Finished reading the horror novel “The Fireman” by Joe Hill. It felt like getting kicked in the balls by a good friend. Nothing like a good swing of a steeled-toe boot jiggling your most precious, most cherished, pearls of the Orient sea. It’s a fond memory, something you guys can laugh about, but at the same time, you know it god damn hurts.
“The Fireman” hurts like hell. I had no idea how this book was going to turn out to, and from what I’ve heard, Joe Hill, himself, had said that this is his version of his father’s “The Stand,” which was marvelous though anti-climatic mega monstrous book. Somehow, “The Fireman” didn’t feel that way. There were bits of “Andromeda Strain” in it, as Hill said, though it’s almost like a nod to the late Michael Crichton, than something that might have influenced the book. I don’t know what I’m saying.
In any case, “The Fireman” is a road trip, a highway to hell kind of expedition, where every scene you pass by is a smoking heap of tragedies and hope burned to a charred wisp.
I’ve run into two people who have said, even though “The Fireman” is a great book, they wouldn’t classify this as horror. I disagree. It is frightening to live in an isolated territory, where any time, a group of trigger-happy people can storm in and murder everyone in sight. It is frightening to live in an isolated territory, where food supplies are running low. It is frightening to contract a deadly disease. It is frightening to hold onto hope, when there isn’t any.
“The Fireman” is eerie, funny, and sweet. It’s also just as bitter, and its disturbing scenes are cringe-fests. I can’t wait for what Joe Hill comes up next.