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review 2017-09-21 01:55
Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill

A bloody fantastic ghost story.

 

Jude Coyne, an aging front man to a once popular heavy-metal band, is riding out his life and solo career in peaceful fashion. At 54, he works on his music in his home studio on a farm in upstate New York. He collects dark and twisted trinkets and young, goth girlfriends. He is ignoring the several metaphorical demons that eat at him.

 

When his personal assistant brings an odd 'ghost for sale' listing to his attention on a little known auction site, Jude doesn't even hesitate, doesn't think, doesn't ponder, he just buys. When the ghost arrives, an old suit packed in a heart shaped box, Jude is forced to face things once past.

 

This book is gritty, like heavy metal gritty. It's graphic. It's chilling.  It's absolutely heartbreaking. It has soul. It has music.

 

"Horror was rooted in sympathy . . . in understanding what it would be like to suffer the worst."

 

I love that thought. Loved it when I read it on the page and still days later, it's what really sticks with me about this book. True terror comes from reality. This book is a symphony of real life horror coupled with wild imaginings in the darkest of night.

 

Jude's girlfriend, Georgia, is my favorite - she's irreverent and crass with a vulnerability that made me love her. She and Jude look for desperate answers, running away from a ghost hell-bent on their deaths and I just sat on the edge of my seat hoping that I'd get some sort of happily ever after. And isn't that sort of an unreasonable desire in a horror book? Still, I wanted it, badly.

 

It's hardest for me to write about books that I love. The problem is three-fold, one part taming of the overactive squee drive, one part unwillingness to spoil the discovery for anyone else, and one part wrench and pull to find the things that resonate with me most and put them in words. Heart-Shaped Box hit all the right notes for me. I think I'm just going to have to leave it at this - I loved it, I couldn't read it fast enough, and I finished it with a satisfying sigh.

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-11 21:24
STRANGE WEATHER ARC Review
Strange Weather: Four Short Novels - Joe Hill

Read for "Modern Masters of Horror:"

 

I was two people when reading this collection of short novels. I read the first two stories ('Snapshot' and 'Loaded') mere days before my best friend took her own life. I read the latter two entries ('Aloft' and 'Rain') after. Naturally, my mind was elsewhere when reading the final two stories — but they were good. Very good. Especially 'Aloft'. I'm terrified of heights, so that one got to me. 

After The Fireman, my faith in Joe Hill had been shaken a bit . . . But my faith is reaffirmed! These are four excellent, scary stories. Highly recommended. Would love to give a more in-depth review, but I am medicated and just want to sleep. 

Snapshot - 4 
Loaded - 5
Aloft - 4.5
Rain - 5 

Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.

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review 2017-09-11 14:56
Rezension | Joe Hill: Fireman
Fireman: Roman - Ronald Gutberlet,Joe Hill
Wer den Klappentext verfasst hat las den Titel und nicht das Buch. 
 
Was habe ich erwartet: 
Eine Geschichte über eine apokalyptische Krankheit und einen mysteriösen Fireman. Irgendwas mit einem coolen Endzeithelden, gespickt mit feinen Mystery- und Horror - Elementen. (Entschuldige, Joe Hill, aber ja, ich messe dich an Daddy.) 
 
Was habe ich bekommen:
Ja, was habe ich bekommen? Ein Endzeit-Dschungelcamp? Eine Gesellschaftsstudie am Rande einer Apokalypse? 
 
Man hätte es genau so gut „Marlborough -Mann“ nennen können und behaupten, eben jener wäre die größte Gefahr der Menschheit.  Ja, ein „Marlborough- Mann“ kommt vor und ja, er ist eine Gefahr. Zumindest für einen Teil der Menschheit. Damit wären wenigstens zwei Aussagen des Klappentextes als wahr erfüllt, denn es gibt tatsächlich einen „Fireman“ in diesem Roman, aber er ist nicht die letzte Rettung der Menschheit. 
 
