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 ghostsof 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. Waitingwith 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.
In short, Hill knows his audience. If horror is your genre you're likely to find yourself satisfied with his first novel, and with book rights already sold in at least 17 countries and a movie already being planned, it's likely we'll be hearing more from Hill, son of Stephen King, before too long. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
International Herald Tribune - Janet Maslin
Though it has the potential to fall back on tricks and pyrotechnics, "Heart-Shaped Box" is firmly rooted in real-world concerns. 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.
Chicago Sun-Times - David Montgomery
If there's one thing that Stephen King can do, just about better than anyone, it's craft a story that is all but guaranteed to scare the pants off the reader. While Hill may not quite manage that feat, he gets pretty close for a first-time author. All in all, Heart-Shaped Box is a worthy novel. The elder King is no doubt proud.
Horror World Book Reviews
Joe Hill creates a novel that is sure to stand up proudly against any of the classic ghost stories that reside on your bookshelf.
Starred Review. [A] wrenching and effective ghost story."
Starred Review. His 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.
Much will be made of the kinship of Hill and his superstar father, Stephen King, but Hill can stand on his own two feet. He's got horror down pat, and his debut is hair-raising fun.
Neil Gaiman Heart-Shaped Box is, quite simply, the best debut horror novel since Clive Barker's Damnation Game, twenty years ago. It's the kind of book that the overworked adjectives people use on book jackets — relentless, gripping, powerful, a genuine page-turner — were really meant to describe, for it's all of those things, and enormously smart besides. A genuinely scary novel filled with people you care about; the kind of book that still stays in your mind after you've turned over the final page. I loved it unreservedly.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Paige V. WOW! For my english class my teacher suggested my group should read A Heart Shaped Box. I am so glad I read it. I could not put it down. It was one of the best books I have ever read. I felt as if I was in the plat watching everything take place.... Read More
Joseph Hillstrom King
(pen name: Joe Hill), born in
1971, is the oldest son of
Stephen King. He has
an older sister, Naomi, and a
younger brother, Owen. His
stories have appeared in a
variety of magazines and his
first book, a collection of
Ghosts, won the British
Fantasy Award for "Best
Collection" and "Best Short
Fiction" in 2006, but was not
published in the USA until
On the one hand, Hill appears to
have made a point of not
mentioning the fact that he is
the son of Stephen King, and his
first collection of short
stories, although a relative
success in the UK, was not
published in the USA until after
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...