Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
This is the debut novel by the author Joe Hill. One of the worst kept secrets in publishing history is that Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son.
When I first finished the book, I was talking to my hubby about it. My first impression was: “eh, it’s pretty good, nothing to rave about, but not a complete waste of time either…” Now that I have had a few hours to think about it I believe my initial reaction was a little hasty. In the words of Treebeard “Don’t be hasty, Barrum.” Hahaha…I know, I’m a goofball. I mean, I did finish the book in two days…I couldn’t put it down. So that must say something about it, right?
I began reading this book because a few of my friends had been enthusiastic about it. One of my friends told me not to read it at night because it was so spooky. The book is about an aging Death Metal vocalist who likes to collect things that are…less than ordinary. He learns of a ghost for sale through the internet. He decides not to bid on it and simply buys it outright. The owner sends him a suit the spirit is claimed to be attached to. Well, he definitely got what he paid for and more…
The beginning of the book, when the main character-Jude, sees the ghost is a little creepy, but if you are looking for a scary book, you will have to look elsewhere. Although, Otty says I have been ruined for scary stories…This was a good ghost story though. The book contained a few ghosts, an Ouija board, and a number of possessions.
Jude was a sarcastic ass, so naturally, I loved him! The character development was good. The book was well written and edited (I did not find any grammatical errors or typos).
Music was impressed upon the reader throughout the entire book, including the acknowledgements. Music seemed to be its own character after a while. One of the main concepts is that music helps keep a person grounded and helps them to remember who they are.
There was one thing I did not like about the book. The author seemed to believe that the only reason for the girls in the story to be “Goth” is because of some childhood trauma such as molestation or abuse. He claims that the piercings these girls get are to hide the pain of the unendurable abuse that they cannot face. To me, this is a stereotypical view of a culture the author, obviously, does not comprehend.
All in all I would have to say it was an enjoyable read. If Joe Hill continues in this vein, I suspect we can expect remarkable horror stories from him.