Heart-Shaped Box

Heart-Shaped Box

eBook - 2000
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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 as widely known to his legions of fans as the notorious excesses of his youth. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, an item for sale on the Internet, a thing so terribly 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, no benign conversation piece. 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 bony hand. . . .

A multiple-award winner for his short fiction, author Joe Hill immediately vaults into the top echelon of dark fantasists with a blood-chilling roller-coaster ride of a novel, a masterwork brimming with relentless thrills and acid terror.


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KHCPL_Wagner Oct 18, 2019

This horror novel features a haunted suit.

Jul 30, 2019

Heart-Shaped Box is a creepily psychological suspense novel that turns the conventional ghost story sideways. Being raised by Stephen King probably didn't hurt Joe Hill's ability to spin such an entertaining yarn in his debut novel, and Judas Coyne is exactly the kind of flawed protagonist King fans love to read about. However, Hill isn't a carbon copy of his dad; he has a unique style, but the apple fell close enough to the tree that fans of one are likely to become fans of the other, and there's no question that Hill learned some great tricks of the spooky story trade from King the Elder. If you're looking for a suspense novel with just enough violence and gore for occasional discomfort, look no further. The only real drawback is that you may be saddened to find that you've read the last page.

Jul 03, 2019

In the mood for a scary story? Try this book! I don’t often get scared, but there are definitely some parts of this story that made me want to keep the lights on at night. This storyline was also unusual because there were parts where I thought it would wrap up everything but then something creepy would come around the corner.

BostonPL_KirstenD Jan 09, 2019

I wouldn't call this book bad, but it definitely wasn't my favorite Joe Hill novel. While most people recommend starting with this one, as it is Hill's debut, I found that it lacked the substance of his other novels (Horns would be a better starting point, in my opinion, although NOS4A2 is my favorite!). The ghosts with the scribbles over their eyes were deliciously creepy, but much of the book's other content seemed like it was more there to shock the reader with its perverseness than it was to scare. I will say that it was an absolute pageturner, though; I devoured it in a day. I don't regret reading it, even if I was a little let down overall.

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!

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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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Jul 17, 2019

Another book I zipped through quickly; it was hard to put down. Hill manages to write the two worst people as protagonists that I would up rooting for in the end.

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