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The Fireman

af Joe Hill

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2,4901575,880 (3.81)151
Fiction. Horror. Literature. Thriller. HTML:

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling 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 fire fighter'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… (mere)

Nyligt tilføjet afprivat bibliotek, nicosilver, timbrown0218, otterhalves, libwen, Rini55, Spyder227
  1. 10
    Opgøret af Stephen King (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: Both books cover the subject of the aftermath of a terrible widespread disease.
  2. 10
    Bird Box af Josh Malerman (Shelby_Kuzma)
    Shelby_Kuzma: Both books deal with a female character attempting to protect herself and her children in the wake of a widespread, apocalyptic event.
  3. 00
    The Last One af Alexandra Oliva (jmiserak)
    jmiserak: Plague, apocalyptic scenario in a city setting, found family
Indlæser...

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Viser 1-5 af 156 (næste | vis alle)
Wonder if the author intended the protagonist to be unlikeable, or if I just hated her? Would have given 4 stars if it weren’t for that little ninny. ( )
  jilldugaw | Jan 27, 2024 |
I can’t think of any way to review this without spoilers, so even though this will be a very brief review, I’m spoiler tagging this entire post. It’s also probably not very coherent, but here it is:


The Fireman offers an interesting take on the dystopian post-apocalyptic story. We see what happens when a society is so enamored with a charismatic leader that they surrender their individual liberties for the promise of safety. We see peer-pressure for conformity and intolerance for dissenting opinions carried to its inevitable conclusion.

We look at the mechanics of a developing mob mentality, understanding why and how a group of individuals surrenders themselves to the pleasure of becoming one with the group. How those ordinary people can be so secure in their righteousness that the end justifies the means, and how those means may start with small breaks in our moral code but may grow to terrible atrocities.

Unfortunately, the actual vehicle that carries these ideas is problematic. I found the romance awkward and implausible. The attempt to provide a semi-scientific explanation for the disease fell flat for me as it seemed contradictory to actual events in the story. There were also enormous plot holes and other contradictory events. I found it wholly implausible that a school nurse (disclosure: I’m an RN with 2 decades of experience) would have the knowledge and skills to provide the sort of field medicine that our heroine routinely engaged in. And finally, I found it wholly implausible that a group of intelligent and resourceful individuals would be so stupid as to take the “Martha Quinn Island” story at face value. In this day and age, only fools and the cognitively impaired would unreservedly believe something they found on the internet.


Audiobook version. Kate Mulgrew's performance was excellent. ( )
  Doodlebug34 | Jan 1, 2024 |
This book has joined a very exclusive list on my bookshelf - those which I did not finish.
I got halfway, which was in May, and when reviewing my outstanding booklist in December, I realised that it was just too boring to finish. ( )
  BluezReader | Nov 12, 2023 |
Ugh, that was crappy. Hill can't fill a huge volume without adding useless crap. ( )
  cwebb | Oct 30, 2023 |
I got a paperback copy of Joe Hill’s THE FIREMAN a few years back but didn’t get around to reading it until now. Hill, the son of Stephen King, has proven to be a talented author of horror and suspense in his own right, though I don’t think he has produced anything yet on the level of his father’s best work. I did like HEART-SHAPED BOX and NOS4A2 a lot. THE FIREMAN is Hill’s 747-page end-of-the-world apocalypse epic. It’s a genre that has seen a lot of action at the book stores over the years, but Hill does come up with a novel reason for civilization’s downfall: spontaneous combustion. This is caused by a spore which infects human beings, causing them to develop a tell-tale black and gold rash on their skin that is soon called Dragonscale, and once infected it is only a matter of time—days, weeks or a few months—until they burst into flames. It begins with a few infections, and then spreads fast, and along with it, the fires caused by the infected when they combust; cities burn, and then the countryside, as the air is constantly filled with smoke and the scent of ash is everywhere.

These types of stories are told through the eyes of a sympathetic protagonist as they witness society collapse and then deal with the consequences. In THE FIREMAN, that role is filled by Harper Grayson, a young nurse who ends up working at a hospital when the epidemic of Dragonscale shuts down the school where she worked. After the hospital burns to the ground, Harper finds herself pregnant and infected. Deserted by her husband after she refuses to kill herself, she is taken in by a community of the infected who believe they have found a way to control their affliction. But this safe haven becomes increasingly precarious as internal dissension works its way through the ranks, while the threat of Cremation Crews—armed vigilantes who hunt down and kill the infected on sight—becomes an ever greater threat. Things go from bad to worse, and then it really hits the fan—par the course for an apocalypse survival story. The title character is John Rookwood, an infected Englishman in a fireman’s uniform, who comes to Harper’s aid, and whom she becomes attracted to in the course of the book.

