Halloween Review: Throttle by Joe Hill, Stephen King

eBook: 47 Pages

Series: Short story standalone

Publisher: HarperCollins

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“Inspired by Richard Matheson’s classic “Duel,” “Throttle,” by Joe Hill and Stephen King, is a duel of a different kind, pitting a faceless trucker against a tribe of motorcycle outlaws in the simmering Nevada desert. Their battle is fought out on twenty miles of the most lonely road in the country, a place where the only thing worse than not knowing what you’re up against, is slowing down . . .”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: King, for me, isn’t scary. I mean, take Misery for example. After reading, was I scared a psycho fan/bitch from Hell was going to jump at me with an axe? No, no I wasn’t. Was I horrified by the gruesome acts of violence? Yes, yes I was.

And therein lies King’s, and Hill’s, talent, in his ability to make me wince and cringe with his unapologetic writing, bloody violent scenes and suspense.

I haven’t read Matheson’s Duel and so I’m in no position to make any comparisons, but I have seen a couple of reviewers using the word copy instead of tribute/homage when referring to Throttle. Fact remains, this short story is great and exactly what it promised to be.

Following an unfortunate incident and a meth head with sticky hands, a biker gang called The Tribe  are screwed out of 60 grand. Wanting their money back, they all pay a visit to the guy who had it, visit that ends up being a slaughter.

Later on that day, while the bikers talk about what happened, a trucker in the diner’s parking lot overhears their conversation and decides to make them pay. If you’ve seen enough horror movies then I’m sure you know what follows.

Violence and retribution ensue, in more ways than one.

The writing was good, the pacing too, especially since it’s such a short story and, a welcome surprise, by the end of the story I actually cared about some of the characters, undeveloped as they were. With only 47 pages worth of writing, characters take a secondary role to the action.

If you’re a Stephen King fan, like his son’s novels or just a horror fan, read this short story.

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2 thoughts on “Halloween Review: Throttle by Joe Hill, Stephen King

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this short story. I am a huge Stephen King fan and was not disappointed. Not sure if you reviewed ‘Face in the Crowd’, but I loved tha too.

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