Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

06 Mar

I chose this book as the required reading for the Horror RA class at the Library. I chose it because it was the winner of the Reading List Award (ALA) which celebrates the top genre fiction of the year. Horror is hard to pick out to force someone to read because of the visceral, emotional response it provides. This one seemed safe and yet, even as I type it, the story is haunting me a little bit.

Judas Coyne is an aging rock star with eccentricities that include goth girlfriends 30 years his senior and an odd assortment of macabre items. So, when his gung-ho assistant find a ghost for sale online, he doesn’t hesitate to make the purchase. Only when the ghost shows up does he realize that the purchase is bringing much more than what he bargained for.

What I like about horror and this story especially is that not only is there a ghosty or some creepy thing going on but the real meat lies in the demons that are surrounding the characters and how they have to face their life up to this point to understand how to get out of the situation.  Heart-Shaped Box is definitely a character study of Judas Coyne and the development and back story is really very interesting.  I also felt that the dogs in the story sneek up on you and before you realized it, you were heavily invested in their part of the story.

I had the pleasure of listening to this on audiobook and the reader, Stephen Lang, is exceptional. He captured the voices very well and made for a very creepy and smooth Craddock McDermitt, the ghost haunting Jude. Add to that the ability to shift dialects as the story moved locations and it was delightfully shivery to listen to. 2007,  376 pages.

p.s. Just for fun both Judas and his girlfriend Georgia have myspace pages and Judas has his own imix. Good songs.

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Posted by on March 6, 2009 in Horror


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