Newest collection of stories by Joe Hill, including two previously published and co-written stories with Stephe King “In the Tall Grass” and “Throttle”. “Throttle” is a remix of the Richard Matheson short story “Duel” and “In the Tall Grass” has recently been made into a Netflix original film.
So, this collection covers about 10 years of story writing, and this kind of disparate path is indicative of a variable quality of these stories. A few of them are great. I thought “Faun” in which a Narnia-like portal is exploited by big game hunters and used to hunt mythical/fantasy creatures is very good. “Throttle” is pretty good; “In the Tall Grass” is pretty mixed. There’s a few others here and there. The final story, about a group of passengers in 2019 on a flight, having just learned about a nuclear war unfolding on the ground (and in the air) is quite good too I think. The best part of the whole collection (besides “Faun” which I really liked) are the nonfiction writing about writing sections. He talks about what it’s like growing up and writing in the shadow of his dad. And I feel that. Some of his worse habits (hokum, cheesy character archetypes, bad dialog) are the same or close enough to the same as his dad’s bad habits. Also, publishing two high profile stories with his dad also won’t cause anybody to establish clear differences between them either. He does however have a charming Maine accent and sound like a slightly twisted version of his dad when he reads.
The narrators of the audiobook version of this book, especially Stephen Lang (who sounds like a less nasally Willem Defoe), are outstanding, and a few of the stories almost feel like they wouldn’t even work without a reader.