Friday, October 21, 2011

The Heart-shaped Box

For those of you that don't know, this title is written under Stephen King's Son. Since his son wanted to strike out on his own, without the help of his father's fame, he decided to publish his books under the name of Joe Hill. He's also written a short story collection called 20th Century Ghosts, which I have not read yet. But the real breakout novel I'm here to discuss is The Heart-Shaped Box. Wow, what a ride.

Right from the first chapter, we are propelled into the life of retired rocker Judas Coyne. We get a glimpse of the macabre items he collects. He is said to have a painting by John Wayne Gacy, a skull, a couple snuff films, etc. But when his buddy finds a dead man's suit on ebay, he gives Judas a call. Jude, as they call him, can't resist such a deal. So he buys the suit and it comes in a heart-shaped box. But, as the days are passing, things are happening that can't be explained away. It seems the ghost of the dead man is still attached to the suit, now infecting Jude's life with creepy things in the night.

The characters, atmosphere and storytelling really shines in this one. My buddy Matt was singing praises of this book non-stop. Only after my wife and I read the entire thing did he then reveal that this was Stephen King's boy. Well, it shows.

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