I’m copying over some reviews of titles I’d written up in 2018 and earlier, just in case these titles are new for other people.
The Fireman is, in my opinion, the best book Joe Hill has written. I positively loved Horns and Heart-Shaped Box, and NOS4A2 had a great dark fantasy element to it that made it stand out even though it was my least favorite of his works.
This book takes elements of The Road by Cormac McCarthy and mingles it with a bit of King’s The Stand to create a gripping, devastating, original piece of fiction that falls somewhere between horror and straightforward dramatic literature.
It’s a story about people pushed to the limits of psychological and physical endurance, a world in flames, and paranoia brought on by pandemic conditions. It’s a love story and a story about forging family from ash.
The titular Fireman may be one of the more captivating figures I’ve encountered in a while, and a truly well-developed one for a man who really isn’t the focus of the story at all but rather the vastly important secondary role that helps to bind the narrative together into something fantastic.
At the end of the novel it indicates that Joe Hill spent close to four years writing this book and those were four years well spent.