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

Heart-Shaped Box

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  62,842 Ratings  ·  5,564 Reviews
Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre -- his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman's noose, Aleister Crowley's childhood chessboard, etc. -- so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bi ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 376 pages
Published February 13th 2007 by William Morrow (first published 2007)
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 Heart-Shaped Box, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Heart-Shaped Box

The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerPet Sematary by Stephen King
Best Horror Novels
15th out of 1,383 books — 4,214 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley JacksonA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHeart-Shaped Box by Joe HillGhost Story by Peter Straub
Ghost Stories
4th out of 892 books — 1,483 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Delee

3.5

This is the first book written by Joe Hill that I have read, and the fact that it was his debut is pretty impressive to me. I picked it up for a song awhile ago- never being sure if I was going to read it or not- I was worried that I wasn't going to connect with Jude and Georgia. I don't always have to like the people I am reading about, but in a ghost story- I find I really have to warm up to the main characters in order to root for their survival- As it turns out they were pretty easy to li
...more
La Petite Américaine
Sep 11, 2008 La Petite Américaine rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Book Burners :)
Shelves: sucked, rants
The cover of this book promises that you will be "haunted" and "startled," and that the book will even "visit you in your dreams."

Funny, as I read this "scary" novel, I couldn't help but think back to the time I read The Shining ... it was storming outside, it was 3AM and I was too afraid to put the book down, and I didn't care if I would end up wetting the bed because there was no way in hell I was going to get up and go to the bathroom. "Heart Shaped Box" also made me think back to other King
...more
Dan Schwent
Jun 26, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2013
When aging rocker Judas Coyne buys a ghost on the internet, he doesn't take it seriously. That is, until a musty old suit shows up in a heart-shaped box. Soon, Judas begins to see the horrifying spectre of a man wearing the suit. Things take a sinister turn and people start dying so Judas and his girlfriend Georgia go looking for the woman who sold him the suit, the sister of his deceased ex-girlfriend. Can Judas stop the man in the suit from destroying his life?

After NOS4A2, I thought it best t
...more
Hannah
Jun 17, 2010 Hannah rated it did not like it
The scariest thing about Joe Hill's debut book, Heart Shaped Box, isn't the actual story, but what lies between the front cover and the inside title page of the Harper paperback version. In it, over 18 reputable newspapers and acclaimed writers attempt to prop up little Stevie King, Jr's Joe Hill's novel with some seriously excellent reviews. Scary because all these awesome reviews lead you, the reader, to expect that Heart Shaped Box is the next BIG thing in horror.

Only it's not.

Not by a long
...more
Sammy
Jun 12, 2007 Sammy rated it really liked it
Shelves: b-the-good
I don't think I quite knew what I was getting into when I picked up this book. I don't know what I thought I was going to read, but it wasn't this. So a warning to you: this book, or at least the beginning of it, is pretty freaky. I'm not a wimp. I grew up on Goosebumps and Scary Stories by Alvan Schwartz, graduating on to Christopher Pike and various R.L. Stine young adult novels. I also love scary movies of all sort, so I'm not one easily freaked out. But this novel was pretty creepy, or at le ...more
Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Luminescent Monster*
Buddy-read with some of my faves from the Non-Crunchy Bunch coming February 2016.

This should be a sweet little gem of a story for right around Valentine's day, no?!



3.5 Stars

I’ve never been a very good ghost story reader. I think a fundamental element of being spooked out by ghost stories begins in either a belief or a lack of DISbelief in ghosts.

I have never believed in ghosts, not even as a child around a campfire. I am missing that thundering fear of not knowing how and what could or could no
...more
Robert
Jul 08, 2013 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-deals
From this point forward, I shall refrain from the HEART-SHAPED BOX, heart-shaped candies, and anything else in the shape of a heart that is sent through the mail or easily consumable. As my wife can attest, this will put a significant strain on the candy industry, to the point that they may be forced to shut down operations, if only temporarily. But how could I not when this novel totally freaked me out. I have three suits, and I’m not sure I want to wear any of them ever again. Even the gray pi ...more
Christopher
Mar 05, 2016 Christopher rated it it was ok
This type of horror may just not be for me.

