I was very impressed with this debut novel by Joe Hill, Stephen King's son, one of the best horror novels I've read in a while! In this book we follow Judas Coyne, his two dogs, Angus and Bon, and his goth girlfriend Marybeth, as they try to escape from the ghost that is after them, the ghost that Judas purchased online. This book is filled with disturbing images, which I'm sure will stay with me for a very long time. I highly recommend this book and I eagerly await more from this author in the future. I don't suggest reading this book at night. If you have a dog, make sure to keep him nearby for your own protection!
A horror first, then morphing to thriller - this book is an excellent page turner, and doesn't fall into many cliches unwillingly. This is high praise for a novel of this genre, a genre very hard to break ground in. I hope its not just knowing who his dad is that led me to draw many comparisons between their work, but its pretty much impossible not to do so. Apologies for that, but Mr. Hill starts that ball rolling with his dedication on page 1. Nods/tributes to Steven King seemed to fill the book - maybe its just because SK has so fully explored all the horror archetypes, while building a number of his own along the way. Joe knows the language - and breaks a good deal of new ground himself. It ends well, if a little too cleanly (I'm not saying 'happily')- which is something many horror/thriller writers fail to do.
I'd say the original concepts only carry the book about halfway - and that the second half of the book has outgrown the plausibility established in the first half. The subject matter is handled with a lot of maturity - depending far more on very real human psychology rather than supernatural crutches.
It read as a screen play - with lots of camera direction, I strongly suspect that this was intentional and a businessman's approach to writing (less reworking/reinterpreting to do when/if a movie comes along, which I think is inevitable for this book). This was distracting at times - especially when time motion flicker effects are described (think The Ring or House on Haunted Hill). A novel limited by camera effects - or a novelist calling upon the readers visual vocabulary, you decide.
I give it an 8.5 out of 10 - and though people do seem to love it a bit more because of its 'royal' heritage (Neil Gaiman gives an orgasmic review that comes across to me as excessive and comical), it is defiantly a good read. His comparisons to Clive Barker's first turn out of the gates are apt (Damnation Game is good stuff - highly underrated Barker).
I too have a fascination with the upstarts in the fiction industry - and there is plenty of magic in the idea of Joe Hill following in some very big footsteps.
This was a good story, very freaky, and although I enjoyed it for the most part, some parts were a bit too gorey for my taste-JMO! Loved the ending...some parts brought tears to my eyes...all in all, Hill is a talented writer!
I donít know why I was expecting more from this book, but what I came away with was a sense that Joe Hill was just as bored with his characters as I was with reading about them. Long story made even longer, this would have made a good short story or even a novella, but trying to drag a reader to the end of a monotones narrative is a letdown for both the reader and the writer.
To take what has already been written, Judas Coyne, a middle-aged rock star collects morbid curios for fun, so doesn't think twice about buying a suit advertised at an online auction site as haunted by its dead owner's ghost. Only after it arrives does Judas discover that the suit belonged to Craddock McDermott, the stepfather of one of Coyne's discarded groupies, and that the old man's ghost is a malignant spirit determined to kill Judas in revenge for his stepdaughter's suicide.
I was bored, the climatic moments werenít that stellar and overall the main characters soon became a caricature of themselves.
Will I read Joe Hill again, I do have 20th Century Ghosts on the shelf, but I canít see myself making that a priority right now.
Impressive first novel by the "prince" of horror (if he chooses to go that route). Plot is a little too linear but the scary moments, when they do come, are horrific indeed. This is not your child's horror a la R.L. Stine or Goosebumps. There is serious heart pounding action and gore. Prepare yourself for even greater screams.
Jude is an old rock star who collects death-related paraphernalia. When he hears about a ghost for sale, he buys it. He gets a dead man's suit with ghost attached. Only this was not the random auction-winning-bid deal he thought it was. He was specifically baited into buying the ghost by the seller, who is the sister of a girl-friend he dumped a while ago, and who committed suicide.
This is a very good book, makes great Sunday afternoon reading. The characters are very well developed, and the author really pulls you in with his descriptions of how the ghost hypnotically infiltrates Jude's and his girlfriend's minds.
Good horror novel filled with suspense, intrigue, and a few twists. While the plot resembles that of his father (i.e. Stephen King), the writing is sometimes cliched, trite, and under-developed. This book also contains some detailed descriptions of violence, gore, and abuse (toward humans and animals), so if you are uncomfortable reading in-depth about those subjects you my NOT want to read this. However, the story is unique and though the ending wrapped up a bit too quickly for my taste and left several questions unanswered, I would still recommend this book to fans of the horror genre.
Joe Hill (AKA Joseph Hillstrom King, yes...Stephens SON) is one hell of a writer! I loved this novel. The book revolves around Judas Coyne, an aging metal rock star who has an affinity for collecting macabre artifacts. When he sees an internet advertisement for a ghost, he quickly buys it, and then things quite literally go to Hell. Joe Hill's writing style is similar to his famous fathers, however, I found it much more edgy and action-filled. The older King can tend to ramble sometimes in his story telling, however, his son, in this novel, grabs your attention from the very first page and keeps your eyes locked to every word until the end. GREAT BOOK!!
