I had no idea what to expect when I started reading “Heart-Shaped Box” by Joe Hill. I was a little leery to begin the story. I spent a few weeks thinking about reading it, before I actually started the first chapter. I have been a huge fan of Stephen King since the beginning, how could his son possibly measure up to the standards I expected from his father?
As soon as I began to read Hill’s debut novel, none of that mattered anymore. Didn’t even enter my head as, totally immersed, I made my way through one of the most frightening books I have read in a long time.
A famous middle-aged rock and roller buys a ghost off of EBay. As soon as the package arrives with a black suit inside, reminiscent of the one Johnny Cash used to wear, the trouble begins.
While involved in a race with evil to save his own skin, and the lives of those he realizes he does care about, the protagonist in our story is forced to take a good look at himself and the way he has lived his life.
Craddock McDermott, the evil and relentless antagonist in the story, was just as wicked in life as he is in death, and he intends to make Jude pay for the trouble he caused his family.
Filled with surprises and unexpected twists, you have no idea what is going to happen next to the characters you eventually begin to care about. Just when you think you know how things must end, you are proven wrong.
An additional treat for all of us rock and roll lovers are the numerous references to rock artists and their music.
Not only has Hill’s book won an Audi award for best audio book thriller, and the Bram Stoker Superior Achievement in a First Novel Award, but the film rights have been acquired by Warner Brothers.
I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of a book of short stories by Joe Hill, “20th Century Ghosts” that I just ordered. I’m certain I won’t be disappointed.
References/For further information:
Hill, Joe. Heart-Shaped Box, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 2007.