Heart-Shaped Box is about a ghost who, apparently, can't decide if it wants to kill the person it wants to kill. Our tale starts off decently enough. Aging rock star buys a ghost off the internet and that ghost decides to kill him. Almost succeeds fairly early on, too. And then... doesn't kill him. Why, you ask? Hell if I know.*

Instead, our ghost will sit in his ghost truck... not killing people. Perhaps he's just trying to drive our MC insane by drawi
...more
Maciek
I had pretty big expectations for this novel, since it was somewhat of a happening in the horror genre and was praised by writers such as Harlan Coben and Neil Gaiman. I was pretty disappointed.
There is not a cliche that has not been used in this book, and not a single plot twist that I was not able to predict. It's a mish mash of things from various horror novels and movies - the protective dogs, the ouija board, the evil spiritualist, dead in mirrors, talking radios...
The characters are unlika
...more
Alissa Patrick
This book is creeeeeeeeeeeeeepy and I loved it! It's not Joe Hill's best, in my opinion (my favorite is NOS4A2, by a mile), but this one was fantastic. A good old fashioned ghost story.

For some reason, I pictured the ghost to look like this: aka the creepy guys from Buffy in the 'Hush' episode. And maybe that's why it creeped me out even more. If I saw this guy staring at me from in a car or from across the room I'd prob shit myself.

Overall, a great read and highly recommended.
Phrynne
Jun 10, 2015 Phrynne rated it really liked it
Scary - full of ghosts and gore and really gross stuff. Definitely a horror story and one which never lets up from start to finish. Jude, the main character, is strangely attractive despite everything and I really wanted him and Mary Beth to stay alive. I also wanted Angus and Bon to stay alive. I don't think it is a spoiler to say that some did and some didn't make it to the end. Joe Hill has the same warped imagination as his father and the final scene in Jude's father's bedroom is a great exa ...more
David "proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party"
Dave's Quick Judgement -

THE DEFENSE
- The prose is very gripping.
- Many genuinely creepy moments.
- Frequent musical references add a little extra spice to the story.

THE PROSECUTION
- The main characters are rather bland.
- Dialogue is often dry and tedious.
- Some attempts to be scary teeter over to the "laughably-bad" side (the ghost rising out of a candy box and even reaching back in for his hat comes to mind).

THE VERDICT
I found this to be a good ghost story, just not a great one. But
...more
Stefan Yates
Apr 26, 2012 Stefan Yates rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a great debut!

Now that I have that out of the way, let me start out my review by saying that Heart-Shaped Box is the creepiest, scariest new book that I have read in quite some time. Mr. Hill tells an excellent story; well thought out with wonderful character development. The thing that I really loved about his introducing us to the characters is that he just threw us into the ride with them without too much background and then built them up into very complex and likable personalities
...more
Kasia
Dec 14, 2013 Kasia rated it it was amazing
I remember looking at this book at my local Barnes & Nobles years ago, I was strangely drawn to the title and it's meaning which always puzzled me but the cover was intriguing, not sure what took me so long to read it but I’m so glad that I finally dived in. Sometimes it's hard to pick a new book to read but it's still a delicious torment even if you don't know what is good enough to wrap your mind around, this was a good pick and it was recommended by a friend so I read it with pretty high ...more
Steven
Aug 12, 2013 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
This book was VERY CREEPY. Way creepier than I anticipated from the synopsis. I stayed up late reading last night as my partner was out of town, and by the time I put the book down, it was LATE and I did NOT want to turn the lights out. I watch horror movies ALL the time, and they rarely get to me... but the ghost in this story definitely creeped his way into my mind.

*shudders*

Excellent book!
Ellen Gail
Feb 18, 2016 Ellen Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, horror




What better way to spend my Valentines Day then reading Heart-Shaped Box? For surely, this shall be a sweet and romantic tale?

