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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 (2597 )
5 star
 (869)
4 star
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Overall
4.0 (1438 )
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (1442 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    DMcClureDVM 02-16-09
    DMcClureDVM 02-16-09 Member Since 2005

    Diane McClure

    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    559
    27
    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
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    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
  •  
    Cathy San Jose, CA, USA 07-28-08
    Cathy San Jose, CA, USA 07-28-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "the characters are so negative"

    I felt sorry for the characters. The story was scary and exciting but characters were more negative than I thought they should have been. It was a very enjoyable but dark story, with a "surprise ending"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gwyn Okatie, SC, United States 05-18-08
    Gwyn Okatie, SC, United States 05-18-08 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    223
    7
    Overall
    "Wow !!!"

    Wow !!!!
    Did I say Wow !!!!? First book I've listened to by this Author and I'm hooked. I loved the narrator as well. I'm still blown away by Scott Brick, but this guy Stephen Lang ain't shabby at all. Good Job !!!
    Wow, Wow, Wow !!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phoebe Nesbit, MS, USA 04-21-08
    Phoebe Nesbit, MS, USA 04-21-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "not bad"

    A fun listen. He writes a lot like his father and I love that! Close to the ending of this story became a little silly but overall it was pretty fun. There were a few very frightening moments in the book that were great!! I love to be scared.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vanessa Park Slope 04-03-08
    Vanessa Park Slope 04-03-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    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
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    152
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    "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

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