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Full Throttle: Stories Summary & Study Guide Description
Full Throttle: Stories Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:
The following version of this book was used to create the guide: Hill, Joe. Full Throttle. William Morrow, 2019.
The introduction of Full Throttle: Stories, subtitled “Who’s Your Daddy?,” began the anthology by Joe Hill in collaboration with his father, Stephen King. Hill told the reader about the importance of stories to his relationship with his parents. He felt intrigued and inspired by them from a young age and reflected their work ethic. After many unsuccessful novels and a lot of research and practice, Hill got a collection of his short stories published. Hill is grateful for the opportunity to grow, his parents, and inspirations that “cast a light for you to find your way” (15).
“Throttle (with Stephen King)” began with the Tribe running from a double homicide. On their way to take back their investment money in a meth lab, Race and Roy killed Clarke and his girlfriend. Vince and Race discussed what to do next in a diner parking lot alongside an oil tanker named “Laughlin” (28). Race led them toward Clarke’s sister in Arizona, and the oil tanker caught up to them. One by one, Laughlin killed four of the nine riders in the Tribe. Vince acted quickly to save the rest, signaling them all to the right except Race. He failed to receive the signal and was pursued by Laughlin. Vince saved Race with a “stun grenade,” but chastised him for knowingly putting the Tribe in danger (41). He finally understood that Race would never be an honorable man, rather he would grasp his hate tightly and live for himself.
Paul narrated a traumatic night with his friends in “Dark Carousel.” He and his girlfriend, Geri, and her brother and his girlfriend, Jake and Nancy, rode the Wild Wheel on the Cape Maggie Pier. When Nancy thought she lost her money, Paul suggested the ride operator stole it from her pocket. The four went back to confront him, stealing his money and vandalizing the characters. On their way to Paul’s parents’ cabin, the animated carousel characters attacked them, killing Nancy, Jake, and Geri. Paul survived the attack, but he saw the creatures at night over the years. He was institutionalized and medicated, and he eventually moved to England, where he felt safe. On a business trip, Paul heard the sound of a carousel on the end of a pier. Again, after decades, he saw the serpent from the Wild Wheel. He reasoned that the creatures would never stop seeking their revenge.
Saunders saw a wolf in human clothing standing on the platform of Wolverton Station in titular short story, “Wolverton Station.” Saunders was in England working to expand the American Jimi Coffee franchise on a global scale. He saw the protesters picketing the shop’s opening and believed this wolf to be another protester. When the man sat down next to him in first class, Saunders realized this creature was “more wolf than man” (97). Panicked, Saunders tried to escape to the next train car, only to find more wolves amongst scattered human blood and remains. He was spared by the first-class wolf but was pursued by the other wolves upon exiting the train. Saunders raced to a cab and was brought to a local pub, the Family Arms, inhabited by more anthropomorphized wolves. He was pulled from the cab and eaten for dinner.
Gail and her sisters were forced outside by their mother one morning in “By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain.” Gail wandered off on her own and found a large boulder in the shallow water. She climbed the netting to the top, and her friend, Joel, joined her. They heard a strange, loud foghorn-like sound through the mist. When they jumped off the boulder, they realized it was actually a corpse. They believed it was the dinosaur of Lake Champlain that the town had previously acknowledged. Joel sent Ben to find Gail’s mother, but he returned with Gail’s two younger sisters. Gail became frustrated, and the twins ran back to their mother. Heather returned to bring Gail back home, but when they reached their father’s dock, they heard the foghorn sound closer, followed by a large splash. Gail ran back to save Joel, but when she returned, Joel and the dinosaur were gone.
“Faun” began with Fallows, Stockton, Peter, and Christian hunting big game in Namibia. Peter almost got killed by Fallows’s lion kill, but the latter saved his life. To repay him, Stockton introduced Fallows to Edwin Charn, the man who offered them an opportunity to hunt mythical creatures. The four men agreed and went to Charn’s Maine farmhouse to travel through the small door. In the other world, when Peter was about to shoot a faun family, Fallows killed Stockton with Peter’s knife. Then, he killed Peter and ran after Charn. Christian ran toward the portal door, but fauns in the forest saw and hunted him. Fallows found him and chased him across the river toward the sleeping girl. He revealed his identity as a faun in disguise and killed Christian, too. He woke the young girl with the dying breaths of big game hunted in the human world. When the rest of the world awoke with her, they also hunted and killed Charn.
“Late Returns” began with John Davies’s parents’ double suicide. He returned home to New Hampshire to mourn and take care of their affairs. He went to the library to return his mother’s overdue library book and was offered a job driving the Bookmobile. He accepted and began seeing strange things in the truck. Certain people seemed to be from different decades of the past. He met two such people, one being Brad Dolan’s mother. John learned from the librarian and the former Bookmobile driver that these people from other eras were Late Returns, close to death in their time and looking for one last book. He discovered later that Lynn Dolan planned to send her son his books as he fought in Vietnam. Later, John received a letter written before Brad Dolan’s suicide in 1997 that thanked him for showing his mother kindness before her death. John hoped that he would see his parents one day as his mother returned her overdue book to the Bookmobile.
“All I Care About Is You” begins with Iris lamenting her failed sixteenth birthday plans. She visits her father in medical care and receives a mermaid in a crystal globe, which she detests. Iris wishes she could receive Hideware and explore the Spoke with her friends, hiding the truth from them. On her way to her mother’s, Iris pays for an hour of a Clockwork’s time to push her Monowheel. When Chip learns of her birthday wishes, he brings her to the Spoke and floats down to earth in a bubble with her. When they return back to his charging plate, Iris asks him to throw her mermaid in front of a train. Instead, Iris pushes Chip in front of the train, steals his heart chip to power her Monowheel and his tokens to buy Hideware, and leaves the mermaid by Chip’s dismembered face.
