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Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Heart-Shaped Box (2007)

by Joe Hill

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,5473251,285 (3.75)376
Rock star Judas Coyne is a collector of the bizarre and grotesque, so when he sees a ghost for sale on the internet he buys it. It comes delivered in a black heart-shaped box.
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» See also 376 mentions

English (315)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  Romanian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (325)
Showing 1-5 of 315 (next | show all)
With relentlessly good characterization, this debut horror novel by the now-firmly-established powerhouse of Joe Hill rocks one hell of a good ghost story.

I have a thing for stories about aging rockers. I don't know what it is. They're just so pathetic and glorious and full of redemptive possibilities and gloriousness. :)

In this case, he's just built such a gruesome persona over the years and he's pretty much any horror-writer's dream rocker. You know, like Ozzy, but more like Rob Zombie or a bit like any 70's glam punker. I digress.

He gets himself in trouble by buying a ghost, but it's mostly a con and the ghost is out to get revenge on him, specifically.

Throw in a ton of cool reveals and a lot of willpower, realism, and clear-headed common sense native ONLY to the purveyors of the macabre, and we've got a deliciously stewy no-nonsense novel focused on getting shit done. And all those character reveals did wonders for me. I fell in love with these people. :)

I think it's fair to say I'll be able to pick up any of Joe's novels from now on and be pretty certain I'll have a great time. I'm very happy about this. I never need to read one of his blurbs again. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
A ghost story. An aging rock-and-roller accidentally invokes the vengeance of a former girlfriend’s daddy. Said daddy is using his ethereal powers to haunt and drive the rock-and-roller suicidal or insane. Most of the novel is a road trip down to the south as old wounds that need healing are reopened.

I feel like not enough events happened for the length of the novel. The style is much like Stephen King, where there’s a lot of overwriting. There’s nothing terribly new here either. This could easily be in King’s early pantheon and I wouldn’t know it. The beginning and ending are great, it’s that sludgy middle that’s the problem.

I’ve never really liked ghosts either. Ghosts have no rules, and Hill does no better job of explaining them than anyone. Can they be attacked outside the house? Is the ghost always watching? Is there anywhere they are safe? How much can a ghost do?

I don’t know if I have any desire to read any more Joe Hill after I didn't complete NOS482 and now this. I just don’t see anything big or new about it. ( )
  theWallflower | May 18, 2020 |
Joe Hill has proven to me that he is a phenomenal storyteller. His mind is a twisted as his father's, but he has managed to set himself apart.

The story was twisted and did not go the way I thought it would from the beginning. There were twists and turns so unexpected that it was surprising, without leaving me too dizzy. Craddock was a creepy, disgusting man who is hopefully frozen up to his neck in the river Cocytus, able to cry out in despair, but never receiving mercy.

This was the story of rock star, Judas Coyne and how he was pulled into a sadistic game of suicide/death by the stepfather (Craddock) and sister (Jessica) of one of his former paramours (Anna). He and his current love, Marybeth get dragged onto the road trip from hell when Jude is tricked into purchasing what he thought was a phony haunted suit. The suit; however, was indeed haunted by the ghost of Craddock who is intent on destroying Jude by making him murder Marybeth before taking his own life. Once Jude realizes that the ghost is real and why he's after Jude, the fight to survive begins.

