Pass Thumbprint Scary stalker stories normally work fine with me but this is too disturbing and I couldn t connect with the characters Devil on the staircase Sorry but I prefer Zeppelin s Stairs to Heaven or Ac Dc s Highway to hell Mums Resurrection of a mom with seeds by turning into mummy It s too nerve binding, disturbing one Ending part is also not quite satisfying.As a summary I enjoyed my full throttle thrilling crazy ride And I really loved the intimate prologue of the author who told us about his relationship with his father, meeting with George A Romero, struggling years of his writing experience till he found his way what he really wanted to write about were fantastic beginning of our journey They re natural, honest, emotional, genuine words which warmed my heart I love my KING, my PRINCE And I loved this book so much Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins Publishers William Marrow for giving me early Christmas present and lighting my day by sharing this amazing ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review

  3. says:

    I m writing up a review for Scream Mag My last of the 4 reviews for the October issue I m so disappointed in this collection If it wasn t for IN THE TALL GRASS, THROTTLE and like 2 others, this would have been a DNF or maybe like a 1 or 2 star for me Details later.

  4. says:

    The masterful Joe Hill returns with FULL THROTTLE, a collection of thirteen short stories The thirteen tales range from dark fantasy to horror to sci fi, but they all share the same relentless drive and sense of momentum that Hill has become known for The book opens with a lengthy introduction, which readslike a chat with really interesting friend Hill relates several anecdotes about his career, childhood, and growing up as Stephen King s son, including one story that he means to be fu The masterful Joe Hill returns with FULL THROTTLE, a collection of thirteen short stories The thirteen tales range from dark fantasy to horror to sci fi, but they all share the same relentless drive and sense of momentum that Hill has become known for The book opens with a lengthy introduction, which readslike a chat with really interesting friend Hill relates several anecdotes about his career, childhood, and growing up as Stephen King s son, including one story that he means to be funny, but is actually quite alarming The story involves King driving his young son around while drinking beer and throwing the cans out the window Hill also include story notes at the end of the book, which range in length from one sentence to a few pages apiece The stories themselves vary in quality, with the worst of the bunch opening the collection THROTTLE is a collaboration between Hill and Stephen King One of two in the book , and is the weakest story in the collection Originally published in a Richard Matheson tribute anthology, THROTTLE is a tribute to Matheson s DUEL, with a vengeful trucker stalking a motorcycle club along a desolate stretch of desert highway The characters are all despicable and interchangeable, and if you ve seen read DUEL, there s nothing new to see here.DARK CAROUSEL and LATE RETURNS are Hill channeling his famous father, which he does perfectly Both are pure Stephen King DARK CAROUSEL tells a pitch black tale of supernatural vengeance that could have been penned by King early in his career, while LATE RETURNS is a gentle remembrance of the ghosts of the past, which is reminiscent of King srecent output THE DEVIL ON THE STAIRCASE and TWITTERING FROM THE CIRCUS OF THE DEAD both play with form as they tell their tales DEVIL is formatted in such a way that the sentences and paragraphs resemble ascending and descending staircases, while TWITTERING is told entirely in a teenaged girl s tweets, as she slowly realizes the the out of the way circus that her family stumbled upon may havegoing on than meets the eye FAUN and BY THE SILVER WATERS OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN both have their literary roots in other authors BY THE SLIVER WATERS was originally published in a Ray Bradbury tribute anthology, and is a beautiful tribute to the legendary author Hill tells a wonderfully understated story about two children who stumble upon the corpse of a lake monster, and debate what to do with it Bradbury would have been proud FAUN is a spin on C.S Lewis NARNIA books, and features a millionaire who leads rich hunters into an enchanted wonderland to hunt mythical beasts FAUN is the most frustrating story in the book While almost every story is outstanding, this is the one that I most wanted to continue..If Mr Hill were to expand this into a novel, or sequelize it, I would not object in the least THIUMBPRINT and MUMS both have a militaristic bent to them THUMBPRINT follows a disgraced vet who comes home from the desert to find herself stalked by a mysterious person sho is leaving papers with thumbprints on them in and around her home, and MUMS follows a young boy whose father is planning an act of domestic terrorism WOLVERTON STATION is a whimsically dark story that evokes echoes of English folk horror, while ALL I CARE ABOUT IS YOU ventures into futuristic sci fi, as a young girl, depressed about how her family s recent financial downturns will effect her birthday, finds solace in the company of a robotic friend for hire The book includes a second Hill King collaboration, IN THE TALL GRASS, another story that has the King family DNA written all over it If the story is a little too derivative of Scott Smith s THE RUINS, well..at least it is a well told, riveting derivation Another story that ended with me wantingHill closes out the collection with YOU ARE RELEASED, which really hit me hard The story follows a plane full of people who discover that World War III may have broken out while the were airborne He doesn t take up a lot of space with this tale, but he manages to create a plane full of real people, and avoids the easy stereotypes Closing the book with this story really gave me a lot to think about This book also includes the literary equivalent of a motion picture after credits scene, so stay tuned Hill writes a great novel, but his short stories are where he really excels In his introduction, Hill surmises that he probably has another few dozen short stories in him before he calls it a day..I hope it turns out to be a lotthan that HarperCollins provided a review copy

