Sunday, June 22, 2008

08.10 Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Heart-Shaped Box (2007) by Joe Hill
Pbk, William Morrow, 376pp.

In case you hadn't heard by now, Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King. There is probably not much chance that I would have picked up this book without that knowledge however curiosity got the better of me.

Judas Coyne is an aging ex-heavy metal star retired to a farm in the Hudson Vally. He lives there with his dogs, occult memorabilia and a succession of young goth girlfriends. One day his assistant locates a ghost for sale on an internet auction site and Judas absolutely has to have it. Turns out that the ghost is real and is seeking vengeance for a past sin.

The story is actually quite engaging and you can really tell that the writer is his fathers son. He has that way of writing that both makes it easy to read and keeps you wanting to turn the page. Joe Hill gets perhaps a bit more metaphysical than his father ever did and, of course, updates all the music references. I don't really read the horror genre anymore but in the end I think Joe Hill will do well as Stephen King-lite.


downtown guy said...

Call me out of the loop - I had no idea King's son was a writer.

beemused said...

I read a review when this came out and was actually quite curious. like you, I think this has gotten fair or decent reviews. will put it on my to-pick-up-at-le-bilio list.

Jarrett said...

is this his real name or did he steal the labor leader's name as a tribute, etc...?