In “Thumbprint,” Mal was in New York, having been released from serving at Abu Ghraib eight months earlier. She had gotten her job back tending bar and, one night, stole money and a wedding ring off a drunk childhood friend. The next morning, she found an unlabeled thumbprint in her mailbox. At times, she remembered the torture she enacted on others with Anshaw while overseas. Another thumbprint was slipped under her front door. She agreed to post fliers for the missing ring, and in doing so, she found another thumbprint paper on her windshield. She remembered how Anshaw was discharged for throwing a prisoner out of their van, but she scraped by. After work one night, there was another thumbprint paper on her mirror. Anshaw was there, delusional and paranoid, to torture her for supposed information. Mal knew that if she could play Anshaw’s game, she could escape and protect herself.
“The Devil on the Staircase” was told by Quirinus Calvino. He helped his father repair the more than 800 steps that led from his village to town. One day, Quirinus leaned upon and opened a red gate that led to another staircase. His cousin, Lithodora, told him the legend that the stairs led to hell. Quirinus began hauling wine from a vineyard down the steps after his father died, delivering it to an Arab prince. He hated the man, and when he heard rumors that Lithodora was involved with the prince, he found their hiding place on the staircase. He killed him, ran past the red gate, and descended the steps. He found a young boy who gave him a mechanical bird that sang when he lied. Lithodora was inconsolable, and he killed her, too. Quirinus told the townsmen that he was saving Lithodora from the prince, that the latter was selling Italian women, and the bird sang. Eventually, the town gifted Quirinus the prince’s money, and later land, political power, and wealth. The bird laid mechanical eggs before ceasing to sing. In his senior years, Quirinus thought he heard a bird singing behind Mussolini’s voice over the radio.
Blake live-tweets her family road trip in “Twittering from the Circus of the Dead.” They stay in a Colorado hotel and move on due to bad weather. Blake has a contentious relationship with her mother, who believes she spends too much time on her phone. As they drive through the American West, Blake’s father takes them off course on the backroads. Eric, Blake’s brother, insists that they pull over to an attraction. They enter a worn-down bigtop with a foul smell. The female ringmaster enters on stilts and claims that she is a prisoner of the circus. Through various acts—a lion fighting off zombies, blasting a zombie out of a cannon, burning a zombie alive—Blake maintains her suspension of disbelief. It is only with Eric’s transformation into a zombie and the attack they wage on the audience that she believes the circus acts are real. The zombies kill and eat all the people in the crowd and force Blake into becoming the next ringmaster, advertising by hacking her Twitter account.
Jack’s mother is stopped by his father and cousin from taking him away from their midwest Survivalist farmstead in “Mums.” Jack’s father, Hank, and Jack’s cousin and his wife, Connor and Beth, convince Jack that his mother drank herself to death. On the way to town one day, he buys mums from a strange, elderly woman at a farm stand and plants them on his mother’s grave. Jack experiences night terrors about his mother, and when he discovers his father’s willingness to kill him in resistance of the government, he believes that Beth killed her. When he pulls up the mums at night, he finds 6 of his mother’s heads growing from the roots. The first head tells Jack that they will help him escape his father. Jack lures Beth to his mother’s grave and stabs her to a pulp to feed the heads, but they are gone—only roots remain. He locks his father and Connor in the greenhouse and detonates his IED, and he watched as the roots of his mums hold the doors closed. Jack takes Connor’s car out to the highway and picks up the elderly lady from the farm stand, whom he suspects is his Meemaw.
“In the Tall Grass” began with siblings Becky and Cal DeMuth on their cross-country drive to San Diego. Becky was six-months pregnant, and Cal agreed to live with her and their aunt and uncle until the delivery. While driving through Kansas, the siblings heard a child calling for help from the tall grass. Cal parked in a church parking lot across the street, and as soon as they stepped inside, they lost sight of each other. The grass moved them to different locations as they stayed still. Becky was approached by Tobin’s father, who ranted about the rock and attacked her. She fought him, but he kicked her in the belly, forcing her into premature labor. Cal was approached by Tobin when he lost hope. Tobin led him to the rock, and it compelled him to touch it. Meanwhile, Becky fell unconscious and had visions. When she awoke, Cal fed her her stillborn child. He carried her to the rock, which he and Tobin forced her to touch. Later, a large family drove past the grass and heard a child yelling for help. They decided to help it and entered the field.
“You Are Released” begins with an announcement from Captain Leonard Waters that Guam experienced some kind of attack. This startles the people in the cabin, and they wish to know more. In Coach, Arnold Fidelman tries to comfort the girl next to him. He is offended, though, by the conservative man across the aisle who callously explains politics. They both understand, though, that this attack is serious given the failed assassination on Putin. As they argued, those in Business class tried to comfort one another. In the cockpit, the Captain, copilot, and flight attendant hear the confirmation of a world war. They are ordered to land, and decide to go farther north to avoid the likely nuclear bombing of the United States. Eventually, the seriousness of the situation brings the passengers to cease arguing and comfort each other. Throughout the story, the plane is knocked around by bombs and bomber airplanes. The story ends with the plane flying farther north.
This section contains 2,287 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)