Monday, October 17, 2011

Review - Heartshaped Box by Joe Hill

Book Summary

I couldn't find a summary and it would take me far to long to try and write a good one.  A professional blogger and reviewer is not my goal, reading and having fun is. So on to my review.

My Review - 2 1/2 Not my Cup of Tea

A supernatural horror by Stephen King's son.  This is Joe Hill's debut book, which I felt at times you can tell, a few to many rephrasing or repeating of stories, 'Joe you already told me that'. 

Judas Coyne is a rock star that has a Gothic, scary collection so when his Assistant tells him a ghost is being sold he bids for it immediately, and then realises he can buy it out right for $1000 instead of the possible $100.  I had to shake my head, what kind of crazy fool will I be reading about.  Seriously who would do that without thinking possible consequences. 

I did like that the story started with a bang.  Once the ghost was delivered in the heartshaped box, a suit with the spirit of someone he knew, things started happening.  Jude actually considered sending it back but the seller said no returns, no exchanges, final sale is done.

You know when you see a horror and you are laughing through it because all the actors and actress's are just dumb. You don't care what happens to them.  Well, unfortunately for me this was the case, I just never cared about the characters, so much so I struggled to even finish this book.  Finally at half point I was interested enough to finish and was happy when it was over.

I don't mind ghost stories but everything about this one just was unbelievable so I couldn't invest myself.  Even the scene with the Ouija board, I rolled my eyes.  Are these even on the market anymore?

A few things that were interesting.  Revenge is a bitch, holy crap, that was hilarious to me, may be scary to others.  Overall this is what started the story, became the journey and was wrapped up nicely at the end.  I wondered if this book was one big hallucination.  Throughout the book you really did get the feeling that the dead pull the living down.

Jude called all his rock star groupies by the country he met them instead of their real name, so we had Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.  I thought this was cute and ridiculous as the same time.

A favourite quote:

His mind wanted away from death for a few moments.  He felt crowded by death, felt the promise of death all around, felt death on his chest, each death a stone heaped on top of him, driving the air out of him. 

I have read Horns which I enjoyed better.

My friend Paula, loved this book and I found to be one of my favourite reviews by her.  You can read it over at her blog Tome's Devotee.

I read this for the RIP Challenge and I Want More Challenge I host.

I am starting to realise I enjoy watching horrors but not so much reading them.


  1. Thanks for the honest review, sorry you didn't enjoy this one more. I read it and liked it, I found the premise to be unique. I haven't read Horns yet.

  2. Yes! Someone who agrees with me! I absolutely hated Heart-Shape Box and found myself shaking my head the whole way through. The whole book was just ridiculous. I love horror movies, but horror novels just aren't doing anything for me.

    I'll have to check out Horns!

  3. I really hated this one when I listened to the audio a few years ago. I think I gave it the same rating as you.
    Because Iwas so late to your birthday post I couldn't find a way to comment. Happy Belated Birthdy, fellow Libra! I enjoyed getting to know you better.

  4. Sounds like one you either love or hate. Thanks for the review - don't think it's a book I'll be in a hurry to read.

  5. bookworm - I think Horns is worth a read, it was unique

    readinginwinter - I am glad someone found it ridiculous

    Kathy - we love some we 'hate' some right

    Stacy - thanks Stacy, I loved your bucket list

    Cat - I say pass, if you really want to try him, go for Horns, which I still didn't love but definitely enjoyed it.

  6. I read this before I started blogging. Well, I tried to read it anyway as I couldn't finish. I was bored lol. I agree with you, I think I enjoyed watching horror movies more than reading them...

  7. I'm a fan of Joe Hill, although the first thing I read by him was the short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, which is fabulous!

  8. Oh no, I was about to pick this up in the next few days (I still might just to see...). I didn't get very far the first time round but I can't remember much about it. Sorry it didn't work out for you - will let you know if I do read it.

  9. Well that's disappointing! What a strange premise anyway!

  10. Oh no you didn't like it! It happens, we all like different stuff :)


  11. Christa - yup I was bored, funny what an amazing review will do, assist me torturing myself, lol

    Kate - I 'may' give the short stories a try

    Boof - your immediate reaction was that it was creepy so you may enjoy it, I definitely want to know your thoughts if you do.

    Jenny - strange is what he does, when he gets it 'right' and the execution is perfect, I think he will have an amazing horror with a few laughs, he does like to add humour.

  12. Stopping by to say "hi" to a Mystery/Thriller buddy.

    That rock star does sound quiet dumb to me. Who knows, the ghost might just be Casper? That would make sense why he wanted to buy it.

  13. I didn't even make it through the first chapter of this one. I didn't like it at all. I much prefer his father's writing to his. That being said I like reading horror but it has to be well done. Horror movies I love.

  14. I have been hearing lots about this since it came out. It is too bad you didn't enjoy it more!

  15. I just got Darker from book lending and I stopped reading Half Broke Horses. Christian is too irresistible, holy Hannah you feel like your gonna ignite. I'm flying too close to the flame....


  16. So he became a writer and got published cuz his dad is Stephen King. talent be damned?

  17. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one. I rather liked it, but can see it had its faults and the characterisation was a bit sketchy. I'll have to give Horns a try and see if he improves.


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