Nah. GHOST STORIES! Fucking love em. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill is a grade-A egg. (Upon googling, it appears that the hightest grade of egg is AA, which makes no fucking sense. You can't just starting throwing in extra letters. If Ralphie wasn't allowed to get a A++++++++++, then pre-birds can deal with a single A.)

Whatever. Important thing is, Heart-Spaped Box is good
...more
Apatt
Oct 30, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, favorites
Joe Hill, definitely “a chip off the old block”, the old block being mega-author Stephen King of course. From what I have read Hill tried his best to keep his relationship with Stephen King a secret and forge his own career as an author. Happily he became a successful author before the identity of his Dad was publicly disclosed by Variety magazine. Heart-Shaped Box is his first novel, as of now I think he has four to his name, excluding comics and anthologies.

Basically Heart-Shaped Box is a stor
...more
Brandon
Oct 09, 2014 Brandon rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, horror, 2014
Jude Coyne, a middle aged former front man of an immensely popular metal band, is obsessed with the occult. His assistant finds a post online advertising a ghost-for-sale and being the collector he is, Jude decides that he must have it. When a heart-shaped package shows up, it contains nothing but an old raggedy suit. However, it isn't long before the suit brings about unexplained events and spooky behaviour throughout Coyne’s mansion. With his sanity hanging by a thread, can Jude exorcise the d ...more
Becky
Jan 21, 2009 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans, horror fans
I've been a Stephen King fan for more than half my life. I remember reading his books at a time when other kids my age were reading "Babysitter's Club" books or "Sweet Valley" books.

I've always loved Stephen King. I wasn't sure that I would love his son, so I put off reading this book for a while after obtaining it. It may be a little neurotic, but I thought that if I didn't like Joe Hill's writing, that it would lessen my love for Stephen King's writing.

Luckily, that wasn't the case. I thorou
...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
3.5 stars. This could've been a damn good book if it'd "gotten there" faster.

Stephen King's son? You don't say? That wasn't even a hard guess. The first 25% of Heart Shaped Box was full of descriptive filler which didn't always need to be there (setting the mood tends to be a flimsy excuse when descriptiveness drags on for too long). It must be a King thing. Yep. I rhymed. I did that.
He saw a flicker of motion, reflected in the partly open window beyond his desk, and his gaze jumped to the im
...more
Steve
2.5 stars, rounded up

Okay, so I spent the weekend reading this, in between working on renovating a bathroom. It’s a pretty quick read, something I’ve found with all of Joe Hill’s books. This, his first novel, is no different.

This is a ghost story, plain and simple. It’s decent, and while it’s nothing very original or earthshattering, it is a fun read: Jude Coyne is an aging rock star with a penchant for macabre artifacts. He purchases a ghost online, but when the dead man's suit and spirit arriv
...more
Trin
Aug 26, 2007 Trin rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon Bolton
Apr 24, 2016 Sharon Bolton rated it really liked it
This has been on my to-read list for a long time, several years in fact, so it was with some joy, driving through France recently, finally to get round to listening to it as an audio book.

Judas Coyne is an aging rock star, one who names his many girlfriends after the states they’re from (Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas?) and who collects gory and macabre memorabilia. When his PA alerts him to the auction, on Ebay, of a ghost (one that comes in his own heart shaped box) Jude finds it hard to resist
...more
Licha
Mar 16, 2016 Licha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read
This started off great, introducing the ghost almost from the start of the story. It had a creepy vibe to it. But somewhere down the line, the story became more of a good guy chasing down the bad guy story. It wasn’t bad, but it lost the element of ghost story.

The characters were turning out nicely but by the end fall somewhat one-dimensional. They’re not hatched out enough for me to completely be wowed out by them, likeable or not.

The ending was a little too perfect for my taste. (view spoiler
...more
Sesana
Nov 10, 2011 Sesana rated it really liked it
It's pretty much common knowledge now that Joe Hill is Joseph King, son of Stephen King. I haven't read King in probably more than a decade, but from my memory, Hill has a similar style, all sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, and gross stuff. Ok, maybe not so much with the drugs, though there are some really trippy sections.

