Book Review: ‘Full Throttle’ By Joe Hill

Review by Lauryn Angel

Full Throttle, the latest offering from Joe Hill, is a collection of thirteen tales to terror, appropriately released on October 1. Hill co-wrote two of these stories with his dad, Stephen King; one of those stories, “In the Tall Grass,” was adapted by Netflix and will be available this coming Friday, October 4.

Unlike his last collection, Strange Weather, in which the novellas were connected by the theme of weather, Full Throttle doesn’t have a clear theme, but these stories are connected, in a way. Each of the narrators is an ordinary person who stumbles into an extraordinary situation. Often, those stories end badly for the narrator, but not always. In my favorite story from the collection, “Late Returns,” the driver of the local library’s book mobile encounters ghosts who come to return overdue library books; our narrator helps these library patrons find one last read – usually a book that hasn’t been published yet. “Twittering From the Circus of the Dead” is a clever commentary on the artificial importance of social media, as a teenage girl tweets her family’s vacation and the tweets get more and more disturbing.

One of my favorite parts of the book, however, was not a story, but Hill’s introduction to the volume. Hill talks about what it was like growing up with parents who are novelists – particularly growing up in the shadow of his father. At one point, Hill notes that he will never surpass his father – a comment I take issue with, as, evidenced by this collection and his novels NOS4A2 and The Fireman, Hill is easily King’s equal, if not better.

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