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
"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)
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
3 stars is generous and it is only because he can write. I found the story far-fetched with undeveloped characters I really didn't care about. Some of his themes are really overused and predictable (no spoilers here.) Why does he feel he has to follow in King's footsteps, anyway?
On the bright side, the narrator did a great job.
I really enjoyed this book. I am a fan of Stephen King, and bought this book based on that (I know, shallow, but it worked this time). I thought the story was very original and very scary, I enjoyed the characters, even the bad ones were very good in that they seemed to me to be true to themselves. I hope this is the beginning of a long line of books from Mr Hill. I will be looking for his work in the future.
I simply can't finish this book. It's dark and disturbing. But that's not the reason I can't finish it... It's because I'm about 1/3 of the way through and frankly I could care less about the protagonist. I'm sure as the story proceeds one might grow to care or at least become interested in Jude.
However I can't stick it out that long. The author/narrator reads like a reduced-speed automaton (which has been programmed to sound ominous) and the female characters all sound mentally challenged.
The narration, along with the boring protagonist, don't provide the motivation I need to muddle through this dark story.
The author is otherwise a talented writer. I wish his success with his next effort.
I'd never heard of Joe Hill before, but upon learning he was Stephen King's son, was intrigued to see if the gift is in the genes. It is! This is a great ghost story, but also a great story of relationships and what people will do to keep the important ones intact.
A good listen and a wonderful first novel for Joe Hill. I look forward to reading him for years to come!
The story kept moving forward at a very quick pace. I can't think how many times I wondered how anything more could happen, but it did. I would have liked a more interesting ending, but as a whole, a pretty good book. The narrator was very good.
As a new member to Audible and this being the first audiobook I have listened to, it was more than i expected.
I am and always have been a big fan of Stephen King and John Saul. The storylines and concepts that they have, i can feel my imagination run with thier writing styles. Joe Hill at first was a streach for me. It was one that i appreciate i did do.
If you are not a fan of the "F"-bomb, the first few hours of the book will be a bit to get thru. After the initial 150 of them you just become immune or they stop using it.
All in all the book was something that i would reccomend to anyone that is interested in Dark storylines and has an open mind.
Great job narrator and Joe Hill!!!!
It's hard not to compare Joe to his father, especially with writing styles so similar. This book is better than some Stephen King novels, but not better than Stephen King's earliest books. Will Joe get better or worse I wonder? Unlike most reviews that liked the beginning and felt the book get sillier towards the end, I disliked the beginning (though the scare factor was there, the plot was not well developed), enjoyed the middle (I loved the plot twist that manifests itself mid-book), and agreed that the Norman Rockwell ending was silly. He would have been better off killing everyone than what he ended up with. However, as silly as it was, it was better than most Stephen King endings, which isn't saying much. I guess that just runs in the family.
ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance
Nicely crafted, Joe Hill compares favorably with dear old dad here...original characters and a nice take on your basic ghost story.
Some twists and turns, nice character development-Ifelt I got to know Jude Coyne and MaryBeth. The "Koontzian" involvement of mans best friend is a bit derivative but nicely done.
Hill improves with each new novel..nice to have another solid paranormal mystery writer around, who hasn't yet fallen into recycling his well known plots.
However, Hill does have a hard act to follow in his chased genre. We constant readers will have to see if he's able to insert originality in the genre King owns.
Narration was also solid. Worth your credit!
So this book started really slow for me. I was into the premise, but there seemed to be a lot of time spent with the ghost early on. It picked up the pace as the book went along and my enjoyment increased as a result. Are the characters kind of unlikable, as some have said? Well, yes. But I just bought in to that part and it didn't bother me. I thought they were written completely in character and I was glad that we didn't have to watch them become saintly by the end. Did they grow? Yes. Did they change their stripes. No.
I really liked Nos4a2 and thought this was not quite as good. That said, it was an enjoyable read and after it got going held my attention completely.
This book is not bad. The story needs to progress more quickly and more smoothly in some places, and possibly throughout. However, it is becoming more difficult to find horror stories that have truly original storylines, and Joe Hill does achieve that in The Heart Shaped Box. Also, the book has strong and frequent moments of suspense, which helped to keep my attention. Stephen Lang is a favorite narrator of mine, and whoever chose him for this novel, did so wisely.
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