  5. says:

    Thanks to Edelweiss for the eArc I love Joe Hill and first fell for him because of his short story collection 20th Century Ghost Like his father, Hill writes a damn good short story I have read a few of these before, but I liked them even better upon rereading The newer to me tales, especially You Are Released, were wonderful discoveries.But I also love what Hill says in his forward and Author s Note he is as fascinating as his characters although he probably wouldn t agree and I loved the Thanks to Edelweiss for the eArc I love Joe Hill and first fell for him because of his short story collection 20th Century Ghost Like his father, Hill writes a damn good short story I have read a few of these before, but I liked them even better upon rereading The newer to me tales, especially You Are Released, were wonderful discoveries.But I also love what Hill says in his forward and Author s Note he is as fascinating as his characters although he probably wouldn t agree and I loved the peeks into the origins of the stories he s written

  6. says:

    Thank you to HarperCollins William Morrow for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review Full Throttle is the new and upcoming short story collection by Joe Hill, to be released on October 1st, and one of my most anticipated releases of the year.I ve read everything Joe Hill has published thus far, and I consider him one of my favorite authors but I won t deny that I first came to his work because of who his father is How fitting, then, that this new collection starts with an i Thank you to HarperCollins William Morrow for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review Full Throttle is the new and upcoming short story collection by Joe Hill, to be released on October 1st, and one of my most anticipated releases of the year.I ve read everything Joe Hill has published thus far, and I consider him one of my favorite authors but I won t deny that I first came to his work because of who his father is How fitting, then, that this new collection starts with an introduction titledWho s your daddy , truly one of the finest ones I ve ever had the pleasure to read, in which he touchingly pays tribute to the influences that have formed him both as a person and as a writer They go beyond King Senior, but of course he s a big one yet instead of fearing or resenting that he might never grow out of his father s huge shadow, he sees it as a blessing in his life, and describes a most wonderful and loving relationship with both of his parents, something that made me ache somewhere inside, because I never had that.Short stories are a format Hill excels at, and all of these even the ones that weren t entirely my cup of tea were memorable, which is impressive in and of itself It s very rare that I can look back at the table of contents after finishing a short story collection I read over a period of a month and still recall what each story was about Full Throttle collects thirteen stories two are collaborations with daddy King the second of which, In the Tall Grass, I found so disturbing, it robbed me of a night of sleep , and two are previously unpublished the first of which, Late Returns, is hands down the finest story included.I m very happy to report that I enjoyed this collection very much I suppose now it s as good a time as any to come clean I didn t particularly like Joe s latest two releases The Fireman was okay, but much too blatant a tribute to King s The Stand to be truly enjoyable, and Strange Weather didn t live up to my high expectations after 20th Century Ghosts, either I have one qualm with his fiction in recent years, and some of the stories in this collection suffer from it, which is why I m going to mention it I m increasingly finding that Hill is rather unrefined about the way he infuses his fiction with his political views He tends to do it in a way that doesn t really add value to the story, but just needlessly dates it his dad has been guilty of this lately, as well There were instances in this collection where, if he d kept political as well as pop culture references out, the story had the potential to become a timeless classic Can t we just agree that it s not worth souring a perfectly lovely story by mentioning the Kardashians or to take a cheap dig at Trump I say this as someone who wholeheartedly shares his morals and political opinions, I just wish he weresubtle about it.But that s the only detractor Joe s characters come to glorious, fully rounded life in just a few sentences, and so do his alternate realities, it s a masterful gift his dad is good at it too, but not in so few pages Joe doesn t waste words, and all of these are all killer, no filler, most having supernatural and or horror elements, usually of the graphic violence variety Each story packs an emotional punch, and he has a knack for getting the pacing just right he takes the reader on a ride at full throttle, but after going for a short spin he sets you back down, perhaps a little shaken, but feeling exhilarated and satisfied Throttle with Stephen King Originally published in an anthology in honor of Richard Matheson, and directly inspired by Matheson s Duel which I haven t read , this story follows a Sons of Anarchy type of biker gang trying to figure out how to get their sunken money back from a meth deal gone wrong The motorcycle tribe, which includes a father and son, mirroring the writing team, find themselves being chased down by a faceless trucker on a forlorn, dusty road in the middle of the Nevada desert, and what ensues can only be described as carnage It reminded me of 80 s B movies and of King Senior s early splatter stories such as, for obvious reasons, Trucks, but I could spot Joe s influences as well their voices mesh together well It makes for an enjoyable, tension building and action packed half an hour of visceral, gory entertainment, but where it really shines is the brutally honest and realistic backstory that manages to be built along side the deadly chase It does a lot of things right, but as a whole, it s just not the sort of adrenaline and testosterone laden story I enjoy, and I would ve hoped for something different to come out from this first time collaboration Dark Carousel This is the first time this story is making an appearance in print, as it had previously only been released as a vinyl audio edition a trend I could personally really do without On a summer night in the mid 90 s, four teenagers out at the pier and boardwalk take a ride on a creepy antique carousel, and their night of fun starts going horribly wrong from there as their misguided decisions have terrifying repercussions I enjoyed the mention of Charlie Manx of NOS4A2 fame, probably my favorite Hill novel, and thought the story was a nice little nod at Bradbury s