For a guy who chose a pen name that would distance himself from his famous dad, Joe Hill certainly proves where he comes from with his latest novel, “NOS4A2” ($28.99, William Morrow).
Hill has yet to disappoint me. His debut novel, “Heart-Shaped Box,” is probably my favorite horror novel of at least the last decade. In fact, it’s the book that inspired me to write again myself after a long fallow period. I loved his varied and fascinating short story collection, “20th Century Ghosts,” and I enjoyed “Horns,” as well. In fact, my only complaint has been that, when it comes to novels, he’s not as prolific as his father. “NOS4A2” continues the trend, though there’s a bit of a different vibe to it.
Hill begins the book by introducing us to one Charles Talent Manx III, a not-so-nice old man known for wheeling around in his 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith with the license plate of the title and taking children to Christmasland, a place where he’s certain they remain happy and innocent forever. We meet him in a hospital bed, aged and frail, in a coma and near death.