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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 (2349 )
5 star
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3.9 (1209 )
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4.2 (1212 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Vanessa Park Slope 04-03-08
    Vanessa Park Slope 04-03-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    Overall
    "outstanding"

    this is the most frightening book i can remember reading since Pet Sematary. prepare for insomnia. you will love it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pearl Cape Coral, FL, USA 09-25-07
    Pearl Cape Coral, FL, USA 09-25-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    4
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    "A Worthy Read"

    From the very beginning this book captivated me. I was hesitant to read this because I enjoy Stephen King's writing so much, and I was afraid I would find myself comparing son to father. After a short time it was apparent to me that no comparisons were necessary. The story is intriguing, the characters well developed, and the pace just right.
    A tip of the hat for the several references to Stephen King titles through character dialogue. I look forward to a long reader relationship with Joe Hill. This is certainly a worthy debut.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven north liberty, iowa, United States 09-20-07
    Steven north liberty, iowa, United States 09-20-07 Member Since 2013

    I love Audible and I love books. What more can I say?

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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    5
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    "Wonderful listen"

    Stephen and Tabitha King must be extremely proud of their son's writing talent. Heart Shape Box is a stellar debut. What wonderful story-telling. Joe Hill writes nearly as well as his father, and has his father's ability draw on popular culture references with ease and style. Now Hill only has to do it over 30 or 40 books, for 40 more years...lol. Good luck, I am looking forward to reading more from this very imaginative author. My 5 rating is not something I give easily. Also, kudos to Stephen Lang, his narration was smooth and perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen Yellowknife, Northwest Terr, Canada 08-02-07
    Eileen Yellowknife, Northwest Terr, Canada 08-02-07 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    2
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    "Compelling story, excellent narration"

    A lot of reviews that I read before purchasing this audiobook referred to it as being very scary. I didn't find it really frightening, but it was an excellent story with supernatural themes.

    I usually only listen to audiobooks in the car, but I continued this one at home because I was eager to hear it all. The narrator was also very good and easy to listen to. Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Neumar LI, NY 07-29-07
    L. Neumar LI, NY 07-29-07 Member Since 2009

    craft lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    76
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    157
    64
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    Overall
    "Pretty Good"

    For a rather docile title, the story reveals itself in stark contrast! There was suspense and frustration well defined by characters trapped in a web of their deliberate but unsuspecting actions. Being an animal lover, I am always looking for happy endings for them, though that is unfortunately not very realistic. I would recommend this and might very well listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra St. Louis, MO, United States 07-27-07
    Sandra St. Louis, MO, United States 07-27-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent!"

    I had no idea Joe Hill was Stephen King's son when I bought this book. Although he has a totally different style than his dad, he is a shiver-up-your-spine writer. The plot was good, the characters were well developed, and everything flowed. I look forward to reading more of his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Magnolia 07-10-07
    Magnolia 07-10-07 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Joe Hill's Heart Shaped Box"

    The apple does not fall far from the tree, I could not wait to listen to this book!
    Keeps you hanging on the edge of your seat!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 06-25-07
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 06-25-07 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Not"

    This novel is very reminiscent of papa King in his better moments; certainly son Joe did not attempt to remove himself from his father's shadow. The result is a competent, pleasantly scary tale with just-enough ghoul-and-gore, lovable ne'er-do-well heroes and brave dogs straight out of a Dean Koontz book! The reader does an adequate job, handling character voices without absurd changes, but his reading of the narrative is a bit ominous, even in the lighter passages. Overall, this book will be well-liked by fans of the genre, and it is certainly better than average for summer fiction. Five star ratings aren't too precise: I give this one 7 out of 10.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan St. Louis, MO, USA 06-07-07
    Susan St. Louis, MO, USA 06-07-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "Can't Say Enough"

    I cannot say enough good things about this audio book! The plot centers around a somewhat flawed protagonist with whom you can nevertheless connect emotionally. The story arc is captivating; the characters are fleshed-out and very believably human. The book wasn't overly gory or violent but it was *very* suspenseful.

    As I said, I felt emotionally connected to the main characters and very invested in what would happen to them. The narrator does a great job in giving subtle inflection to the different voices, without going over the top. I just finished this yesterday, and I want to listen to it again! If you're thinking about purchasing this book, go for it. I don't think you'll be disappointed. I can't wait to hear more from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice LAGRANGE, KY, United States 06-04-07
    Janice LAGRANGE, KY, United States 06-04-07 Member Since 2005

    I am a retired school counselor (middle and elementary) and an avid reader. I am a lover of great mysteries, quirky protagonists, and medical/scientific non-fiction. I travel a lot and love the freedon audiobooks give me to drive, work, and relax while enjoying a good book. On my ipod I have eclectic musical selections as well as audiobooks. I will strive to never steer you wrong in a review.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A long creepy ride"

    Heart-Shaped Box is not an easy novel to read. Everything leads you to believe that the protagonist is due all of the trouble he is receiving. Somewhere on the road he becomes more human and you actually begin caring about him. I definitely recommend this book-but not for the faint of heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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