Heart Shaped Box
Do you sleep with the light on? Are you in the habit of checking your doors and windows before you go to bed? Maybe even checking under your bed? If you are about to crack open Joe Hill's chilling thriller Heart-Shaped Box, you might want to rethink your nighttime habits--Hill's story about an aging rock star (with a penchant for macabre artifacts) who buys a haunted suit online will scare you silly. But don't take our word for it. We asked bestselling authors (and masters of dark terror tales themselves) Scott Smith, and Harlan Coben to read Heart-Shaped Box and give us their take. Check out their reviews below, and you might want to pick up a nightlight while you're at it.
I don’t usually do this, but go to the playlist at the bottom of my blog and pick # 12, The Funeral, from Band of Horses to listen to while reading this, boy that song fits this book to a tee.
He could see the old man sitting in the chair at the end of the hall. If he kept walking and didn’t look at him maybe he wouldn’t be noticed…
Do you wanna be scared? I said, DO YOU WANNA BE SCARED?!! Then you must read this book. Joe Hill smashed this one right outta the park!
Judas Coyne is an aging rocker. Kinda like Ozzie Ozborne, but not quite as fried as that poor dude. He has a taste for the macabre and likes to collect the crazy crap. Snuff film, cook book for the cannibal, you get the picture. His assistant Danny calls Judas into his office; someone is auctioning off a ghost, a ghost that resides in its dead man’s suit. Judas can’t resist. No sooner does that sucker arrive in a black heart shaped box that the shit hits the fan big time!
In life his name was Craddock and he is gunning for poor Judas. Craddock blames Judas for his step-daughter Annie killing herself. Be sure there is much more to this than meets the eye. Holy crap, I saw that SOB everywhere! I sometimes couldn’t catch my damn breath. Each page turned faster than the last. You know that sensation you get in a nightmare where you’re just frozen? You want to scream but you can’t? Just paralyzed in terror? There’s a part where Judas is looking out of Bammy’s kitchen window at poor little Ruthie and he’s trying to tell her to run and no sound is coming out. I could feel that pressure in my chest at not being able to yell! Whose Bammy and Ruth? Read the book babe!
Hill has crafted some awesome characters here. The banter and interaction is fantastic. Yes he made me laugh out loud and choked me up too. What a great author, what an awesome book.In the midst of all this tension he inserts levity that just cracked me up. One occasion takes place with his aunt who cares for his dying dad, and his girlfriend Marybeth aka Georgia (he calls all his girlfriends by the state they come from). Marybeth’s thumb is infected where she got pricked by the suit; Judas’ finger was shot off during a fight with the gal who sold him the suit. The aunt is a nurse and she is trying to help them –
Without any forewarning, she reached between them and snatched at Marybeth’s wrist, lifting her own bandaged hand for a moment. The wraps were stiff and brown with dried bloodstains on them. “What the hell have you two been doin?” she asked. “It’s my thumb.” Marybeth said. “Did you try to trade it to him for his finger?”
Scenes like this just had me laughing and helped with the intensity of some of what was taking place. Find out who these people are and what happens, you won’t be sorry at all!
5 cannolis, that right 5 of em!