Bryce Wilson's Reviews > Heart-Shaped Box

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
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's review
May 20, 08

bookshelves: horror

"The Dead Pull The Living Down."

I'll admit I have a prejudice against the work of the offspring of famous people. As anyone who has ever suffered through a Chris Mitchum movie or a Wallflower's album can tell you, talent is usually not genetic.

So color me pleasantly surprised that Joe Hill wins the Jean Renoir award for being one of the exceptions that prove the rule. His debut novel drips with atmosphere, character, and a few cases of truly frightening stuff, like a haunted tracheotomy that comes directly from an imagination that's real and alive.

I'd say he's got his father's stuff but he reminds me more of Neil Gaiman then King. The way he nestles stories within stories so reading the novel is like unlocking a puzzle box. Everyone in the novel is haunted by their own ghosts and the telling of them makes up a big part of the books pleasures.

I'm looking forward to traveling down the Night Road many times in the future with Hill.
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