Heart-shaped Box is the tale of an aging rock legend who is pretty much living the secluded life. He has an obsession with buying odd, creepy occult items to add to his collection (this part isn’t really examined past a couple of chapters), one such item being a suit of clothes that belong to a dead man. If you buy the suit, you also get the dead man’s ghost. What Jude doesn’t realize is that sometimes, you aren’t the one making the choices. Sometimes they’ve already been made for you.
I finally sat down and rolled through the last half of Joe Hill’s Heart-shaped Box, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. When I first pick a book up, or right before I decide to read it, I check out reviews. Many folks gave this a low rating on the Goodreads website, citing that it wasn’t scary or failed to deliver. For me, it was just the right pacing. I enjoyed the story, the characters were great, the ideas behind the way the spirit world worked were cool, if not a little confusing toward the very end when everything culminates in Jude’s childhood home.
Joe Hill is on my list of authors to absorb right now, so even negative reviews can’t keep me away from his work. I’m like that, sometimes, when I discover a new author. I’ll immediately have to start picking up everything they’ve done that’s available to me and read it. Sometimes I’ll keep coming back for more, sometimes I’ll let them drift off down another road and forget about them because their work becomes too repetitive – like John Grisham. For me, after digging into The Client, The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Chamber – I was like, ya know, I feel like I’ve read all this before. Sure, the names have changed, but it all goes back to an evil or unjust legal system. I get enough of that in real life 🙂
So, yeah, Heart-shaped Box, go read it if you’re into Joe Hill or just horror/mystery in general.