Die Krankheit ist cool. „Dragonscale“, feine Muster, die auf deiner Haut erscheinen und dazu führen, dass du in Flammen aufgehst. Mit dem Menschen nach und nach die ganze Welt. Gut, dieKrankheit zu haben ist nicht so cool, aber die Idee ist gut.  Verschwendet, aber gut. 
 
Harper, die Protagonistin folgte ich sehr gern durch den Verlauf der Geschichte. Sie ist erfrischend normal, nicht perfekt, aber auch keine Damsel-in-Distress. 
 
Der Firmen war am Anfang als mystischer Retter interessant, wurde aber sehr schnell de-mystifiziert. Er ist nett. Also nicht im Sinne von „nett ist die kleine Schwester von…“, sondern nett. Mehr aber auch nicht. Er kommt nicht so oft vor und er macht auch nicht sonderlich viel. Aber er ist … nett. 
 
Die Romanze fand ich zu erzwungen und fehl am Platz. Sie tut nichts für die Geschichte und macht wenig Sinn. Lass die beiden sich mal verlieben, weil … Keks. Das ist eine „Thor“ - Romantik. Kennen sich ein paar Stunden und verlieben sich unsterblich weil es der Plot so will. Nein, nicht der Plot, der Autor. 
 
Joe Hill arbeitet mir epischer Vorausdeutung. Das erfüllt seinen Zweck, man möchte weiter lesen, aber es verrät auch viel. Zu viel Info zu früh nimmt Überraschung weg. Ich mag es lieber, wenn ich nach und nach herausfinde, wer die Antagonisten sind, als wenn ich vorweg mit der Nase darauf gestoßen werden. Ein oder zwei Wendepunkte der Geschichte lässt er offen, die größten, aber weniger vorweg greifender Erklärung hätte dem Buch gut getan. 
 
Längen gibt es. Der Mittelteil im Camp zieht sich hin, während das aktionsreichere Ende im Vergleich recht kurz ausfällt. Ich wünschte mir mehr und früher Aktion und weniger Aufbau. Die Etablierung des großen Personals braucht Zeit, ja, aber Joe Hill sollte auf sein Talent vertrauen viele Figuren differenziert darzustellen. Das kann er nämlich. Hat gut von Daddy gelernt.
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review 2017-09-10 03:41
Heart-Shaped Box
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill

 

Jude had a private collection.

- first sentence

 

A collection of the grotesque and bizarre. As a heavy metal star, that is part of his image, and he enjoys it. And that is why he jumps at the chance to buy a ghost on the Internet. Turns out it isn't the best choice he's ever made...

 

Jude is kind of a jerk. He's a singer and plays guitar, divorced with a slew of girlfriends he calls not by their names, but by the name of their home state. Thus, his current girlfriend is Georgia (20-something to his 50-something). His assistant, Danny (who happens to be gay) is often more of a friend to the girls than Jude is. So, when the ghost came, I wasn't that invested in Jude's safety (or survival). Luckily events throughout the book made me root for him and even like him enough to be invested in his survival.

 

I had no idea where the story was going and that was good, it kept me guessing. I love the twist about the ghost and about why it was meant specifically for Jude to buy.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I also enjoyed the other two other Joe Hill books I read (NOS4A2 and The Fireman). I love his writing and of course horror, so... I know Hill has been around for a while but I don't know why I never read his books until this past year. I'm so glad I did. I will look for more by him. Let me know if any of you have recommendations. :)

 

My favorite lines:

 

the radio was just background sound, the auditory equivalent of wallpaper.

 

He understood that the ghost existed first and foremost within his own head. That maybe ghosts always haunted minds, not places.

 

The ghosts always caught up eventually, and there was no way to lock the door on them. They would walk right through.

 

I read this book for the ghost square, because... well, the ghost. :)

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text 2017-09-06 04:13
Reading progress update: I've read 63%.
Strange Weather: Four Short Novels - Joe Hill

Currently reading the third story in this collection, 'Aloft,' about a skydiving venture that goes... badly, to say the least. 

 

I have a major fear of heights. I'm stopping reading for tonight because this story has given me an anxiety attack. No hyperbole. My reaction is a sign of excellent writing on Mr. Hill's part... but my nerves!!!

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