I am a sucker for a good end-of-the-world survival story, so I’m not as critical of THE FIREMAN as some readers. As with a lot of these books in this genre, the strongest part of the narrative is the first third, where things go to hell and the suspense comes from anticipating just what calamity is coming next. The pace does lag in the middle, but the finale does generate the right amount of dread as a small group of survivors make a desperate journey to find safety. I was proved right in my suspicion that certain things were not as they first appeared, and I truly feared for Harper’s fate in the final pages. I sometimes found Harper a little frustrating as a main character, far too trusting at times, and perhaps a little too good to be true at other points. There were times when I found myself wishing Rookwood, or one of the teenage supporting characters, were the MC, if only because they were more interestingly flawed. Of course, there has to be villains to make this kind of book pop, and I thought Hill used some rather tired tropes here: armed vigilante rednecks, religious fanatics, and authority figures who are revealed to have a lot in common with the Nazis. The real rotten apple of the whole bunch is Harper’s husband Jacob, an hysterical weakling who deserts his pregnant wife because he is afraid she has infected him, and then joins a Cremation Crew and tries to hunt her down and kill her and their unborn child. How did she pick this loser? Hill also plays a little fast and loose with the spore that spawns the Dragonscale, establishing how it is transmitted and what the outcome will be for the infected early on, but then revealing a way to control it through group interactions that result in a near hive mind situation. He goes even further by having Rookwood and others become virtual super heroes in the way they control fire, and unlike Johnny Storm, the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four, somehow manage to not burn the rest of their bodies, much less their clothes.

Of course THE FIREMAN invites comparisons to Hill’s father’s apocalypse epic, THE STAND. And Hill seems to have lifted characters right out of that book. In THE FIREMAN there is a kid called Harold Cross who is a dead ringer for Harold Lauder, and more than that, there is a deaf boy named Nick, the same as Nick Andros. Harper’s plight as a pregnant woman caught up in an apocalypse is quite similar to that of Frannie Goldsmith from his father’s epic. And Jacob’s writing ambitions seem to have similarities to that of Jack Torrance. This seemed to have irked some readers to no end, but I just took it all as a shout out to one of my all-time favorite novels and rolled with it.

All in all, I thought THE FIREMAN was a good book, especially if you are into mashups of scifi and horror, but far from the best of the genre. It’s probably overlong, though some of the chapters are very short, which does help. It was written in the early 2010s and published in 2016, and I must say that parts of it read much differently in the post-Covid era, mostly in scenes concerning the official response to the Dragonscale epidemic. And in a summer where skies where hazy in the lower 48 from Canadian wildfires, not to mention the news coverage of the tragic conflagration on Maui, THE FIREMAN definitely resonated in a different way. At the end, Hill does leave open the door for a possible sequel, and I wouldn’t be averse to visiting this world again. ( )
  wb4ever1 | Sep 6, 2023 |
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Outside the street's on fire
in a real death waltz...
--"Jungleland," Bruce Springsteen
Though I spends me time in the ashes and smoke
In this 'ole wide world there's no 'appier bloke.
--"Chim Chim Cher-ee," Robert and Richard Sherman
It was a pleasure to burn.
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For Ethan John King, who burns bright. Your Dad loves you.
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Harper Grayson had seen lots of people burn on TV, everyone had, but the first person she saw burn for real was in the playground behind the school.
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Humanity is a germ that thrives on the very edge of catastrophe.
The people in charge can always justify doing terrible things in the name of the greater good.
But we need kindness like we need to eat. It satisfies something in us we can’t do without.
There’s something horribly unfair about dying in the middle of a good story, before you have a chance to see how it all comes out. Of course, I suppose everyone always dies in the middle of a good story, in a sense. Your own story. Or the story of your children. Or your grandchildren. Death is a raw deal for narrative junkies.
FOX said the Dragon had been set loose by ISIS, using spores that had been invented by the Russians in the 1980s. MSNBC said sources indicated the ’scale might’ve been created by engineers at Halliburton and stolen by culty Christian types fixated on the Book of Revelation. CNN reported both sides.
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Fiction. Horror. Literature. Thriller. HTML:

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling 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 fire fighter'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

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