Something Wicked This Way Comes when October Country was casually mentioned I was in fact quite sure of it As such, it s perhaps a bit derivative and predictable, but it kept me engaged from the very first page, and I especially really liked the characterization creating not just one, but four well rounded and likeable characters in a short story is a talent Hill clearly has, not to mention his penchant for taking stories just that tiny bit further to show that even a cursed and haunted life goes on Pulpy good fun Wolverton Station This one may seem pretty silly, but I think that there sto it than would appear on the surface, even if the execution was a bit messy A ruthless American businessman is traveling through England on a train he s come overseas to do what he does best Put the little, independent people out of business and make way for corporate expansion with dirty tactics he s the big bad wolf in a dog eat dog world, pardon the bad double pun At a train stop a Wolverhampton, passengers of a different and blood thirsty kind get on I m still not quite sure what to make of this odd, surreal story Is it a parable A satire Is he hallucinating the wolves haunting him, are they a sign of his conscience catching up with him Or are they truly manifesting as a punishment for his ways In any case, it s a very on the nose denouncement of American capitalism with gruesome, dark humor By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain Mommy has a killer hangover, and sends her loud and bickering girls out of the house to have some peace and quiet It s a cold and misty end of summer day that will mark Gail s end of childhood, and she decides to head down to the lake, where she meets up with a friend until they realize that the boulder they d been playing on isn t actually a rock Their discovery lets them spin out the possibilities their future holds, but also makes them confront mortality but is it really happening, or are they just playing pretend We are shown from the very first sentence that Gail has a lively imagination and gets invested in her made up stories and yet assuming it s all make believe leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and this blurry line between reality and fantasy is what makes the story work A rather unusual one from Hill it reads like something that could ve been written by Bradbury or Gaiman Faun This offering was recently picked up by Netflix in a three studio bidding war to be developed as a movie, and I can see why Inspired in part by Bradbury s A Sound of Thunder which is even openly referenced and the myriad of fantastical tales that start with nice children finding passageways to fairy tale worlds populated by fairy tale creatures, this story explores the idea of what would happen if someone not quite so nice discovered a little door to a mythical world instead, and tried to turn a profit by offering rich trophy hunters a unique opportunity This was a really engaging story that turned a pretty tired trope on its head, and I had no idea where it was heading while I was in the middle of it then the sudden turn it took really threw me off track I slept on it and am still not too sure about that ending, I almost feel as if Hill was scrambling to find a resolution, so it didn t feel entirely organic to me it s really quite possible that confusing the reader for a couple of pages was the intended effect though Once I found my bearings again I found that I was still enjoying it very much though short stories are usually pretty straight forward, so I m delighted when they manage to surprise me, which this one definitely did Late Returns I had tears streaming down my face through the entire latter half of this new, previously unpublished tale about a grief stricken truck driver turned part time librarian who drives an antique Bookmobile that sometimes travels back in time to deliver anachronistic reads to long dead people This story made me infinitely sad as it drove home that I ll never get around to read all the books I d like to in my lifetime a thought I ve often had , and also that I ll miss out on so muchthat will be published after I m gone this was a new consideration to be bummed out about , even though that s not at all what this story drives at it s muchabout the comfort we find in books, and the memories and significance that they can hold, and that s what moved me to tears Since it deals with time travel there s obviously details that date it, and my only complaint is that I wish he d done a better job at keeping itvague particularly the little political references at the end will not let this story age well, and it was really nothing but a gratuitous dig that felt jarring, given the bittersweet beauty of this tale All I Care About Is You This was very sci fi, which is not something I m used to in Joe s writing, and I m not sure if it s really up his alley An awfully entitled and ungrateful brat of a girl, who isn t having the sixteenth birthday she thinks she deserves, activates a Clockwork, a timed friend who will do everything for her for the next hour They end up clandestinely doing just what she d envisioned and wished for on her special day, an experience which appears to be changing her perspective on what s important I ll say this, he built up this world out of nothing and in so few paragraphs that I felt like my head was spinning, but that ending made me want to throw the book at the wall I think in a good way I recently read Ted Chiang s new collection, and this offering was basically the anti thesis to those stories, and somehow managed to encompass everything that s despicable about humanity in a story so short, it only took ten minutes to read If there s a deeper moral or message, it was lost on me, but if he was trying to go for something that will make the reader feel a sort of hopeless, hard to pinpoint despair about the state of humanity or teenagers , then he succeeded Thumbprint I don t like war fiction I dislike war movies I fell asleep out of desperation both times I tried watching Apocalypse Now , and I ve read only very few novels about the subject, all considered classics and anti war in nature All Quiet on the Western Front, Slaughterhouse Five so I was definitely the wrong audience for this short story and yet It goes deep into the depravity that goes on in war zones there s some scenes that were horrifying to read, not because they were particularly graphic in violence, but because they showcased humans inexhaustible capacity for cruelty In a very short story that follows an unlikeable female Iraqi war vet adjusting to civilian life when she starts getting strange, threatening messages via mail, Hill manages to call out the treatment of Iraqis by US military forces in no uncertain or subtle terms, and goes into what one must already carry