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Heart-Shaped Box | [Joe Hill]

Heart-Shaped Box

"Buy my stepfather's ghost, read the e-mail." So Jude did. He bought it, in the shape of the dead man's suit, delivered in a heart-shaped box, because he wanted it - because his fans ate up that kind of story. It was perfect for his collection: the genuine skulls and the bones, the real honest-to-God snuff movie, the occult books, and all the rest of the paraphernalia that goes along with his kind of hard/goth rock.
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Publisher's Summary

"Buy my stepfather's ghost, read the e-mail." So Jude did. He bought it, in the shape of the dead man's suit, delivered in a heart-shaped box, because he wanted it - because his fans ate up that kind of story. It was perfect for his collection: the genuine skulls and the bones, the real honest-to-God snuff movie, the occult books, and all the rest of the paraphernalia that goes along with his kind of hard/goth rock.

But the rest of his collection doesn't make the house feel cold. The bones don't make the dogs bark; the movie doesn't make Jude feel as if he's being watched. And none of the artifacts bring a vengeful old ghost with black scribbles over his eyes out of the shadows to chase Jude out of his home, and make him run for his life....

©2007 Joe Hill; (P)2007 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (38 )
5 star
 (14)
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2 star
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Overall
3.9 (23 )
5 star
 (9)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (24 )
5 star
 (11)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Steve Metung, Australia 12-16-13
    Steve Metung, Australia 12-16-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    98
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator"

    I am an hour and a half in and struggling to keep going.
    Talk about the dead dragging the living down, thats what the narration is doing to me. I find it slow and dreary and hard to concentrate on the story.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maria Fana, Norway 05-15-13
    maria Fana, Norway 05-15-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Joe Hill got a new fan!"
    Where does Heart-Shaped Box rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 5.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Heart-Shaped Box?

    The first description of the ghost.


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Lang – was your favorite?

    Jude. He's not your typical nice guy, but he is believably human with his flaws.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The dead drag the living down.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the book; both the story and the performance. An unbelievable story is made believable by the author's fine attention to detail and descriptive abilites. After I finished the book, I immediately purchased and started listening to Joe Hill's 'Horns'. I'm officially a fan!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danilo Carvalho Brasilia, Brazil 12-19-10
    Danilo Carvalho Brasilia, Brazil 12-19-10 Listener Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Gives me the chills every time..."

    This was the first Joe Hill novels I've read/listened to, so it might be soon to say, I thisnk like it better the his father's style. Every time the ghost appears I feel just like Jude: scared and afraid to move or make any sound. Stephen Lang's slow, deep voice might have something to do with it, though. I've listened to it twice and I'm thinking of going for a 3rd time. Great novel indeed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results
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  • Anna
    CarlsileUnited Kingdom
    4/9/10
    Overall
    "Refreshingly Different"

    I first came across Joe Hills second book, Horns. I decided to read Heart Shaped Box first for some reason. Maybe it was the nostalgia of reading the first novel produced by the son of the "king" of all horror novels.

    The story grabbed me from the very first few pages. This book is not a slow burner. Hill quickly and effortlessly draws you into the world of Judas Coyne, an aging rock-star who has a collection of very strange things.

    All in all this book is a very easy read. I would recommend it to anyone who likes fast paced, supernatural thriller.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • miss
    barton upon humber, United Kingdom
    6/22/11
    Overall
    "wow"

    I have read Horns and really enjoyed that book so thought I would try another one by Joe Hill, I loved it! Even though it is a horror it was not full of cheese and at points was scary. I love that I got the audio book, it made the story seem real. Give it a go I found it great.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Klair
    Newcastle Under Lyme, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Gothic Horror Lite"

    If you do any research about Joe Hill at all, you’ll quickly realise that he is none other than Joseph Hillstrom King, son of horror master, Stephen King. I had no idea about this when I picked the audiobook out. Honestly, what drew me in was the cover art, followed by the summary. Buying a ghost on Ebay? Sounded right up my street.

