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Heart-Shaped Box | [Joe Hill]

Heart-Shaped Box

Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, a thing so terrible-strange, Jude can't help but reach for his wallet. For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost. It's the real thing.
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Publisher's Summary

Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals...a used hangman's noose...a snuff film. An aging death-metal rock god, his taste for the unnatural is widely known. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, a thing so terrible-strange, Jude can't help but reach for his wallet.

I will sell my stepfather's ghost to the highest bidder.

For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. He isn't afraid. He has spent a lifetime coping with ghosts: of an abusive father, of the lovers he callously abandoned, of the bandmates he betrayed. What's one more? But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost. It's the real thing.

And suddenly the suit's previous owner is everywhere: behind the bedroom door...seated in Jude's restored vintage Mustang...standing outside his window...staring out from his widescreen TV. Waiting - with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one hand.

A multiple award-winner for his short fiction, author Joe Hill immediately vaults into the top echelon of dark fantasists with a masterwork brimming with relentless thrills and acid terror.

©2007 Joe Hill; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award winner, Thriller/Suspense, 2008
  • Thriller Award, Best Novel, 2008

"Powerful....[Hill's] subtle and skillful treatment of horrors that could easily have exploded over the top and out of control helps make this a truly memorable debut." (Publishers Weekly)
"Mr. Hill elicits honest empathy for Jude, who turned his stage persona into a nightmare version of his fears and must now figure out what strength he has left for legitimate battles. This dynamic is both frightening and funny, and the book weaves together those two threads in clever ways." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (2542 )
5 star
 (845)
4 star
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Overall
4.0 (1387 )
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (1390 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Joe Lancaster, PA, United States 09-28-09
    Joe Lancaster, PA, United States 09-28-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    153
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great book Joe!"

    This was one of the best ghost stories I've ever read! I was into this book from the very start! Steven King... make room...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Willow Spring, NC, United States 07-22-09
    William Willow Spring, NC, United States 07-22-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    97
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "A fun read"

    This story really messes with your head, but it's highly entertaining. The narrator was excellent; his characterizations really added to the creep factor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronda RIVERTON, WY, USA 05-19-09
    Ronda RIVERTON, WY, USA 05-19-09
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "A really good book."

    Joe Hill is an incredible writer. He sucks you in and you live the story, I will be an avid fan from this point on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonic0620 Rockford Il USA 03-31-09
    Sonic0620 Rockford Il USA 03-31-09 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    115
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Worth the read."

    I've listened to better, but this book was entertaining. I'd be willing to listen to other books by this author

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer White Bear Lake, MN, USA 03-23-09
    Jennifer White Bear Lake, MN, USA 03-23-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Awesome"

    I loved this book. I could not wait to get to the end. Admittedly, you do have to "bend" your view of reality a little, but I really did like it. It borders on being of the Dean Koontz genre. This is a must listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela The Woodlands, TX, USA 03-10-09
    Pamela The Woodlands, TX, USA 03-10-09
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Never lost interest"

    This book was awesome! I couldn't put it down. This is a great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Wilson California 02-26-09
    R. Wilson California 02-26-09 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Interesting story but hard to take"

    I enjoyed the story, mostly. The author's concept of ghosts and spirits and their interaction with mortals is unusual. The violence and grief became oppressive after a while.

    The occasional musical interludes seem to correspond with the beginning and end of CDs in the original audio release. They detract from listening to the book in the Audible format.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-16-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    557
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    "Unexpected"

    This is a ghost story and the visual description are vivid. It is also the story of evil human psychology. it is very creepy and Stephen Lang does a masterful job on the dialect which is very important in this tale. Well done Joe Hill!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Richmond, VA, USA 02-05-09
    James Richmond, VA, USA 02-05-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "I live for the music between the chapters ;)"

    Judas Coyne is a very original character in that he's not your typical human being. His experiences in life and the relationships he's made lend to the plot of this story. Without it, I think the book could've still done decently well. The ghost in the story and Judas' first encounters with it are terrifying...this is a must read for anyone new to horror novels!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nisey NY 01-10-09
    Nisey NY 01-10-09 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    158
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    "Great Book,Great Reader,Stupid btwn chapters music"

    I can't say I was sympathetic to the "victims" in this book, but overall it was well written and really well read. The only irritation was that each chapter would just cut off abruptly. For example, sometimes the last letter of the word was cut off. The most stupid "creative license" involved music seg-ways. First, They break the mood of the book. Second, when your lost in the listening spell of an audio book, sudden unexpected bad electronic music breaks you out of the spell and you need to reconnect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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