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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 (2664 )
5 star
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4.0 (1506 )
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Story
4.2 (1509 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    anthony 11-06-10
    anthony 11-06-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    7
    3
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    Overall
    "I love this book"

    I got this cause it was halloween season and i wanted a good ghost story. this exceeded my expectations! i really thought this book was great. they need to make a movie out of it, but a good one where they dont change everything in it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher San Diego, CA, United States 10-19-10
    Christopher San Diego, CA, United States 10-19-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    20
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    Overall
    "Plot moved along well;easy listen"

    I enjoyed this book except for the music that interrupted the story at weird points. I would recommend it although something was missing. Maybe the descriptions weren't alive. I was never able to figure out what was missing from the telling of the story. Still, I found the plot interesting and I found it the audio version of a "page turner."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Best 09-06-10
    A. Best 09-06-10 Member Since 2015

    Gift Subscription for my lovely wife.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    71
    17
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    "Summer reading"

    This is a ghost story in the vein of a no-brainer summer novella. You'd read it on the beach, and toss it out when you were done. Or take it on the plane. This is a book to relax to. Not for the kiddies there's some gross bits, but the narrator does a good job, and spins the scary tale with finesse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike miami lakes, FL, United States 08-16-10
    Mike miami lakes, FL, United States 08-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    Overall
    "A Bit Weak."

    Maybe I'm to critical considering all the high star ratings on this one. The core story was creepy enough but it played like a Lifetime movie...weak premises to move the story forward and kind of corny at times and with main character's who you could barely like better yet root for. Over all it was OK. I would have quit it half way through if I hadn't been on a long drive.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regan Cedar City, UT, United States 08-04-10
    Regan Cedar City, UT, United States 08-04-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "Wish there were a 4 1/2 star option"

    I didn't realize the author was Stephen King's son, but I chose it because it was recommended by King and was not disappointed. The characters aren't particularly deep, but their suffering (past and present) makes them appealing nonetheless. There are some VERY dark parts of this book and the protagonist is NOT likeable at all until close to the end of the book. This isn't a book to listen to with the kids and probably won't appeal to people with more conservative sensibilities, but it is a great, dark, gritty, imaginative book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamora S Galindo Coachella, CA United States 07-16-10
    Tamora S Galindo Coachella, CA United States 07-16-10 Listener Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "A Surprise!"

    I only bought this book because I had a free credit. I had a hard time at the beginning of the book trying to get into it, but then all of a sudden I wanted to keep listening and not turn it off... Very pleasantly surprised that I was liking this book. Some things were a little darker than I wanted to hear (not anything that really had to do with the main story), but I was very pleased! It definitely kept me hooked!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly FORT WORTH, TX, United States 07-07-10
    Kelly FORT WORTH, TX, United States 07-07-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    74
    40
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    "Must listen!"

    This is one of those incredibly dark stories that keeps haunting you well after the power is turned off.

    Very well written and the narration is top notch!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Colorado 10-10-09
    Amazon Customer Colorado 10-10-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    15
    2
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    Overall
    "Stephen King on Steroids"

    This book immediately immerses you in deep creepiness, and doesn't stop until the denouement. Mr. Hill has a fine, compact writing style, with vivid characterizations and a great sense of what makes things really scary. You'll hear an occasional turn of phrase in here that shows real artistry, too. The narration was perfect, as good as any book I've gotten here; a wonderful job with regional accents. I listen to my Audible books on my morning walks, but I got hooked enough on this one that I'd listen for an hour or two after I got home, too. I also gave my dogs extra treats :)

    Great jobs by Mr. Hill and Mr. Lang!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Lancaster, PA, United States 09-28-09
    Joe Lancaster, PA, United States 09-28-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    153
    10
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    "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
    34
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    97
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    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

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