Throttle

Authors: Joe Hill & Stephen King

Type: Fiction, short story (Kindle single)

Published: 2009

I read it: August 2015

throttle

About twice a year I dust off the Kindle to give it another chance. After charging it and up and becoming infuriated while I try to reboot it so it will function, I need something to make the medium exciting to me. I knew I had a couple singles on the device that I never got around to.

I went for Throttle because I knew it’d be a breezy read, and I was intrigued by the father-son authorship. I’ve heard good things bout Joe Hill’s novels, but I’m not sure when I’ll actually get around to one (they are as thick as his dad’s).

This is a pretty Kingian story about a motorcycle gang and their plans going wrong. The opening is a bit too much like a riff on Breaking Bad—there are drugs and unplanned violence, and a “what do we do now?” dilemma. The strong part is the character of Vince, an aging guy who is not all that bad, but whose son, Race, is a wild card who threatens to make a poor situation worse.

The action is good without being terribly gory, and the characters are focused, with few of the annoying Kingisms issuing from their lips. It was impossible to tell which author added which parts, and there is some serious Freud going on with the plot featuring a parenting/legacy theme. At any rate, I think the story has kept me interested in looking into more Joe Hill.

P.S. Apparently this tale was inspired by a Richard Matheson story called “Duel.” Anyone read it?

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