within oneself to willingly do certain things during a deployment, but also what being exposed to horrific things does to a person This story and its main character are uncomfortable because they are believable Real life is way stranger and disturbing than this particular fiction just read up on the Abu Ghraib scandal which was the inspiration for this story, and where the main character was stationed if you have any doubts The Devil on the Staircase Set in the late 19th century in Positano, one of the famous picturesque Italian towns on the Amalfi Coast built up steep hills and awash with winding stone steps, it tells the story of a boy who makes his living lugging a rich foreign merchant s wine up and down the pathways cut into the cliffs He lusts after his cousin, and when he commits a horrible crime under cover of night, he stumbles down unknown dark steps They wind down the mountain much further than they rightly should, and when his legs give out, he meets a devil in the form of a child, who gives him a gift Despite its dark and ominous subject, it was a delight to read because it s incredibly well done the language was simply gorgeous that of a myth or folktale,witha lovely flowand pretty cadenceemphasized by the typography,mimicking steps instead of paragraphssuggesting the falling slopes he takes every day Twittering from the Circus of the Dead Two stylistically interesting short stories back to back, but I rolled my eyes when I started this one it s presented as a very typical teenage girl s ranting twitter feed, including time stamps and mobile client used, but boy, did it reel me in by the end The girl s on a family vacation, she s hated every minute of, and has gotten into multiple fights with her mom, who thinks that she spends entirely too much time online, so she keeps tweeting every minute to piss her off evenin that petty way teenagers have The hellish vacation s finally over, and there s only a ridiculously long cross country drive left to get through but the dad takes a wrong turn somewhere, and since they ve now tacked on a hundred mile detour somewhere through the Arizona or Utah desert, it is decided that they pull over for a roadside circus show and our teenage girl will soon find out what it is to have a truly hellish time The format choice ended up being surprisingly effective, but the story is quite a few years old, and it shows in little details that already date it, like the fact that tweets are still limited to 140 characters and who calls it twittering these days Mums The second of the two previously unpublished stories included in this collection tells the story of a thirteen year old boy with a maternal family history of mental illness who lives on a farm with his radical, separatist father after his mom failed at taking him away from him and wound up dead, supposedly by slipping and banging her head in the shower after falling off the wagon again She s illegally buried on the property, and the kid plants some mum flower seeds he s gotten from the roadside stall of an old lady on her grave but what s really growing I liked the ambiguity of this story how the reader isn t really given any clue as to whether there truly was some magical, supernatural revenge going on, or if the kid was hallucinating it all and became unhinged after the sudden loss of his mother I also thought that the way the domestic abuse dynamic was depicted in the early pages was very well done, but this one s by far the least memorable story in the collection In the Tall Grass with Stephen King I was raised on horror I ve read countless stories and seen countless movies, but there s only two disturbing enough to have gotten into my head and really fucked me up One was Stephen King s short story The Jaunt, the other the movie Event Horizon Well, add this second father son collaboration to that list A brother and his pregnant sister are traveling cross country, and pull over next to a field when they hear a little boy crying for help Thinking that he wandered into the field while playing and got lost in the grass that s well over six feet tall, they rush in to help him find his way out but within minutes, they ve gotten separated and disoriented themselves The first half of this story made me feel anxious, claustrophobic, and increasingly terrified it really tapped into some primal fear of the mysterious unknown, I guess The second half then takes a turn for the very gory I can stomach a lot, but some descriptions made me feel physically sick When my boyfriend came into the room and started saying something, I was so absorbed, I got such a fright that I scrambled to the other side of the bed screaming and I regretted reading this one before bed, because I really didn t sleep well I feel positively ridiculous now in the safety of daylight but every shifting shadow made my heart pound and I wrapped myself in the sheets despite the heat so nothing could get me I felt like a scared kid who watched a movie it should not have and paid the price in the night I really can t say what it was about this story that affected me as it did, but this is what good horror should do, and it will stay with me for a long, long time The explanation and ending were a bit lackluster, but the rest of the story was so strong that I m prepared to overlook it it takes a hell of a lot to scare me out of my wits, and this story managed it better than anything has in years Netflix is adapting it into a movie which should be out around the time this collection is published, but I honestly don t think the feeling of sheer helpless dread this story evoked in me could be replicated on a screen You Are Released It s a testament to Joe s talent as a writer than he managed to squeeze nine POVs into such a short story, and make all the characters recognizable and well rounded Imagine being aloft sorry, I had to Strange Weather has a story with this title, and he uses the word twice in this one, it really stuck out I guess he likes it in an airplane when World War III breaks out Sounds like a bummer of a story, right And yet he somehow manages to turn a tale about a bunch of strangers approaching nuclear Armageddon together into something almost uplifting, focusing on the bright side of humanity rather than the darkness that got us to the point where the missiles were sent flying A Little Sorrow I shouldn t list this one it s like half a page, and basically a bonus Easter Egg tucked on at the end, included in the About the Author section I can t say anything about it without giving all of it away, it s that short, but I really, really liked it, so it deserves the mention It felt like an extra gift, the cherry on top it conveys a lot about the human condition in very few, poignant sentences All my book reviews can be found here Buy on BookDepository

