Heart-shaped Box

Heart-shaped Box

Book - 2007
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Horror. 'Buy my stepfather's ghost' read the e-mail. So Jude did. He bought 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 paraphanalia 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 artefacts 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.
Publisher: Gollancz,� 2007
ISBN: 9780575079120
Branch Call Number: AF HILL


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sit_walk Oct 19, 2018

This was Joe Hill's first novel and it's a pretty good page-turner. Could have done with a little less introspection on the part of the main character and a little more horror (for a supposed horror novel there's actually very little that's scary here), but a decent first outing.

May 17, 2018

Joe Hill. Explosive entry to Novel craft. Good read. I read this twice -

Dec 26, 2017

Joe Hill stands on his own. You can read this because he's Stephen King's son, and there are elements about his writing you can't help but compare, but Joe HIll is definitely a different generation and has his own style and flair. This was the first book I read by him and I enjoyed it a great deal. I like ghost/supernatural stories the best and this was right there.

Dec 20, 2017

This was a fun read. I don't normally go for the horror genre, but this one seemed a little more interesting than most. While I moved through it pretty well, it did get rather slow at times.
There weren't any fantastic moments of prose, but I wasn't reading it for that anyway. Unlike other readers, though, I can't say the book terrified me in any way.

Life-changing? No.
Stop-and-think moments? No.
A fair way to pass the time on cold winter evenings? Yes.

Nov 21, 2017

This is about a retired rock star who has a fascination for the morbid who purchases a suit used for the deceased, who he later finds out is the step-father of a young hippie who committed suicide after the celebrity was finished with her. Now he's being haunted by a mind-controlling ghost out for vengeance by trying to destroy him and everyone he loves. This book didn't give me the chills, there wasn't much of a closer but I am going to give him a break since his father is Stephen King.
- @Florence of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

mvkramer Feb 13, 2017

This is a ghost story done right - creepy and compulsively readable, full of family secrets and regret. Read at night and you'll start jumping at all the random sounds in your house!

ArapahoeLesley Dec 01, 2016

Joe Hill creates excellent characters that you grow to care about despite their many flaws. The cheesiness is mostly intentional I believe and adds a smile here and there. Overall I am not one for scary stories and I must say this one did send chills up my spine for the first third but it may do nothing for you. A worthy debut for Hill but you can definitely see how he's grown as a writer.

Nov 03, 2016

For all my reviews, visit my blog Clues and Reviews

Jude Coyne enjoys creepy things. He has a snuff film, a hangman’s noose, and other memorabilia that would give, the average person, nightmares. So when he is contacted through an online bidding website about purchasing a ghost, he decides to put a bid on it. Once the “ghost” arrives in a heart-shaped box, Jude is skeptical but soon he realizes that this ghost is very much real. He is very much angry. And he won’t stop until Jude is dead….

Heart-Shaped Box, the debut horror novel by Joe Hill, follows washed up rock star, Jude Coyne, as he comes in direct contact with a revenge-seeking poltergeist. As he investigates into the story behind the ghost, he realizes his connection to it and must try to escape his wrath.

This was my first experience with a Joe Hill novel. It came highly recommended by many fellow book bloggers and my friends in the bookstagram community. I had initially added it to my Halloween Read-a-Thon weekend, but life got in the way! Since I leave no book behind, I figured I needed to finish this book!

Initially, I was terrified when I was reading the novel. Within the first couple chapters, where he first discovers the ghost and makes initial contact with it, I had to put the novel down because I was too freaked out. By page 34, I had to put the book in another room because it was creeping me out so much; serves me right for reading this right before bed! However, as the novel progressed I found myself feeling indifferent about the story. It slowed down and I didn’t find it overly frightening. I also didn’t find the imagery as “nightmare-inducing” as I had been expecting. It became a run of the mill ghost story for me. It had its moments in the middle (look out for the Ouija board scene and the phone call from his manager) but, otherwise, I found it a little lackluster. Once we got closer to the end, the story picked up and I did end up enjoying how the story wrapped up. The plot twist was unexpected and held my interest.

Now, don’t get it twisted, my feelings regarding the middle of this book had absolutely nothing to do with Hill's writing style. He is a phenomenal writer; there is no doubting that. It is engaging and the narrative voice of the characters is easy to connect with. I will absolutely read more of his work.

I feel like any fan of Stephan King will enjoy this book since they have very similar narrative voices (like father like son I guess!). However, if you are looking for an incredibly terrifying read, I wouldn’t bother with this one.

KaiteS_KCMO Oct 24, 2016

Not since Stephen King (Joe's daddy) has there been a go-to horror novel to compare to "Carrie" or "The Shining". This novel scared me on a bustling city bus at 9am in broad daylight in a way I haven't been terrified since I was 14. And don't just read it for the frights, you get snarky humor, two loveably fierce dogs, a feisty southern grandma, and a rocker with a heart of gold and a mouth like a sewer.

Sep 30, 2016

When musician Judas Coyne's assistant half-jokingly mentions a ghost currently for sale on an auction website, Judas is immediately intrigued and requests that they purchase it immediately. Soon enough, an old suit arrives in the mail, and with it the ghost -- a shadowy figure who, it soon becomes apparent, is intent on revenge.

I wanted to like Heart-Shaped Box more than I genuinely did, expecting, I think, something slightly creepier. I enjoyed Hill's writing style, however, and I would gladly sample another of his works. This would make a decent vacation/beach read.

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mvkramer Feb 13, 2017

Sexual Content: A graphic and rather disturbing masturbation scene. Implied sexual abuse of children.

mvkramer Feb 13, 2017

Violence: There are some very bloody fight scenes, especially at the end. Trigger warning for violence against animals.


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PimaLib_WilliamB May 06, 2015

What happens when you buy a dead man's suit off E-Bay? In this case, you also inherit the man who died in it. And for an aging morbid rock star, this could prove to be quite a challenge to his mental state of mind. Filled with references to rock music including each chapter dedicated to a song.

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