Strange Weather

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE - MYLES McWEENEY

Joe Hill

Gol­lancz, trade pa­per­back, 428 pages, €16.99

Ap­ples don’t of­ten fall far from the tree, and this is true of Joe Hill, son of the pro­lific best­selling writer Stephen King, and a prizewin­ning au­thor in his own right. Strange Weather, his lat­est book, con­sists of four ar­rest­ing novel­las that range from fan­tasy, in the sto­ries like ‘Rain’, ‘Snap­shot’ and ‘Aloft’, to ‘Loaded’, a sear­ing ex­am­i­na­tion of Amer­ica’s mur­der­ous love af­fair with weapons.

In just 140 pages, Hill man­ages to en­cap­su­late the United States’ am­biva­lent at­ti­tude to gun own­er­ship, the ease with which dis­turbed peo­ple can ac­cess them, and the ter­ri­ble con­se­quences that of­ten en­tail lead­ing to tragedies such as the shoot­ings at Columbine and Las Ve­gas.

While pos­sess­ing a strong in­di­vid­ual voice, Hill has an in­nate gift for sto­ry­telling and di­a­logue.

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