16 comments on “Review: Heart-Shaped Box

  1. Hill is great and you made the great point that he isn’t afraid of having his protagonists be unlikable without losing the things that are relatable. I’ve yet to read Nos48U but I’ve always enjoyed his work.

    • Yes, that’s exactly it. I can not like a character and still like reading about them. NOS4A2 is next on my list. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Oh yay, I’m glad you liked this one! I really liked Horns and liked NOS4A2, but I wasn’t sure about this one… I’m always a little hesitant to try an author’s backlist, I think. Now I’m really looking forward to it…. maybe I’ll save it for a nice Halloween read :)

    • When Joe Hill first came on my radar, I was debating between Horns and this one, and for whatever reason the other one just sounded more interesting. But I do wish I hadn’t waited so long to pick this one up. It’s good, and didn’t really feel like a debut at all.

  3. I’ve never read anything by Joe Hill. I want to — I like horror — but I can’t deal with horror that’s about serial killers rather than ghosts. And sometimes you don’t know until the end which it is!

    • This one definitely falls more in the ghost category, but there are some non-paranormal horrors in it as well. So, not sure if it would be your thing or not.

  4. The only one I’ve read so far by Joe Hill is NOS4A2, and I enjoyed it immensely. I am glad you liked this one, I’m really wanting to get to Horns and 20th Century Ghosts as well.

    • I’m not much for short stories, but I read his first two novels, and NOS4A2 is next on my list! (I’m also curious about Locke & Key, despite not being a graphic novel person either.)

  5. I’ve started to read NOS4A2, but found I couldn’t quite get into it – I don’t think I was in the mood at the time for something that gruesome. It seems like this will be the same though, so I don’t know if I will get to it. But I’m glad you really enjoyed this book, and I do think his writing is excellent!

    • I always think of that Stephen King quote about reading sometimes for the words and sometimes for the story… and I really can’t read only for the words, I need a good story to keep me invested… but I agree that the books that have both are the best.

  6. I have this one to read. I bought it after I read NOS4A2 (which if you didn’t read yet you really should!). I’m glad it didn’t disappoint and I’m really looking forward to finding the time to read this one.

    • That one is next up. Like I said, hopefully it won’t be another four years before I pick it up (and by then he’ll have something else anyway and I’ll still be behind).

  7. Ha, I agree that Judas Coyne is not a very likable main character — and I still loved Heart-Shaped Box, which just scared me down to my boots. I still need to read Horns. Loved NOS4A2 — I’d consider it a masterpiece, actually, good enough to rival many of the great King works. And for something different, I’d also recommend the Locke & Key series. So good, so creepy!

    • I’m good with unlikable characters as long as I have something else to invest in. But when I walk away from a book thinking that I didn’t like it because I didn’t like the characters, mostly that’s just the easiest thing to pinpoint. I can forgive a lot in a book if I like the characters, whereas if I can’t connect with them, the rest of the book has to have a lot going for it to make up for that. (Which is so funny to me, because I always considered myself more of a plot reader than a character reader… and I do find character-driven novels very hit or miss, but I’ve realized, even in my plot-heavy books, the characters mean more to me than I thought they did.)

  8. Aww. I’ve read all of Hill’s work and this us definitely my favorite. :) Horns is a close second and most of his short stories are brilliant. :)

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