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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 (2197 )
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3.9 (1074 )
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4.2 (1077 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Maritt 04-13-07
    Maritt 04-13-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    "Like Father Like Son"

    If you like Stephen King, you'll love this, his son is great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Norwalk, IA, United States 03-29-07
    Rob Norwalk, IA, United States 03-29-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    95
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "great book"

    To simply say this book was really good would be an understatement. The combination of a great book and a narrator equally as great make this audio book too good to stop listening to until the very end. Unlike most books out there, the ending is not just an end, it leaves one with a sense of closure. It does not just end, it ends the way a book is supposed to end- telling you everything you ever wondered about a book when it ended too soon. Stephen Lang does an excellent job of reading this book. He does it in such an amazing way. You cannot stop listening to it, and when you do, you wake up in the middle of the night and see the old man in his old suit sitting in your room mouthing the words "keep listening." Joe Hill did not just write a great book, equaling the best of his father Steven King, he wrote one that might be better than anything King ever dreamed of.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Livingston CA USA 03-27-07
    M. Livingston CA USA 03-27-07 Member Since 2001

    NanaGamer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    197
    4
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    "Hill is a King!"

    Like a previous reviewer, I too got this book because I'm a huge Stephen King fan - the hook worked on me too! And, like another reviewer, I was prepared to be disappointed. NOT! Joe Hill is definitely his father's son. I compare Joe Hill to his father because, as far as I'm concerned, Stephen King is the best modern writer out there and I compare every book and author in the horror genre to the best. Hill's characters are superbly developed, the story line is wonderfully scary and original, and the progression is fast paced. As I got close to the story's end I couldn't put it down - but, at the same time, I didn't want it to be over! I loved it and will be a Hill fan for as long as he can crank out horror of this quality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Grand Rapids, MN, USA 03-22-07
    Kevin Grand Rapids, MN, USA 03-22-07 Member Since 2005
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    "Wow"

    OK, I know it's supposed to have been written by Stevie's son, but... Given the age of the main character, the mention of AC/DC (if I remember correctly, a favorite of the senior Mr. King), the descriptive narrative, the whole feel of the book makes me wonder, if it wasn't written by the master, have his books been ghost-written by the son???

    This was the first book which made me wish my road trip was 3 hours longer just so I could finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard J. Riker Southampton, NJ USA 03-21-07
    Richard J. Riker Southampton, NJ USA 03-21-07 Member Since 2000

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    141
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    2
    Overall
    "Am I the only one . . ."

    OK! Am I the only one who thinks that the latter Steven King books have become wordy, predictable, and – frankly – a bit boring? Unfortunately, it seems to me that Joe Hill has learned at the knee of the latter (father) Steven King, not the early (daddy) Steven King.

    The opening scenes of Heart Shaped Box were excellent. I have been around for many, many years and I find few books, films, etc. to be pleasantly scary. The opening of this book was excellent. It was scary. But then, the story settled into repetitious scenes, much ghost-babble, uninteresting flash backs, etc. In fact, words, words, words.

    I once accused an author of writing as if he were paid by the word. The same thought occurred to me while reading this book. “Get on with it, man!”

    I found this book to be ultimately boring. (Pre-thanks to the one or two of you who will agree with me.) Oh, yes – good reader!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Santa Fe, NM, United States 03-19-07
    Mark Santa Fe, NM, United States 03-19-07 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    143
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    53
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    1
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    Overall
    "Good first effort"

    Good first effort. Unlike the other reviewers, I was not "blown away" by this book. I did not find the book scary or even disturbing. I actually found it predictable and rather plodding, essentially the same scenario occuring over and over again. That said, I would recommend this book with reservations. It's kind of like Stephen King on Nyquil.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Broadlands, VA, United States 03-15-07
    J. Broadlands, VA, United States 03-15-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    328
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    273
    97
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    11
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    "The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree!"

    This is an amazing book - If I could have given it 10 stars I would have. Stephen King is getting a run for his money from his son Joe. Written in the true vein of previous King novels. The narrator (sort of Sam Elliot-ish) makes this book an even better listen. I'm totally looking forward to the rest of Mr. Hill's books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Huntington, Wv, United States 03-13-07
    Shawn Huntington, Wv, United States 03-13-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    44
    13
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    1
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    Overall
    "More suspense than horror"

    This booked created a nice mixture of suspense and horror. I listened to it in two days while working on my yard. I usually tire of a book and have to go back to finish, but this one didn't try to shock you as much as keep a constant pace.
    I highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trudy L. Soura up state ny 03-10-07
    Trudy L. Soura up state ny 03-10-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
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    22
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    2
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    Overall
    "Excellent !!"

    Excellent!A very captivating book,I couldnt quit listing to it.You wont be disapointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-02-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Excellent"

    This was a refreshing break from the norm and the cliche. Not your ordinary cookie cutter thriller. Gripping, an exciting ride from the very beginning to the end!!! If you are searching for a really good thriller, look no further, you've found it. I promise you will not be disappointed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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