Spooky, spooky, spooky--yet compelling. I could not hardly put it down. When I did put it down, I thought about it constantly. Did not see the end of this one coming. I read it in two days, but that was only because I could not fight off sleep anymore! A must read. I am going to keep this one for my personal library.
I really liked this book,Joe Hill is as good as his father Steven King. I wasn't scared reading this book I guess I am not easily scared. I enjoyed reading about Judas and his girl friend and how they met with the ghost, and what happened to them after they interacted with the ghost. Some parts of the book even made me laugh out loud, I even found myself cheering for Judas and his girl friend. I Highly recommend this book even though it has some tragedy in it. This book may not be good for the faint hearted people due to some very gruesome parts. This book also has a surprise climax to it that you would have never guessed was coming, it also explains a lot I hope to see more from this author since his first book is so good.
this was the first to truly scare me...i am a horror freak with Stephen King as my all time favorite writer but Joe Hill must rank up there pretty high...i have never had a book put the fear of God into me like that...i read most of the book in a day...and HAD to stay awake til daylight...i was afraid to walk thru the dark house lol....an awesome awesome book
A good beginning for one of Stephen King's own. Scary, spooky. I made the mistake once of reading it at night and then trying to go to sleep. Made sure after that I ONLY read it in the early morning light. If you like ghosts this ones for you.
I think I had higher expectations for this book because of the clerk at Borders' rave review - and he certainly loved it more than I did. Though, he did tell me that "Joe Hill" is really Stephen King's son, which I thought was rather interesting. And I did enjoy this ghost story - it was pretty thrilling, though not at all mysterious. It wrapped up nicely, and while I wouldn't recommend it as strongly as it was recommended to me, I would read others by him.
I am an avid reader of Stephen King, and I can say with strict confidence that Joe Hill has made his father proud with this book! I was frightened from the moment I began reading!! I couldn't put it down and finished it in 1 day. Turn on all the lights AND the TV before you open this one!! An excellent book!
Wow. I really loved this book. Truly a frightening, thrilling book that I had a really hard time putting down. An aging rock star (for some reason I kept imagining Glenn Danzig) is haunted by a ghost set out to kill him and anyone who assists or helps him escape death. The author does a great job of pulling you in and setting the scene. I've always been good at imaging scenes from books in my mind and this book had me so scared I couldn't read it every night unless I had my husband in bed next to me - the images were that vivid for me. This book (IMO) rivals anything that Joe Hill's father Stephen King has written. I can't wait for the next book from this author. If you are looking for a truly riveting read, get this book!
For the first two-thirds of this book, I could only read it during the day. I got creeped out the first night that I was reading "Heart-Shaped Box". Every little noise that I heard was ‚Äúsomething coming to get me‚ÄĚ. Only one thing kept me from giving this book 5 stars; I don't feel comfortable recommending ‚ÄúHeart-Shaped Box‚ÄĚ to anyone who doesn't like horror. There is gore.
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This is a very creepy ghost story. Judas is an aging former rock star who has a passion for bizarre things and much younger goth girl's. When his personal assistant spots an email offering Jude a chance to bid on a ghost, Jude agrees and gets much more than he bargained for when his past comes back to haunt him. This is an extremely creepy and well written ghost story and character study that I'd highly recommend. Though nearly all of the characters weren't exactly what I'd define as likable or sympathetic (except for the 2 german shephards) I will definitely pick up this guys next book.
BEtter than any Stephen King or Dean Koontz book! I first was intrigued by the aging rock star main character, but quickly fell in love with the book. It's oh so creepy, and I can't wait for his next book!
A ghost story that packs a powerful punch. Aging rock star Judas Coyne has a morbid collection of items involving death, so when a 'haunted suit' comes up for grabs on an e-bay type site he jumps at the chance to own it. Unfortunately for Jude this ghost has only one thing on his mind. It seems this ghost is that of Craddock McDermott, the stepfather of one of his former girlfriends, Anna, who recently committed suicide and Craddock wants revenge. Only things aren't quite what they seem. Judas has taken up with a new woman, yet he isn't quite the heartless Lothario he seems at first, and Craddock has a few secrets of his own.
This was a fast-paced book filled with surprises and plenty of creepy scenes, scary enough that I read with all the lights on. Here's a book that will make you believe in ghosts, if you don't already.
This book was a fun, chilly, creepy story. I agree with the other readers that mentioned it seemed to ramble a bit...but that didn't cause me to like the story any less. I was along for the nightride! I look forward to reading more and watching him grow as an author.
This is a very good book, Joe Hill, who is Stephen King's son, does a wonderful job of pulling you into his story of an over the hill rock star who orders a ghost online and gets way more than he bargained for. Highly reccomend
I thought this was the best horror debut I've read in a long time. It hooked me from the first page and it was hard to put down. I thought it was a great ghost story/road trip and I really enjoyed it. I look forward to more by this author.
I am not usually a big fan of ghost stories, but this book caught my interest immediately and from the start was a thrill ride of "what will happen next"? We find out about the main character (Judas Coyne) through his memories of his past and through experiences brought on by his "ownership" of a ghost. And the book, through its twists and turns, shows that there is always more to things than what is seen on the surface.
LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book! This book caught me from the very first chapter and was a spectacular story. Horror at it's best, I will definately look forward to more from Joe Hill!!!! Would recommend to all fans horror, you won't be disappointed