  7. says:

    Thanks to Joe Hill, Harper Collins, William Morrow, and Edelweiss for the Advance Reader Copy of Full Throttle I have been a fan of Mr Hill s writing since his first collection of stories 20th Century Ghosts I have always thought of him as a great writer, not as a son of a famous writer, or a horror writer, just a plain old great writer I have read all his published works, and while I do enjoy his novels, I think his work really shines not a pun in the short story, novella format I als Thanks to Joe Hill, Harper Collins, William Morrow, and Edelweiss for the Advance Reader Copy of Full Throttle I have been a fan of Mr Hill s writing since his first collection of stories 20th Century Ghosts I have always thought of him as a great writer, not as a son of a famous writer, or a horror writer, just a plain old great writer I have read all his published works, and while I do enjoy his novels, I think his work really shines not a pun in the short story, novella format I also loved his latest collection of four novellas Strange Weather Have we got to Full Throttle review yet Well like any book it s about the journey, and when it comes to great writers like Joe Hill, backstory is important In fact the beginning of the book has Mr Hill telling his real life story of growing up with TWO novelist in the household No, he was not created by divine intervention, though his work is out of this world He is not the King not another pun of Israel, or the Chosen One, he just writes good stories Joe shares stories of how his parents would read to him, and the cool people that he met on the set of Creepshow, and how bad of actors his dad and he are Not necessarily so, I totally believed the line Meteor Shit from the late great Jordy Verill He talks of failed manuscripts from his teenage years, the shadow to end all shadows, and his big break with 20th Century Ghosts with one of my favorite works of all time Pop Art After his very interesting and insightful introduction, we are treated todeep and insightful fictional stories ranging from, yes horror , fantasy, and Sci Fi They all have one thing in common, yup you guessed it, great writing, character building, and storytelling There are a lucky 13 stories in this work, including a couple with old man, Throttle and In the Tall Grass which will soon be on Netflix, but read the book, yeah, its better, we all know that Thanks for reading, and thanks to Joe Hill for writing fullthrottle joehill

