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The Fireman: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 771 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I honestly don't know if I loved this book so much because it was just a really good fackin' book or if it was because almost immediately I pictured the character of the Fireman in my head as the actor Paul Bettany who I love beyond belief. From the first minute we are introduced to the Fireman until the fiery awful ending I was enthralled with the idea of this mythic, super hero like character. I wish it had been that. The idea of the dragon scale, and what some of these characters were able to do, to become because of it was so f*#@ing cool, omg. I could just picture that sexy brit, in his ragged soot covered tshirt, and yellow fireman pants, with a dirty ashy face and his flaming left hand, shooting out his fabulous phoenix. OMG. Paul. Freakin'. Bettany. And I liked Harper, I really did, I thought she was a tough cookie. I see some comments criticizing that she fell in love with the Fireman out of no where but HELLO!!! Giant flaming Phoenix!!! I'm in love with the Fireman (Paul Bettany) how could you NOT be!! But again, not sure if its because he was really that cool or because I just super imposed a juxtaposition of Vision, the Archangel Michael, the Priest and Geoffrey Chaucer on top of the Fireman, because, you know, in my mind....Paul Bettany. Either way - this book was damn entertaining. I couldn't put it down, I loved the world building and the details Joe Hill created in regards to the dragon scale spore. And yes it was kind of predictable and yes some of it has been done before, but I actually liked the little homages to his father sprinkled throughout, but the only thing...the ONLY thing that really made me mad was that after nursing the Fireman back from the brink of death 18 times practically, and dropping him off a cliff and after setting his broken femur with nothing and dragging his dying feverish a$$ 200 miles to salvation, and see him recover only to have him be killed by some yahoo on a boat...shot. Freakin' shot are you kidding me??? not PAUL. FREAKIN'. BETTANY!!! ugh. heartbroken. but yes. Five stars.
This is a good end of the world story, yet there is still hope for humanity. There are a lot of characters, and I felt the development was well done. Instead of zombies or Communists, people have developed dragonscale, which can cause spontaneous combustion. This presents a unique dilemma and requires a different approach to resolution.
My only complaint was that it drug on and on, during the middle of the book. I almost lost interest in the book, but pressed on, and I'm glad I did. YMMV
Give this book a try, though. It is a good story that is worth the read.
The ending surprised me--and that's unusual--as I'm usually fairly good at figuring out how it all fits together.
Joe Hill's work clearly stands on its own, and I understand and appreciate his desire to make it on his own merits rather than as the son of one of my favorite authors.
I will definitely go back and read his other books, but I do hope that a sequel to The Fireman will be forthcoming.
Last week, was the week I would finally do it. I started it on a Monday in Vermont, took it to Montreal for two more days, and finished it in NY on a Thursday. I am not sure how many hours it took, but I know I was jumping up and down for doing this feat. I normally have book ADD, so I am jumping between books like crazy, so sticking to one book was quite an achievement. So, how was it?
There has been a plague which has wiped out much of the human population. This plague called Dragonscale causes people to start to smoke and then eventually catch fire. The more people gathered together, the bigger the fire to the point of monuments disappearing.
Harper is a nurse who becomes pregnant with her husband Jakob's baby. Harper wakes up one day with Dragonscale. She has made a pact with Jakob that if she has it, she will kill herself. With a new baby, she changes her mind and runs from Jakob.
While in exile, she learns about a commune of people who have learned how to control the Dragonscale, so they do not catch on fire. One of their people, John, has learned how to control it so much that he can set parts of himself on fire without burning.
As things move forward, there is a group led by the Marlboro Man who is out to hunt and kill all those with the disease. There is also a division beginning in the commune that is loosely held together by their spiritual leader. When he falls under an attack and is injured, the commune starts to come apart at the seams. Can John step in as the rightful leader or is he too focused on his past? What about Harper as she learns about this commune and a member who left their community, what will she do as the group divides?
I have been describing this book to friends as a giant summer block buster movie in book form. It is a bit long, has a lot of background characters that don't get developed, has some parts that simply don't make sense (why shoot flaming arrows for fun while two groups are looking for you?), but is one of the summer block busters that are a lot of fun and well worth your time.
I think the only negative, besides the length, is that the main story of the commune is one that has been told many times- the rightful leader won't be leader because he is struggling, so a zealot takes over tearing the camp apart, but that also may be a good thing in that the story doesn't get in the way as the characters are developed.
This is a great adventure story and wound up being a lot of fun. There is a bunch of action and even though there are unbelievable moments, it isn't something out of the realm of a big action book. It is a mammoth though.
I gave this one 4 stars.