The Fireman

  • by Joe Hill
  • Narrated by Kate Mulgrew
  • 22 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.
The fireman is coming. Stay cool.
No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it's Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies - before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.
Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she's discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: They would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob's dismay, Harper wants to live - at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine, too...if she can live long enough to deliver the child.
Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads - armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn't as alone as she fears: A mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow firefighter's jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as the Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted...and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.
In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman's secrets before her life - and that of her unborn child - goes up in smoke.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Better than Heart-Shaped Box?

Believe it! He's almost as good as his Daddy! Keep 'em coming Joe! Kate Mulgrew was an amazing narrator by the way. 5 stars Red!👏👍
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- Billy Davis

Retread of old Stephen King ideas

The best part of this audible book is the narrator. Kate Mulgrew is now one of my hero's. Her gravelly voice is beyond captivating.

The worst part of this book is the character development. An example is the husband wife interaction that starts things off... On one hand you have a do no wrong perfect wife. A woman that can't do anything but help everyone. On the other hand you have a 100% selfish husband that is crazy. Intent on getting his way and blaming his wife for all of his ills. The absolute extreme in which these characters embody good and evil hits the realm of the ridiculous and then keeps going.

A close second to character development in the running for 'worst aspect of this book', is the plot. The story is so confused. Hill has episodes that are held together by some time line, but the timeline is vague. Hill dives into EXTREME detail. Just like his father, he has a bad habit of batting the smallest thoughts past their welcome. Neither Stephen King or Joe Hill have ever figured that what is their greatest strength (the ability to focus on nuanced narratives) can also quickly turn into their greatest faults (boring over kill).

This is a horrible book. Disjointed. 2 dimensional characters. A plot that is confusing. And repeated instances of the author mistakenly thinking that over using his best gift is better than showing restraint and letting it peak out in rare moments.
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- clifford "akitonmyers"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-17-2016
  • Publisher: HarperAudio