Jude (a sort of all-purpose metal god of yore) buys the suit of a dead man from an online auction because the seller claims it will come with a ghost. He gets far more than he bargai
...more
Stepheny
I could sit here all day and compare Joe Hill to his father Stephen King, but I find that highly unfair to do to him. What I will say is that he writes with a similar voice and also that I think one day he will be as good as his father, if not better. I feel like with every book I see a more developed writer and that is why I only gave Heart Shaped Box a 3 star rating. Actually a 3.5, but GR doesn’t give me that option…Anyway, I digress.

I really enjoyed this read and found it to be quite fun…in
...more
Ruth Turner
Oct 10, 2014 Ruth Turner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned

DNF at 85%

I hadn’t heard of Joe Hill until just recently when I saw a review of In The Tall Grass, a book he co-authored with his father, Stephen King. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t particularly like the story, but I thought Joe Hill deserved a chance to shine on his own, so I picked up a copy of Heart Shaped Box.

The premise was good, the writing was excellent, there was great attention to detail, and for about the first half of the book I was totally absorbed, despite the fact that I really di
...more
Rebecca McNutt
May 26, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it
A vividly chilling horror novel that proves that what goes around, comes around. Filled with creativity, an assortment of odd characters and vibrant (and at times disturbing and haunting) imagery, this is definitely a book worth reading if you into horror or thrillers.
Kristin ❋extols death with luminescent brilliance❋
February (2/8/16) buddy read with the non-crunchies


3.5 stars



Oh wait, this isn't NOS4A2 and stupid Christmasland. Thank god, I don't think I could take more of Manx and his creepy sidekick.

In my second foray into Joe Hill, aka Stephen King's mini-me, we meet Judas Coyne, an ageing "ex" metal rocker who likes morbid paraphernalia (art sent to him by John Wayne Gacy, a snuff film, and various other less than desirable objects) and girls 30 years his junior. Jude is kind of a dickish, skeevy old m
...more
Chris
Oct 21, 2014 Chris rated it it was ok
So, I have officially given up the ghost on Heart-Shaped Box.
(See what I did there? Ehhh?)

I can go no further, I'm afraid and have given it all the shots it's going to get. Sadly, I'm not 100% certain mine will be a fair review as (a) I didn't actually FINISH the book, and
(b) I'm not a horror fan.

I read this book as part of a Bossy Book Challenge for Apocalypse Whenever, a fantastic post-apocalyptic/dystopian group here on GR. I knew going in that there was a chance this book might end up on th
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bookworm Bitches : October 2012: Heart-Shaped Box 65 354 Apr 26, 2016 10:03AM  
Around the Year i...: Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill 6 16 Mar 31, 2016 05:01AM  
Horror Reading Ch...: February 2016 Group Read: Heart Shaped Box 15 21 Feb 24, 2016 05:28PM  
Should this book be made into a feature film? 40 291 Dec 26, 2015 09:12AM  
  • Bad Moon Rising (Pine Deep, #3)
  • In the Tall Grass
  • Off Season (Dead River, #1)
  • Lost Boy Lost Girl
  • The Harrowing
  • The Store
  • The Pilo Family Circus
  • The Dead Path
  • The Loveliest Dead
  • Wild Fell
  • Slights
  • Children of the Night
  • Mr. Shivers
  • Naomi's Room
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
  • In Silent Graves (Cedar Hill #1)
  • Kin
  • The Missing (Keeper, #2)
88506
Joseph Hillstrom King (born 1972) is an American writer of fiction, writing under the pen name of Joe Hill.

Hill is the the second child of authors Stephen King and Tabitha King. His younger brother Owen King is also a writer. He has three children.

Hill's first book, the limited edition collection 20th Century Ghosts published in 2005 by PS Publishing, showcases fourteen of his short stories and wo
...more
More about Joe Hill...

Share This Book



“Horror was rooted in sympathy . . . in understanding what it would be like to suffer the worst.” 58 likes
“All the world is made of music. We are all strings on a lyre. We resonate. We sing together.” 40 likes
More quotes…