Heart-Shaped Box

Joe Hill
Heart-Shaped Box Cover

Heart-Shaped Box


Joe Hill, the son of horror master Stephen King, has written a great little novel that is both frightening and down to earth in its characterizations. The protagonist is aging rock star Judas Coyne, who is a collector of both morbid artifacts and lovers. Upon hearing of the sale of a dead man's ghost on an auction site, he decides he must win the auction. Once the heart-shaped box arrives in the mail, the horror begins.

This is, I believe, Hill's first novel, but it does not feel like an amateur story. He has a less florid style than his father, slightly less insane ideas, and a rather more hopeful approach to his characters and their fates. The pace is quick even when the characters stay in one place, and the prose is more than competent. The story has enough twists to keep you guessing at what will happen next, and just like any good horror story it has a few images that will haunt your nightmares.

All in all, a good read. Hill doesn't break any new ground that I can tell, but it's still worth the time.