  8. says:

    Star review in the August issue of Booklist and on blog Words That Describe This Book genre blending, fully realized characters, intense unease

  9. says:

    Thank you to Joe Hill, HarperCollins, and Netgalley for the early access.This collection of short stories was better than his last collection, STRANGE WEATHER It s hard to pick a favorite among them, but I know LATE RETURNS has a lot of highlights of appreciation, while IN THE TALL GRASS will stay with me for a while.

  10. says:

    Disclosure I was provided with a free advance copy of Full Throttle by the publisher in exchange for an honest review Let me just start of by saying this Joe Hill is a master of his craft Much like his father, he has the skill to not only write a massive novel, but to create amazing short stories as well The leap in quality from 20th Century Ghosts to Full Throttle is much like the leap from Heart Shaped Box to NOS4A2 It s that good Full Throttle compiles 13 short stories 2 of which are e Disclosure I was provided with a free advance copy of Full Throttle by the publisher in exchange for an honest review Let me just start of by saying this Joe Hill is a master of his craft Much like his father, he has the skill to not only write a massive novel, but to create amazing short stories as well The leap in quality from 20th Century Ghosts to Full Throttle is much like the leap from Heart Shaped Box to NOS4A2 It s that good Full Throttle compiles 13 short stories 2 of which are exclusive to this collection The stories range from touching to downright terrifying, and everything in between The standout story in this collection is Late Returns, the first of the two brand new stories It s the story of a man who s job at the local library leads to encounters with the deceased, all while dealing with losses of his own It s a heartfelt tale of coming to terms with losing loved ones Dark Carousel and Throttle are brutal tales The former being the better of the two, while the latter is one of two stories co written with Stephen King Another Standout in the collection is In the Tall Grass , the 2nd story co written with Stephen King and its absolutely terrifying It s worth noting that Netflix is adapting that one for their streaming service I also really enjoyed Mums and Twittering from the Circus of The Dead One thing all of these stories have in common is that Hill is so good that he makes the fantastical seem completely plausible Full Throttle is another Home Run for Joe Hill There are a few standout stories, but the entire collection is so good that I couldn t imagine leaving any of them out Full Throttle represents a master of the craft elevating his short story game to the highest level If you re a fan of Joe Hill, you ll love this one Those of you who weren t, prepare to fall in love 5 out of 5 This is a must buyYou can check my blog out at SteelRainReviews.blogspot.com

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