Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It interested me at first because I am a big Stephen King fan, and wanted to know if his son would write similarly. I have come to the conclusion that he does, and yet he doesn't. It is definitely a spooky story about a ghost, but the time span seems to be just a matter of days. From the ones that I remember by Stephen King (except for Cujo) the time span was much longer. (Currently reading Duma Key and it has covered about 9 months so far).

This book was easy to read with a good flow to it. I couldn't wait to get back to it. I could easily see the ghost as he described him "The dead man was sitting two-thirds of the way down the corridor, in the Shaker chair on the left, his head lowered in thought. A drape of morning sunshine fell across where his legs should have been. They disappeared where they passed into the light. It gave him the look of a war veteran, his trousers ending in stumps, midway down his thights. Below this splash of sunshine were his polished black loafers, with his black-stockinged feet stuck in them. Between his thighs and his shoes, the only legs that were visible were the legs of the chair, the wood a lustrous blond in the light." And then later "But where his eyes belonged was only a black scribble. It was as if a child had taken a Magic Marker-a truly magic marker, one that could draw right on the air-and had desperately tried to ink over them. The black lines squirmed and tangled among one another, worms tied into a knot."

I will be surprised if this book isn't made into a horror movie soon. Okay - more about the book.

It is about an aging rock star, Jude, that collects an odd assortment of the macabre - used hangman's noose, a snuff film, etc. So when he receives an email about a ghost for sale, he doesn't hesitate, but immediately puts in the bid to buy it. The sale says that he will be receiving an old suit, but that the ghost is attached to it. A few days later he receives the suit in a black heart shaped box. (The book never really did go into detail as to how the old man arranged to "come back from the dead" and why if Jude bought the suit he would be able to come with it.)

From the cover: But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heartshaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost, no benign conversation piece. It's the real thing. And suddenly the suit's previous owner is everywhere: behind the bedroom door...seated in Jude's restored vintage Mustang...standing outside his window...staring out from his widescreen TV. Waiting-with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one bony hand...

Must read for anyone who likes this genre. 5/5 stars

Other reviews:
Things Mean Alot

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