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Throttle: Bad Guys Running From a Crazy Trucker

Throttle by Joe Hill (and Stephen King)

So I had a fifteen dollar Amazon ebook coupon and with it, I found I did not have long to decide what I wanted to buy. I wanted to buy something by Joe Hill. I have been loving most everything from him. And he seems that he does better with shorter self-contained tales opposed to near thousand page turners. So I decided to get his new short story collection called Full Throttle. And the first story being reviewed is the title story called Throttle, which he co wrote with his father Stephen King. Still don’t understand how two authors write anything. Writing is such a personal hobby of putting a private vision on paper. But whatever. Let’s get started.

The story follows a motorcycle gang composed of a bunch of misfits of veterans who didn’t fit back into society, petty criminals, and those they picked up along the way. But they get involved in something bad. They make a deal with a meth dealer to get a cut of the money, but things go sideways and the wild card (who has been becoming more and more unhinged as of late) kills some people when they don’t have the money.

So they run trying to get as far away as possible when suddenly this semi truck comes up behind them with every intention to kill them.

The good and bad? Let’s start with the bad. These characters are unlikable despicable people. If Stephen King had a hand in it, it shows here. One reason I like Hill instead of King, is I can relate to Hill’s characters as I tend to loathe King’s characters. I here I hated the characters except for Vince. And the biggest problem is, is when these characters begin to die, its meaningless because the reader doesn’t care for them.

The good? There is a subplot concerning Vince and his son. It’s beautifully told complicated love hate relationship and ties into the finale creating a perfect ending. And these human elements is what saved this story. If not for this, this would have been a mindless splatter fest. And having read enough of Joe’s other work, to say this most likely is what he contributed to the story. And that contribution was beautiful.

Overall, it’s easily to see where Kings influences begin and end and where Hill's personal touches shine through. I believe this story is one of Hill’s earliest works. It’s not perfect or as well rounded as his other stuff, but its still pretty darn good despite the unlikable characters. It’s worth a read. Not a must read, but if you’re a Hill or King fan, it’s worth seeking out.

Overall Rating: Bad Guys Running From a Crazy Trucker

4 smoothies out of Five

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