Thursday, May 27, 2010

Heart-Shaped Box (Book Review)

I'm not a horror movie fan. In fact, I'm a wimp. I can't stand jump scares and over-the-top gore. I've never seen Nightmare on Elm Street or any of the Jason movies. In middle school, I watched The Exorcist at a sleep-over party and it haunted my nightmares for months.

So, no thank you to horror movies. On the other hand, with Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill, I'm becoming quite the fan of horror novels. I'm by no means well-versed in the horror novel genre but I've dabbled enough to found I enjoy a good scare and freak out if it is coming from the page of a book.

Heart-Shaped Box certainly has no lack of good freak outs and heebie jeebies. This is a good old-fashioned ghost story. The early twist in the novel is that the main character doesn't move into a haunted house or building but has the ghost delivered to him in the form of an old worn jacket in a heart-shaped box.

Joe Hill, the author, is the son of the famous horror writer, Stephen King. Hill has obviously learned from the best because he is a very fine writer with a knack for luring you into a sense of comfort and ever so nonchalantly revealing a OH MY GOD THE GHOST IS RIGHT BEHIND YOU!

I'm not going to go into too much detail because I think a lot of my readers will enjoy this book. It's a very easy read and the story flows nicely. I prefer when a novel doesn't jump from point-of-view to point-of-view and change perspectives with each chapter. In this book, when a chapter ends with a cliffhanger like my example in the paragraph above, the very next chapter begins with the main character running for his life.

Speaking of the main character, Judas Coyne is a mixture of Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie. Judas is on the downside of fifty and he lives with his twenty-something goth girlfriend and his two german shepherds. He has a fascination with death and when the chance to own a ghost comes to his attention on an Ebay-like site, he jumps at the macabre opportunity.

Little does Judas know that there is tad bit more to whom put up the ghost up for auction and he'll quickly learn why he is the center of a vindictive revenge scheme determined to end his life in the most hauntingly way possible.

Heart-Shaped Box will creep you out. You'll want to read it with the lights on and if you have a dog, you'll want the dog by your side the whole time. Don't get the dog reference? Read the book, you will.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hmm ... you aren't into Horror? You haven't seem Elm Street? Being such an 80's fan and that being one of the bigger 80's franchises is kind of mind-boggling to me.

    Oh yeah - the book review was great (but then again I am not big on books - shocking I know).