Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

I really like horror books. Specifically, I really like Stephen King. Most kids in my literature classes were always like, Gufaw! Stephen King? You don’t know good writing.
But really, the guy is good. He grips you into his books, they scare the shiz out of you, and then you move on … but you are always haunted by some character, some action, some miniscule little line from one of his books. He taunts you throughout the rest of your life.
For instance:
Whenever I hear the name Gage, BOOM! I am transported right back to Pet Semetary and I am all like “Bah! Killer kid who got hit by a truck!”
Or, Las Vegas will always remind me of a post-apocalyptic flu riddled world, where all the bad guys go and live in Las Vegas.

So anyway, I decided to participate in 1book140’s October horror read… Joe Hill’s novel Heart-Shaped Box was chosen. I was excited. Hurray, a new horror author. The reviews looked good, they boasted of “psychological terror”, “a cardiac hazard”, “Wild, mesmerizing”.

Then, I opened it up and started reading. I cruised through it. Not because it was so good I couldn’t put it down, but because it was so easy I could get through it in no time.
It’s basically a screen play. I mean, it’s not. But I could have easily just read a screenplay for a Hollywood horror movie.

Here is the scoop: There is this old rocker dude named Judas Coyne, who used to be a huge rockstar at one point, now he just lives out in the country and has a personal assistant answer the phone and send out fan mail replies. He really likes creepy stuff, he owns a cookbook for cannibals, an old snuff film, sketches from John Wayne Gacy, etc. Just creepy stuff that most people probably wouldn’t want to own. Although, owning something by John Wayne Gacy would be pretty interesting to me… but that’s not the point. So his little assistant guy gets this ebay update thing for a suit with a dead man’s soul attached to it. Of course, our creepy collector MUST own it. So, a few days later and viola! It appears. Then creepy things start happening, like the suit starts to smell bad, and it starts appearing laid out on the bed. Oh by the way, Judas has a trampy little girlfriend who is like 22, and she keeps waking up next to the suit. Then Judas starts seeing this old guy in the house and he has these spooky black scribbles for eyes.
That’s about as creepy as the story gets… and that is 57 pages into a 384 page novel.
What else happens? Oh you know, supposedly creepy stuff.
The ghost can send emails, which is pretty awesome… not. Everyone in 1book140 seemed to like it, but I was like… eh, hokey.
I don’t know. There were twists in it, which were actually pretty interesting, but it is by no means a great horror novel. Not once did I find it to be a cardiac hazard. Nor wild and mesmerizing.

Then, get this, I was done. And I was like, OK…
I don’t think there is anything in this novel that will follow me around like Mr. King’s books and continue to spook me.
And, when I was done I looked it up to see what other people thought, and it was around the same lines. But I did find this little bit of info: Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son!

Bum Bum Bum!

I’m sticking with your dad, sorry Joey.

On to reading!

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