Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (February 13, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0061147931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061147937
  • List Price: $24.95
  • I finished this book on Mar. 13
So, okay, remember in my last post where I was groaning that I needed a good old ghost story to help me get over wasting 320 pages of my life reading about rich, snobby....zzzzzz. Oh! Sorry, fell asleep a little bit there. Anyway, this little beauty totally hit the spot for me. Thank you, Mr. Hill!
Judas Coyne (best rock star name ever?) is an aging rock star who specializes in gothy darkness in the vein of (my boyfriend) Trent Reznor. Mr Coyne keeps a collection of macarbe artifacts; so when the opportunity comes up to buy a ghost online (in the form of the dead man's would-be burial suit) he jumps at it. Long story short this is a real and terrifying ghost and there is more behind the ghost buying scheme than meets the eye. Crazy scribble eyed ghost man comes and menaces Jude and his girlfriend Georgia (yeah, that's right, they both have myspace pages. dig it.) Okay, so the dead people with black scribbles over their eyes really creep me out. Why is it always the eyes? Remember creepy button eyes? Cripes. So anywho, many personal demons as well as actual ghosts (I was tempted to call them flesh and blood ghosts there, but I thought better of it) are faced and the whole thing is really a good ride.
Now the truth: I read this book because someone left a review of it for me in the inbox at work (pays to be a vocal booknerd). We are both Stephen King fans, and guess what? Joe Hill happens to be Mr. King's son. Apparently, everyone in that family loves pseudonyms (right, Richard Bachman?) But I can't blame him for wanting to distance himself from his father's giganticized shadow. And the book really surpassed my expectations. The answer to the big question? Is it like his dad's books? A bit. Is it his own as well? I think so. There is only a faint sniff of SK in there, not an overpowering stench.
But I have to say this about that: he totally sounds like his father and shares the strange (Maine accent, I'm guessing) cadence to his speaking voice. Where did I hear it? On his super cool website where he talks about the new book. There is a cool song and cool graphics. There is also a trailer for the book, and I love that. It reminds me of book outtakes, which I also love. Well played, Mr. Hill.

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