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  • Published: New York : William Morrow, c2007.
  • Year Published: 2007
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 376 p.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 0061147931
  • 9780061147937 (acid-free paper)
  • 9780061147937

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Heart-shaped box

by Hill, Joe.

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Call number: Fiction

Community Reviews

A solid debut for the son of Stephen King.

Jude Coyne, an aging heavy metal frontman with a bizarre occult collection, buys a ghost at an online auction. Unfortunately the ghost--a recently deceased hypnotist and dowser--bears a grudge against Coyne and is bent on making him murder his girlfriend and kill himself.

Before I read it, most of what I've heard about this book was pretty polarized, either "OMG BEST BOOK EVAR!!!1!1" or else "why was this talentless hack trying to write a book." In a nutshell: Heart-Shaped Box wasn't a revelation or anything but I did quite enjoy it.

Coyne makes for one of the more unsympathetic protagonists I've encountered. He's not a BAD man...but he is just kind of a dick. Because of that it took me a while before I started to relate. And the way his girlfriend was introduced--an off-camera hanger-on who was trying to passive-aggressively provoke a fight--was even weirder; I was honestly surprised when I FINALLY understood that I was supposed to care about what happened to her. I'm glad I stuck with it though, the payoff was worth it.

It was relatively low on gore (which is neither good or bad, necessarily) for a product of Stephen King Jr. That was fine by me as there was plenty of horror to be found in the utter loss of control experienced by the good guys.

The climax was serviceable, nothing special. The windup was actually quite good, wrapping up a lot of interesting plot points without running into LotR-style endlessness. All in all, very satisfying.

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