Review: The Fireman

The Fireman

The Fireman
By Joe Hill
William Morrow & Company, Hardcover, 9780062200631, May 2016, 768pp.

The Short of It:

Find a cool, shady spot, grab a cold drink, and kick back because The Fireman is the hot read of the summer.

The Rest of It:

Draco Incendia Trychophyton is a plague which causes people to spontaneously combust. As people across the country become infected  with “Dragonscale”, the hospitals in each big city try their best to contain it but there is no cure.

Harper Grayson, a nurse who took special care not to become infected, finds herself covered in “scale” and when her husband Jakob finds out, he doesn’t react the way she expects him to. Instead, she ends up with a group of people who have come together for survival. This group has figured out a way to live with the scale. Led by an unlikely hero in a bright yellow coat and fireman’s hat, they create a world where survival is possible.

The Fireman Read Along

I love read-alongs and this book was perfect to read as a group. It’s long (700+ pages) but I read it in under a week and never once felt its length. It’s got plenty of good storytelling, lots of action and some likable characters for you to cheer for. There is also one really bad seed. There’s one in every bunch.

What stood out:

  • Lots of name dropping and pop culture references
  • Hill is Stephen King’s son and I felt it in the writing (a plus!)
  • Reads like a movie and Fox has taken it on for development.
  • Definitely not horror even though it’s marketed that way.
  • We all felt that it should have been called, The Nurse.
  • Despicable characters are great fun to bash on Twitter.

I received a review copy of this book so imagine my surprise when another blogger pointed out material that was not in my review copy. Yes!! A slightly different ending given the additional material she provided. So if you have the review copy, seek out a finished copy so you can read that very last bit.

I was hoping for a good chunkster to read this summer and this was it. It’s a lot of fun and reading it with a group just made it that much better. I highly recommend it.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

17 thoughts on “Review: The Fireman”

    1. Yes!! There is an added section that says “the story doesn’t end there” and then gives you a few extra paragraphs. Not in my copy anywhere. Someone had to send me a pic of their page.

    1. It was a solid read. Hill’s style is different from King’s but as you read, you can pick up some similarities.

    1. Yep. You and Sandy did not care for it. She gave it like 2 stars or something. I do think the group read aspect helped me like it more but I was totally into the idea of it. I feel like it focused on the nurse and Hill has even said that in the interviews he’s done so why did he call it The Fireman?

  1. Yay! I knew you would love it! I think the name is so misleading…and yet, where would The Nurse be without The Fireman? Perhaps that is why he titled it as he did?

    1. In all the interviews, Hill said he wanted to focus on the nurse which is why the title is so odd. He could have named it anything really. I guess The Nurse would not have pulled in so many readers though.

  2. As I’m still lagging behind at 70%, I appreciate your spoiler-free review! Totally agree it should be called The Nurse but that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. I’ve been a bit distracted by the pop culture references in the book…and the language! I definitely have to make sure my earbuds are in while listening!

    1. Yeah, there was some language in there. I was distracted by the pop culture references too because there were just so many and peppered all throughout the book. Some almost seemed like product placement to me, like Coca-Cola.

  3. Whoa, that’s crazy that there were significant enough changes in the final version that you and another blogger noticed the difference. I’m going to assume the author made a last-minute change and drove his publishers crazy trying to get it fixed in time. :p

  4. I finished the book last night, and really enjoyed it! Definitely helps when you are reading it with a bunch of other fans.

    I have been wondering the same thing about the name of the book when so much of the book was focused on Harper. But, it also would not have been the same story without John!

    I missed the conversation about the different ending. Tell me more! Are you talking about the coda or something else?

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