    If you go into this book expecting Joe to follow in his father’s footsteps you’ll be disappointed. This is not Carrie, or The Shining. However, if you’re prepared to set aside expectations, you may be very pleasantly surprised and more than a little creeped out by this book, which takes a peculiar premise and follows it through to it’s dark conclusion, via the scenic route.

    I loved it. It is, for me, less of the ‘psychological horror’ that I am used to being an avid reader of King, and more a traditional gothic ghost story. There is nothing overt or gory, it is all subtly done, in passing. The theme of abuse (psychological, physical and spiritual) runs through the novel but is rarely spoken of outright. It is alluded to but there are few explicit details, the reader is left to surmise what happened.

    The fact that it happened to combine three things I absolutely love - Ghost, Goths and German Shepherds - was icing on the cake.

    Another thing that intrigued me was the twist, because it is at the beginning of the story. Just when you think you have a grasp of what’s going on and how it’s all going to pan out, everything get’s turned on its head and all of a sudden you realise you’ve been lulled into a false sense of security. It is very subtly scary throughout; one of those books that you don’t realise it was creeping you out until you realise it went dark and you suddenly feel the need to close all the curtains and put the light on.

    Overall, it’s good, I enjoyed it, I’d read it again, but it fell shy of 5 stars because of the confusing layout of the audiobook. Bookmark your spot or you'll get lost very quickly!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Neil
    United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Just as good as his comic work"

    Unlike other people I read Joe hills comics unaware he was the son of Stephen King. I like both but i like more fantasy and humour in my books. This is more like his fathers books than his comics are but i still thoroughly enjoyed it. It is genuinely scary is some places and hats off to the narrator for that. Looking forward to Horns as it sounds more like his comic work.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • MsRanPan
    UK
    12/29/12
    Overall
    "Love it"

    I liked this story, you were given insight into the characters and all is not what it seems. It deals with some pretty difficult stuff but does so well. This is good, I recommend, Horns is now on my wish list.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    uddingstonUnited Kingdom
    6/20/08
    Overall
    "Fantastic story"

    great concept fantastic belivable characters which engage and draw empathy i read about a dozen books a month and listen to the same on audio and this is the best ive experianced in a long time

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mandy Dockery
    4/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good listen!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I have read several books by this author, and I really like him! His books can be very raw- touching nerves that you didnt know you had. Sometimes I have felt offended other times sickened- but I have not been able to stop listening to them.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Initially I hated the main character, he is shallow and undeveloped as a soul- however half way through I got to like him and I wanted him to win through.


    Any additional comments?

    An author that can still surprise you and you dont anticipate the spins or thrills until you are gasping out loud!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ant
    St Albans, United Kingdom
    12/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very enjoyable horror story"

    The story is well told, convincing and nicely paced. The characters are interesting and believable, I certainly cared about their fate.
    A quick and easy listen with a nice, refreshingly different story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • ryan
    PORTH, United Kingdom
    12/6/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just Brilliant *****"

    This is the third Joe Hill story I've purchased in as many months and right now I'm very much a huge fan of his work.

    This is just a fantastic premise for a story. You'll be gripped from the beginning and stay until the wonderful end. I loved this just as much as Horns and Nos4r2. My only regret is that I didn't get around to listening to this years ago and feel somewhat left behind.

    Great performance by Stephen Lang, not as truly awesome as Nos4r2 performance by Kate Mulgrew but then I've never heard a performance as good as that in any audiobook I've listened to.

    stop reading this, purchase this book and thank me later.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • El
    United Kingdom
    9/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nice ghost story"

    I only give this 3 stars but don't get me wrong i like the story
    I'm just very tight giving them out
    You have to really impress me to get five. And hate it when some people give everything a five just cos the finished it.
    So a three is a good book for me.
    The plot has some twists and the narration was fine too.
    I didn't think it was as good as horns, by joe but still happy that I downloaded it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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