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Publisher's Summary

Four short novels from the author of The Fireman and Horns, ranging from creepy horror to powerful explorations of our society.

One autumnal day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails, splinters of bright crystal that tear apart anyone who isn't safely under cover. 'Rain' explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as clouds of nails spread out across the country and the world. Amidst the chaos, a girl studying law enforcement takes it upon herself to resolve a series of almost trivial mysteries...apparently harmless puzzles that turn out to have lethal answers.

In 'Loaded', a mall security guard heroically stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun movement. Under the hot glare of the spotlights, though, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it....

'Snapshot, 1988' tells the story of a kid in Silicon Valley who finds himself threatened by The Phoenician, a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid that can steal memories....

And in 'Aloft', a young man takes to the skies to experience parachuting for the first time...and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero's island of roiling vapour that seems animated by a mind of its own.

Read by Wil Wheaton, Kate Mulgrew, Dennis Boutsikaris and Stephen Lang.

©2017 Joe Hill (P)2017 HarperCollins US

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining but not amazing

The stories in this book were pretty good, but I felt like the endings to the first two were a bit of a let down, and the third story I didn’t like at all.

Wil Wheaton, not so great at accents...
but the other narrators were good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I fully recommend this! <br />

amazing. all four stories had me hanging out for more! amazing read. get this now

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

1 star for that 'South African' accent.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

You know the one. Sometimes it was Jamaican. Sometimes Russian. I had to turn it off, but wanted to know how it ended so I powered through. It would have been great because he can do the other voices well, but did someone seriously listen to that and go 'Okay! We're good to distribute this to the general public!'?!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Farniboy
  • 08-01-2018

A Return To Form for Joe Hill....

I didn't like The Fireman, it was a good idea, that started well, but eventally was ruined by being a bloated, saccharine mess. These for short novels are far tighter and tense affairs. Like lots of good genre fiction the stories hold a mirror up to contemporary situations, especially the current political climate in America. Each story is a great, for their own reasons, and the superb narrations really add to a great audio experience.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Martin Gill
  • 23-11-2017

Great story

Great story, well written and voiced. I would highly recommend this to any fan of the author.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Savvas Kleanthous
  • 17-05-2018

Shocking

I am still halfway through, but I cannot help myself from rating this. The first two short stories are amazingly good.

There isn't a large cohesion between the stories apart from the fact that they make you think and feel. Do not miss.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leya Jane Moore
  • 21-04-2018

This book will affect you

A book that takes you to new horizons of wonder, awe and outrage... ‘Loaded’ especially is arresting and will give an emotional reaction, depending on your political stance... powerfully written and expertly crafted. The devil is in the detail of these stories and Hill laces detail into each paragraph, so expertly, that when the magic hits the page, it is never questioned.

The narrators were flawless... apart from Will Wheaton’s terrible SA accent, which marred the first novella, whenever it raised its ugly head... but the other narrators were brilliant - Kate Mulgrew, as always was sublime!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • BillyBeatnik
  • 09-03-2018

Where's the story gone?

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I don't like giving negative reviews, but I felt I had to this time. Usually I really like Joe Hill and have never had a problem with any of his novels, I love them.

Now I know that short stories can quite often feel unfinished, but the first five or so I listened to hear felt like they finished half way through.

I just couldn't put myself through another.

What could Joe Hill have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Give the stories a better finish.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Great narration

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jackaboy
  • 26-02-2018

Great group of short story's

Joe Hill just seams to get better and better.

Great production well read by all four performers

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Nick Gilligan
  • 21-02-2018

3 out of 4

2nd story (Loaded) seemed a bit pointless to me so didn’t feel I could rate this book any higher. All stories were very well read tho but not even a good narrator could have saved ‘loaded’

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • hegx
  • 18-02-2018

Hit and miss

Would you try another book written by Joe Hill or narrated by the narrators?

Yes, I enjoyed NOS4R2, also read by Kate Mulgrew.
Wasn't a massive fan of Dennis Boutsikaris' narration, but That could be because I really didn't enjoy the story that he narrated.

Would you ever listen to anything by Joe Hill again?

Yes, as mentioned, NOS4R2 was good, might try another Joe Hill book

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

I thought Stephen Lang did a good job of narrating as a whole.

Any additional comments?

The first story is ok, although Wheatton's attempt at a South African accent made my toes curl!!
The second novella is a really good listen. Dark, surprising and worth a listen.
The third is awful.
The fourth isn't bad, but it wasn't groundbreaking, and definitely didn't feel like an original idea.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-01-2018

An Unusual Storm

Really enjoyed the stories overall but was a bit mystified with Aloft to start with.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • 15-12-2017

Strange Days Indeed

I kept thinking, as I listened, that this writing was oddly reminiscent of Stephen King, so it wasn't a huge surprise when I discovered that Hill is King's son. But he's not a faint photocopy of his dad - these stories are original and distinctive. I found myself marvelling both at his imagination and skill in writing. One of the best books of its genre I've come across, and I ordered another of his as soon as I had finished this one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful