Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 15 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

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.

 

About Joe Hill

See more books from this Author
Joe Hill is the New York Times bestselling author of Horns and Heart-Shaped Box, and the prize-winning story collection 20th Century Ghosts. He is also the Eisner Award-winning writer of an ongoing comic book series, Locke & Key. Follow him on Twitter @joe_hill. Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are 11/22/63, Under the Dome, and the Dark Tower novels Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
 
Published October 13, 2000 by HarperCollins e-books. 389 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Heart-Shaped Box

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

To get rid of Craddock, Coyne figures he will have to go to Florida to find out just what did happen to make that ghost such an abusive spirit.

Jan 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

I don’t know the significance of that omission but I do know that the book contains the line “If hell was anything, it was talk radio — and family.” In a better book you’d be inclined to read something into that.

Feb 11 2007 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Only after it arrives does Judas 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.

Dec 11 2006 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

It wasn’t until Jude and Mary Beth got on the road and tried to outrun the ghost that things really started get interesting.

Jun 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

I was almost finished reading Heart-Shaped Box, a story of ghostly revenge, when I discovered, via Neil Gaiman's blog, that the author, Joe Hill is, in fact, Joe Hill King, originally from Maine.

Feb 27 2007 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

Of course, book readers aren’t so much worried about the money they spend on a book as much as they are the time they spend on a book.

Jun 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

Book Reporter

By the time Coyne confronts his ghost --- actually his ghosts of past and present --- you'll be exhausted.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

Bestsellersworld

The storyline is very different compared to anything else you might have read which is a good thing because it is not like the same old plots you read all the time.

Feb 25 2015 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

About.com

In this sense, modern horror writing is supremely moralistic: what most separates contemporary horror from Lovecraft's pulp is our ability to empathize with its protagonists, and the greatest triumph of the modern genre's champions is their ability to make us recognize ourselves in the heroes of ...

| Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

BellaOnline

I had no idea what to expect when I started reading “Heart-Shaped Box” by Joe Hill.

| Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

SFFWorld.com

When the ghost begins to haunt Jude, the novel turns into something of a road novel, with Jude and Georgia both fleeing the ghost and attempting to track down who sold the ghost to Jude.

Mar 05 2007 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Mark Graham New York Times 3.5 of 5 Stars "[Hill] holds the italics to a minimum, pulls back from the brink of hallucinatory overkill and mostly keeps this story tightly on track.

Aug 07 2007 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

Austin Chronicle

He is his father's son in many ways, but one thing that sets Joe Hill apart from his sire is the fact that Heart-Shaped Box, his first novel, is far more accomplished and intellectually sinuous than Carrie, his dad's debut.

Mar 23 2007 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

Geeks of Doom

- NOS4A2 by Joe Hill - Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill - 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill - The Strain (The Strain Trilogy) by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan - The Fall (The Strain Trilogy) by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan - The Night Eternal (The Strain Trilogy) by Guillermo Del Toro and Ch...

Aug 29 2014 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

Strange Horizons

Joe Hill's debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box, opens with the description of a collection, belonging to the novel's protagonist, Judas "Jude" Coyne, of objects macabre, grotesque, and just plain creepy: drawings by John Wayne Gacy, the trepanned skull of a sixteenth century peasant, a witch's confessi...

Mar 05 2007 | Read Full Review of Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

Reader Rating for Heart-Shaped Box
79%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1627 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×