It seems a little stuffy, and perhaps even over-reaching to call my personal opinion put to (digital) paper, a Book Review. However, it also sounds a little fancy and kind of smart, so I’m rolling with it. I hope you will, too, and maybe even be inspired to pick up a fun, new read this holiday season. Either, way, I’m going to have lots of fun telling you about The Fireman.
The Fireman by Joe Hill (2016) is a long book. Not kidding or embellishing, it is a really, really, really long book. 747 pages long actually. See? It’s bigger than my head!
And yet, so much fun. This book was a blast to read, from page 1 to page 747. Mr. Hill kept my attention the entire through the whole book, and I read it in just about a week. I might have finished sooner as it is an easy read, but I do have some other stuff that requires attention (like my job, and my children, the dishes, you know…).
The Fireman is another in the vast collection of post-apocalyptic novels. In fact, I love this quote from one of the novel’s main characters that seems to describe mankind’s never-ending fascination with the end of the world as we know it:
Death and ruin is man’s preferred ecosystem. Did you ever read about the bacterium that thrives in volcanoes, right on the edge of boiling rock? That’s us. Humanity is a germ that thrives on the very edge of catastrophe.” (John Rookwood, pages 323-324)
The book is set in New Hampshire where the author, Mr. Hill, lives. The 747 pages are divided into eight books which makes it very read-able. Mr. Hill uses quite a bit of foreshadowing that seems blatant and at times almost juvenile, however the pronounced use of this literary tool served as vital memory hooks for me. Each “hook” kept me moving forward in the book, while not losing sight of key action points that would be important to remember later.
Mr. Hill’s heroine, Harper Willowes, made me a fan from the very beginning. She was strong and ever-resourceful. Unfortunately, in 747 pages her heroics and constant strength begin to feel less like a normal woman and more like a Greek demi-god, but again I feel that is due more to length of book than weakness of storyline.
Since The Fireman was in fact crazy long, Mr. Hill so impressed me with his ability to tell a story that at no point felt like it was on repeat. I thoroughly enjoyed this book that was jam-packed with imagination bordering on science-fiction, but not over the top for a more traditional reader like me. It was a light read which is perfect for nights when the brain is tired (from the job, the children, the dishes, you know…).
Please let me know if you read The Fireman, too. I’d love to hear your opinion of this book in the comment section.
To the next book! Emily