Heart-Shaped Box

Title: Heart-Shaped Box
Author: Joe Hill
Pub Date: 2007
Pages: 354
Genre: Horror
Challenges: New Author Challenge

Jude is a divorced, middle-aged musician. Not exactly a "has been" because he maintains a large following (and sure, some are in prison, but his music is the Marilyn Manson/Trent Reznor music that speaks to their soul). Jude lives in a farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere New York with his girlfriend, Georgia. Who's name really isn't Georgia, but see, rockstar Jude refers to his girlies by the state they ran away from. Sweet and endearing, isn't it?

Moving on, Jude, like the stereotypical Ozzy Osbourne rocker, has a collection of freaky things that fans have sent him or he has collected along the way: relics, books about devil worshipping, and wait for it...wait for it....a snuff film. Well, one day, his assistant (whose office is located on the farm) finds a site where someone is auctioning off their step-father's ghost. Evidently the old geezer is scaring the granddaughter. Go figure.

Jude seriously has to have this ghost (it's supposedly attached to the coat) and has Danny buy it through the "BUY IT NOW" button for a mere grand.

So, whaddyaknow. Coat shows up. And, viola (!)(!)(!) The ghost has too. Now here's the catch. Because, it's a scary book, right? And there's got to be a catch. This can't be Casper the Friendly Ghost, oh no! As it happens, Ghost Craddock, is the pappy of Florida, a depressive twenty-something that Jude had hooked up for about nine months and then sent her on her way. Poor Florida, who battled depression through out her life, went home and offed herself. Ole Pappy Craddock dies shortly thereafter and is sent to torment and kill Jude and anyone who helps him.

Yikes! Talk about revenge mates! And let me tell you, this here ghost, Craddock....CREEPY. Shivers and nail biting and eye cringing creepy. He doesn't just pop out of the closet and shout BOO. Oh no. Crazy Craddock controls your thoughts. Do you hear me people? He tells you to do awful things, like hang yourself. Um, yah, That's about as creeped out as I could get in the real world with a ghost haunting me. Bad enough you see movies of them possessing people or throwing objects around. This one carries on conversations with you INSIDE YOUR HEAD and then even while you're telling him "no way no how am I going to shoot myself" you realize that you have the gun positioned next to your head.

Craddock gives me the heebie jeebies for sho'.

There's plenty of other twists and turns that I'm not gonna talk about, cuz you should read it.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with Mr. Joe Hill. I must have been one of the few who didn't realize this was STEPHEN KING'S SON before I picked up anything by him. I've also recently read the second book in his Locke & Key series (review soon....) and think I'm going to nab me a copy of Horns.


  1. Rather creepily, I want to read this. I didn't know he was Stephen King's song either.

  2. I have no desire to read this - not my thing - but I wanted to tell you that you make me laugh. :)

  3. I enjoyed this book so much more than I expecting to. That ought to teach me not to make assumptions before I read something :P

  4. Well, I loved reading your review...but the book sounds WAY too scary for me.


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