It was very well written and kept me hanging on for more. The only part I disliked greatly was the death of Jude's dogs. Fictional, I know, but animal death of any kind has become something (recently) that I do not handle well. Now I'm starting to agree with the people who say that books should come with trigger warnings. After that the book seemed to drag on, but not because it wasn't good. I was just wanting it to be over so I could stop thinking about the dogs. The ending was surprising and not at all what I expected to happen, which was refreshing, because I hate when I can guess how a book will end and am right. Minus the parts with the dogs, this was a great read. I will definitely read more from the author. ( )
  Virago77 | May 10, 2020 |
This audiobook is going to be a little more difficult to review, because it’s such a strange book. At first I was a bit disappointed, because (for some strange reason)I’d thought this book was going to be completely different. I hadn’t read a single thing about it, as I love going into books from authors I adore completely cold, with no info at hand, and just let the story wash over me. I’m guessing I’d thought this novel was going to be more like Horns, which I absolutely adore - I’m not really sure why. But it wasn’t, and I was put off by the characters in the novel and the storyline.
Then suddenly I was sucked in to the story, and what was happening to the characters. They weren’t as cut and dried as I’d thought they were, and the situation surrounding them had made them become something MORE......and something better as well. I admit, any novel with dogs that protect someone, especially when it’s a little bit supernatural, is going to make me sit up (ha ha)and take notice. But this was only part of it.
I began to really admire the main characters, and the situation/storyline really kept me on the edge of my seat by the time they were out on the road. I was in it for the long haul, regardless of what I’d felt in the beginning. I also finished this audiobook in two rather shortish seeming sessions, which were probably a lot longer than they felt.
So if you tried to read or listen to this novel and couldn’t really get into it, please stick with it for a little while longer. You might be as plesantly surprised and happy as I became. It might just be worth your while.
The audiobook is narrated by Stephen Lang.
4 stars, and recommended for lovers of Joe Hill novels, and novels about a kind of mix between mystery, supernatural, and horror, with some swearing.

P.s. Audible, and Harper-Collins, I HATED the music in between the chapters. It came out of no where every time, and startled me unnecessarily. In fact, it doesn’t add to my listening pleasure in any way, or add to the ambiance, or storyline at all. It makes no sense to be there.
I listen to audiobooks to relax and get my mind off my stress, not to be startled half to death, causing more stress. Please reconsider NOT doing this anymore. Thank you, and slightly nervous woman with an adrenal insufficiency who should not be startled or scared for any reason. ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
This is one creepy, scary ghost story. Judas Coyne, a death-metal-rock god buys a heart-shaped box with a man‘s suit (which is haunted) inside. Strange things start happening and Judas decides to send the box back but the sender says the ghost is intend on staying with Judas. I like Joe Hill‘s writing and his well-developed characters. I need to read more of his books as I love to be scared! Chip off the block of his father, Stephen King! ( )
  EadieB | Apr 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 315 (next | show all)
"Heart-Shaped Box" truly deserves the superlatives heaped upon it by the publicists who smoothed the path of this first novel's advent.
Hill masterfully keeps the action moving and the drama escalating, giving readers just enough revelations to keep them on board this Southern train of a ghost story.
While I would not go so far as to hand Joe Hill his father's crown just yet, this debut is a promising start. It's safe to say a new contender for the throne has arrived.
Heart-Shaped Box isn't about appeasing fathers, and learning to love them, and seeing that they, too, are human beings and not monsters. It's not about that at all. It's about knowing your father, and finding him, and then killing him. That's what the best artists do.
Hill’s debut novel is as assured a debut novel as I have ever read, regardless of genre. Heart-Shaped Box, itself an entertaining and superb novel, offers hints of a great writing career to come.

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hill, Joeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Belt, LiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kolstad, HenningTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Müller, WolfgangTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mortensen, Hans PalleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosier, ValérieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sierra, Julio A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

Editora Sextante (2007), Arqueiro (2010)
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How may the dead have destinations?

—Alan Moore, Voice of the Fire
For my dad, one of the good ones
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Jude had a private collection.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Middle-aged rock star Judas Coyne collects morbid curios, so he doesn't think twice about buying a suit advertised at an online auction site as haunted by its dead owner's ghost. Only after it arrives does Jude discover that the suit belonged to Craddock McDermott, the stepfather of one of Coyne's discarded groupies, and that the old man's ghost is a malignant spirit determined to kill Judas in revenge for his stepdaughter's suicide. Judas and his girlfriend take to the road in an attempt to run from the ghost and to find a way to stop it.
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