Heart-Shaped Box Paperback – Mar 15 2007
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|Paperback, Mar 15 2007||
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This first novel by Hill, the second son of Stephen King, provides the perfect raw material for Lang to create an auditory world so convincing that the listener will feel as if they have seen a film by the time they are through. The complex plot can be simply stated: as a lark, retired heavy metal star Judas Coyne buys a haunted suit online. The ghost turns out to be the very angry stepfather of an ex-groupie/lover of Coyne's who killed herself after he sent her away. The relentless ghost is there to kill Judas and anyone who tries to help him. Lang's superb narration is nearly hypnotic in its calm delivery, perfect as backdrop for the action and horror that surrounds it. His Coyne is reminiscent of John Goodman, deep and understated, with a foundation of confidence with a barely perceptible trace of a Southern accent. Each disk starts with a bit of Nine Inch Nails–ish heavy haunting electronica, an ideal tone setter for the journey.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School—Hill, two-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award for his short fiction, delivers a terrifyingly contemporary twist to the traditional ghost story with his first novel. Aging rock star Judas Coyne is a collector of bizarre and macabre artifacts: a used hangman's noose, a snuff film, and rare books on witchcraft. When he purchases a suit billed in an online auction as the haunted clothes of a recently deceased man, Coyne finds more than he bargained for. Everywhere he looks he sees the twisted spirit of an old and evil man following him and dangling a deadly razor on a chain. He learns that the suit belonged to Craddock McDermott, the stepfather of a former lover who committed suicide shortly after Coyne tossed her out of his life. McDermott, a professional hypnotist prior to his death, swore to destroy Coyne's rock-star life of self-indulgence to avenge her death. The behind-the-scenes look at stardom alongside the frightening pyrotechnics of McDermott's ghost will draw in teens who really enjoy a good scare. But like all good ghost stories, Hill also crafts a deftly plotted mystery as McDermott's true motivations and powers unfold. The depth of character hidden in the dark shadows of both men lifts what could otherwise be a formula supernatural thriller to an impressive debut.—Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I made the unwise decision to start reading as I went to bed, and boy, that was a mistake. I was scared to death by the time the ghost made himself at home at Joe's house. I have a rocking chair in my bedroom in the corner and I had to actually move it out of the room and into the living room! Then, I couldn't sleep... I had to continue read the book until I could put the characters in a "safe place". I finished the book as the sun was coming up.
Heart Shaped Box has a great basis for good ghost story: Joe Hill buys a ghost off of an ebay type website. After the "ghost" arrives in the heart shaped box, Joe encounters the ghost of an old man who is obviously set on terrorizing Joe. It's during this period of time that you are introduced to Joe's Goth girlfriend, Georgia. We learn that Joe is an arrogant, self-centered jerk. Georgia encounters the ghost, Joe learns that the ghost is a man named Craddock, and he is the stepfather of one of Joe's old girlfriend, Florida. Florida seemingly committed suicide and Craddock is blaming Joe.
I enjoyed the book very much up to this point, and was truly freaked out by the ghost. However, after Georgia and Joe take off to meet Florida's sister and try to get rid of Craddock, I felt the book got trurly amazing. I fell in love with these characters.Read more ›
The main character is the jerk you love to hate and this book will have you reading until the wee hours of the night. I had no idea this was Stephen King's son and it's obvious he's inherited some of that ability to tell a completely unusual story in such a riveting way. This has become one of my favorite books.
Most recent customer reviews
Now this is more like it Joe Hill! Nicely done! Thank you very much!Published 2 months ago by jeri cross
Hate this book. Hate the characters. Hate the cliche-ridden story. Not once do I recall thinking "Wow, that was a cool twist." King Lite.Published 7 months ago by Horrormeister
Loved this book-it was scary but still had a great story line, I could not put it down. Definitely recommend.Published 21 months ago by Yarrow
Was genuinely surprised at how good of a story it turned out to be!! Was expecting a run-of-the-mill horror story.. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Declan Macgowan
Fast paced story for those of us into sci-fi horror!,
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Joe is certainly following in his father's footsteps as a superb writer.