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Heart-Shaped Box Audiobook

Heart-Shaped Box

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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

4.1 (4627 )
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Performance
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  •  
    K. Williamson Miami, FL 04-07-14
    K. Williamson Miami, FL 04-07-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Freaking Scary/Un-Nerving..."
    Would you listen to Heart-Shaped Box again? Why?

    This is Deep Psychology, real enough to be real..which makes it all the more Scary. I thought Koontz and Craven had the Top of the list, but Wow, this was a story and Joe Hill nailed it.

    1. Suspenseful, it kept it going, to the very last 30 seconds I kept thinking 'Will She...'

    2. Dark and Deep, a kind of Hypnotic Lull.. I at times thought it to dark and I wanted to be happy, but I wanted to find out how the story played out. The characters are on constant edge, so tired of the chase that it would be easier to give up kind of drama.

    3. "It Could Happen" kind of Ghost / Spirit points. Who hasn't seen a ghost, had a premonition etc.

    One of the Darkest Stories ever, not gore, but Pure Evil, Angry vs Love and Triumph. But mostly the ending, that is always the hardest point of any book/story. Again Joe Hill Nailed it, it will surprise you to the bitter end. Imagine someone from beyond the grave can control your mind, and whose one goal is to kill you at all cost. He can appear anywhere, control others to come at you, even your girlfriend...that my friend is not something I want to happen to me..


    What other book might you compare Heart-Shaped Box to and why?

    Tick Tock by Dean Koontz. This one was better than Tick Tock but it had the same 'being chased by the Devil Himself Panic.


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

    Craddock...The one who came back from the dead with a Vengance to Kill Jude and anyone who helped him. The Voice was un-nervingly evil, calm and leacherous.


    Who was the most memorable character of Heart-Shaped Box and why?

    Craddock. His Character just never quit, was around every corner, a evil presence that could control your mind and make you see/do what ever he wanted you to do. Part Army Interrogation/Hypnosis and Voodo...


    Any additional comments?

    A Dark Book, it evelopes you this way. As noted a few times I was like 'to depressing' and I wanted to go out and do something else. But ever time I stopped the audio book I couldn't wait to continue it.

    I definately thought I saw a 2nd part brewing there...Craddocks daughter is still alive after all !

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 05-03-10
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 05-03-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Grossly over-rated"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer M. Ryan Near KC MO 02-17-07
    Jennifer M. Ryan Near KC MO 02-17-07 Member Since 2012
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    "Most Excellent"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The B0lt 12-16-07
    The B0lt 12-16-07
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    "Great Ghost Story."

    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!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cranberry 12-11-07
    Cranberry 12-11-07 Member Since 2010
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    "Pretty good"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BarbieA1 Austin, TX United States 12-01-07
    BarbieA1 Austin, TX United States 12-01-07 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring and tedious"

    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.

    16 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Fairfax, VA, United States 06-21-08
    Shawn Fairfax, VA, United States 06-21-08 Member Since 2006
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    "On Par with some of his father's works"

    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.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David S. Mathew 10-27-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Welcome to the Night Road"

    For those going in completely blind, this is the story of punk rock star, Judas Coin (not his real name, but no spoilers) and the violent ghost of his ex-girlfriend attempting to murder him. This is also my first experience with Joe Hill, but it certainly won't be my last.

    First of all, the narration is absolutely on point. Second, while Joe Hill is actually Steven King's son his style is extremely different. It's still first class horror, but Hill is way bleaker than his father. If you're a horror fan, you owe it to yourself to fire this up; I haven't been this genuinely scared by a ghost story in ages. What are you waiting for?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PlantCrone OREGON 05-26-16
    PlantCrone OREGON 05-26-16
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    "A solid ghost story"

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 08-17-14
    Jan 08-17-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Original Storyline Saves This Novel"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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