Written By: Joe Hill
Narrated By: Stephen Lang, George Guidall, Neil Gaiman, Kate Mulgrew, Joe Hill, Zachary Quinto, Wil Wheaton, Nate Corddry, Ashleigh Cummings, Laysla De Oliveira, Connor Jessup
Date: October 2019
Duration: 15 hours 47 minutes
Throttle is a novella written by Joe Hill and Stephen King. It was published in February 2009 by Gauntlet Press in a limited edition anthology honoring Richard Matheson titled He Is Legend, and in a mass-market audiobook titled Road Rage, also containing Matheson’s short story “Duel”, which served as inspiration for Throttle. A comic book adaptation by IDW Publishing was published in the spring of 2012.
Full Throttle Audiobook Summary
2020 Audie Awards® WINNER – Short Stories/Collections
The number one New York Times best-selling author of The Fireman and Strange Weather returns with a dark and ingenious collection of 13 compelling short stories that showcase his ability to “push genre conventions to new extremes” (New York Times Book Review), performed by a stunning multi-cast featuring Zachary Quinto, Wil Wheaton, Kate Mulgrew, Neil Gaiman, Ashleigh Cummings, Joe Hill, Laysla De Oliveira, Nate Corddry, Connor Jessup, Stephen Lang, and George Guidall.
In this masterful collection of short fiction, Joe Hill dissects timeless human struggles in 13 relentless tales of supernatural suspense, including “In The Tall Grass”, one of two stories cowritten with Stephen King, basis for the terrifying feature film from Netflix.
A little door that opens to a world of fairy-tale wonders becomes the blood-drenched stomping ground for a gang of hunters in “Faun”. A grief-stricken librarian climbs behind the wheel of an antique bookmobile to deliver fresh reads to the dead in “Late Returns”. In “By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain”, two young friends stumble on the corpse of a plesiosaur at the water’s edge, a discovery that forces them to confront the inescapable truth of their own mortality…and other horrors that lurk in the water’s shivery depths. And tension shimmers in the sweltering heat of the Nevada desert as a faceless trucker finds himself caught in a sinister dance with a tribe of motorcycle outlaws in “Throttle”, cowritten with Stephen King.
Featuring two previously unpublished stories and a brace of shocking chillers, Full Throttle is a darkly imagined odyssey through the complexities of the human psyche. Hypnotic and disquieting, it mines our tormented secrets, hidden vulnerabilities, and basest fears and demonstrates this exceptional talent at his very best.
Full Throttle Audiobook Reviews
I’m a big fan of Joe Hill’s writing – ever since his debut, Heart-Shaped Box, it’s been clear that Hill is a great voice in horror, bringing genuine scares along with a talent for prose that’s undeniable. Long before it came out that he was almost literally the heir to Stephen King’s throne, Hill had already made a claim on that, mixing genres effortlessly, from the moral twistiness of Horns to the endlessly inventive short story collection 20th Century Ghosts – a collection that, for my money, is one of the best things Hill has written to date, and the major work that made me a lifelong fan. Now comes his second short story collection, Full Throttle, and here’s where I make my bold claim: yes, Hill has written some great novels. But he’s even better as a short story writer, and that’s saying quite a bit. But when you’ve got a collection as good as this, there’s no denying Hill’s craft, talent, imagination, and ability.
More than anything else, what Full Throttle gives you a sense of is Hill’s range and command of so many different tones and styles. He’s undeniably capable of horror, as the supernatural revenge tale “Dark Carousel” shows, following a group of teenagers as they decide to taunt and rob a carnival roustabout, only to find forces aligning against them. Or there’s Hill’s collaboration with his father, “In the Tall Grass,” in which a pair of siblings stops by the side of the road in response to the voice of a lost child calling from an overgrown field, but soon discovering that this is no ordinary field at all. Hill’s even willing to see what he can do under clever restrictions, including “Twittering from the Circus of the Dead,” a truly chilling story told entirely through the tweets of a teenage girl on a doomed vacation with her family, or the literal stair-step structure of “The Devil on the Staircase.” And Hill doesn’t even require supernatural elements for his horror, as shown in “Thumbprint,” the relentless story of a soldier who’s returned home after a stint at Abu Ghraib bringing her own trauma and mental scars home with her, along with an inability to escape her past actions.
And if all Hill had was his gift for horror, that would be enough. But Full Throttle constantly shows other sides of his talents. Take, for instance, the hauntingly beautiful “By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain,” which tells the story of a little girl as she lets her imagination run wild down by the shores of a lake – or, is what’s happening real? Whichever way it goes (and the end seems to make clear which it is), Hill captures that childish sense of carefree fun effortlessly, reminding us of a time when anything seemed possible. Or take “Late Returns,” a ghost story set mainly on a bookmobile which reminds us of how books can so often be a link to key moments in our own lives. Then there’s “Faun,” which feels like Hill spliced together “A Sound of Thunder” with C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books, only to add in a wholly unexpected new wrinkle that delighted me by changing the entire story around me.
And none of that even touches on the beautiful and unexpected final story, “You Are Released,” which Hill describes as his effort to write a David Mitchell story. Told, in Mitchell style, through a series of different narrators all on a single flight, Hill first seems to be looking at how our different views in the modern world can lead to us failing to understand each other. But then the story reveals itself to be something else entirely, leading to something both optimistic and painful at the same time, and ending the story on a more hopeful note than the story’s content might have suggested it would.
There’s so much more to this collection – the eerie “The Devil on the Staircase,” whose text layout reflects its subject in compelling ways (except, it must be noted, on the Kindle version, where that layout is lost; luckily, the story retains its unsettling mood), the Duel homage “Throttle” (the other King collaboration), the outwardly sweet science-fiction friendship of “All I Care About Is You,” and more. But it all adds up to an immersive plunge into the wide gamut of Hill’s ability, giving you horrors, suspense, rich characters, perfect moods, and stories that stick with you far beyond their short length. It’s a great collection from a horror writer whose made it clear that his success is all his own, and not just due to his family connection. Read it and enjoy the talent on display on every page.
Listen To Full Throttle Audiobook
On March 30, 2017, Army of One producer Emile Gladstone announced that he would produce a film based on the short story with John Scott III writing. On May 13, 2020, it was announced that HBO Max would distribute the film with David S. Goyer and Keith Levine producing through Phantom Four and Leigh Dana Jackson writing.
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