Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Voluntary Committal” as Want to Read:
Voluntary Committal
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Voluntary Committal

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  135 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Imogene is young and beautiful. She kisses like a movie star and knows everything about every film ever made. She's also dead and waiting in the Rosebud Theater for Alec Sheldon one afternoon in 1945. . . .

Arthur Roth is a lonely kid with big ideas and a gift for attracting abuse. It isn't easy to make friends when you're the only inflatable boy in town. . . .

Francis is un
Audio, 0 pages
Published October 16th 2007 by HarperAudio
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Voluntary Committal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Voluntary Committal

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Andrew Lennon
Feb 23, 2015 Andrew Lennon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely the best one in the collection. Really enjoyed this one!
It was quite a bit longer than the others, more of a novella than a short story, but it was a really fun read.
This was an early sign of the brilliant stories that were to come from Joe Hill.

All reviews can be found at
Jun 04, 2013 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite story in Hill's collection 20th Century Ghosts. 20th Century Ghosts It is novella-length, I forget the exact page count. It involves childhood life-and-death trauma and the talents of the narrator's younger schizophrenic brother to make problems disappear. 20th Century Ghosts is as strong as Hill's father's first collection, Night Shift - and "Voluntary Committal" is its strongest story, IMHO.
Mark Abrams
Apr 05, 2014 Mark Abrams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well written and creepy tale about the little brother who built tunnels in the basement out of cardboard boxes with some unexpected results!

I would highly recommend this short little story to fans of Joe Hill and horror readers in general. It's very imaginative!
Rich Cresswell
Sep 10, 2013 Rich Cresswell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly enjoyable short story. Pretty much in the vein of his father, Stephen King, its a tale of weird and magical happenings set in the dull background of suburbia. Need to get the collection next!
Interesting story of an unusual child who builds forts that are more than forts.
Filippos Farmakis
Just a really good and kinda creepy short story. It was fun to read it and it's definitely one of the best in the 20th Century Ghosts collection.
Jonathan Echevarria
Sep 28, 2014 Jonathan Echevarria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Voluntary Committal is one of the most amazing novellas I've read in 2014. Once again Joe Hill breaths more fresh air into the horror genre! With so many over done cliches filled with vampires, teen slashers and the walking dead, Joe Hill shows us that we can have original plots that take place within a horror setting! One of the many things I admire about Joe Hill is that he gives us characters we can care about and would like to see survive until the end of the adventure. They have flaws, impe ...more
Dione Basseri
GYAH. Best story in the entire collection!

Our narrator is a bit of a delinquent, hooking up with even more delinquent friends. In contrast, his younger brother is coded autistic, and spends all his time building things, focusing on his masterpiece: an enormous cardboard maze in the basement. When the elder brother begins bringing home a very dangerous "friend" and things seem like they're getting out of hand, it's up to the builder brother to find a way to get rid of the delinquent, before he hu
Mar 19, 2013 Doreen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again, this is one where I wish I could do 3.5. I liked it. Not sure why I didn't give it a 4, but 3.5 is strongly where I would put it. Lol

This is a story about 3 children really, two brothers and a trouble-maker, bully type friend. The bully talks one of the brothers into doing something that has ramifications for the rest of their lives.
Marree Goldestberree
Love it

So far I have read each of Joe Hill's published works. I start out with the plan to read them slowly and savor each sentence. Like how you're supposed to chew each bite of your food 10 times. But before I know it.....I'm at the end. Thoroughly satisfied.
Robin Edman
This is a good story, though it partook perhaps a little too much of the style of its inspiration. I'd like to see this notion blown up into a book.
Jo Ann
May 06, 2015 Jo Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short story from 20th Century Ghosts about a savant who uses cardboard boxes to "build". Creepy & chilling.
Jonny555 rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2015
Adaly rated it liked it
Jan 05, 2015
Candice rated it liked it
Dec 02, 2010
Linda rated it really liked it
Oct 02, 2014
Alma Galinski
Alma Galinski rated it liked it
Dec 03, 2014
elisabeth kutzer
elisabeth kutzer rated it it was amazing
Dec 02, 2014
Carolyn rated it really liked it
Sep 21, 2013
Judy rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2014
Louise Coleman
Louise Coleman rated it really liked it
Dec 25, 2014
Holly rated it liked it
Sep 01, 2015
Alisha Natasha
Alisha Natasha rated it liked it
Aug 25, 2013
Courtney Rene
Courtney Rene rated it really liked it
Mar 19, 2015
robin mikolon
robin mikolon rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2015
Rehail rated it really liked it
Oct 23, 2015
Terry rated it it was amazing
Oct 02, 2016
Amanda Ash
Amanda Ash rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2016
Lynn Riley ehlers
Lynn Riley ehlers rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2014
Jason rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Osama
  • The Facts of Life
  • Great Work of Time
  • Remaking
  • These Guns for Hire
  • The Wizard Takes a Holiday
  • She's Me
  • The Shibboleth (Incarcerado, #2)
  • Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road
  • Tiny Deaths
  • Salon Fantastique: Fifteen Original Tales of Fantasy
  • The Man on the Ceiling
  • Sunlight and Joy: An eBook Original Short Story
  • The Summer Isles
  • Symbios
  • The Screaming
  • The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea
  • Evil Among Us (Species Intervention #6609, #5)
Joseph Hillstrom King (born 1972) is an American writer of fiction and comic books, writing under the pen name of Joe Hill.

As of 2016 he has published four novels, a collection of short stories, a six-volume graphic novel series, and more. His most recent novel, The Fireman, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, and his novel Horns was made into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe.

More about Joe Hill...

Share This Book