Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Heart-Shaped Box
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on June 22, 2013
As a fan of his father I read this out of curiosity. A pleasant surprise! Pulled me right in! Good story, good character development, and , most of all, left me hungry for more. Am now a fan and will continue to read his work!
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VINE VOICEon September 17, 2013
HEART-SHAPED BOX by Joe Hill.

Stephen King and his son Joe Hill have been described as horror writers. I don't think horror is the best name for them. To me horror is that guy who cuts up people with a chain saw, or the mummies in the swamp coming after you. This book and some of King's work are about some really creepy bad guys - who happen to be ghosts or have more than human powers. I like stories with unusual bad guys, so I like this kind of writing. I see it as scary suspense. Anyway, this book is about a really bad ghost chasing and harming two good guys. The good guys are odd and different and I liked that.

The author had phrases or ideas I hadn't heard before which I liked. Examples: "I like taking drives, making faces at the cows." The following was said by a gay guy who killed himself. "Souls aren't boys and aren't girls. They're only souls. There is no gay and he made his mother sorrowful for nothing."

The ending was well done. Loose ends were tied up. I liked knowing what happened to various characters after the crisis and later. S King is well known for unfinished endings. The son is not following dad's footsteps. Happy ending? Good enough for two main good guys, but other good guys died or suffered.

My problem:
During most of the middle of the book, I was depressed. It felt slow. I want to see good guys do interesting or unexpected things to survive and outwit the bad guys as they flee. And the good guys did do some unusual things, but it was still too much of a downer. Part of it might have been that it was showing so much depravity in this world. For the couple of days I listened to this book, general depression and sadness spread into my regular life. So for that reason I gave it a weak 3 stars.

The three main characters are Judas Coyne a former rock star in his 50s, has a beard, and looks like a meth dealing biker. Georgia his current live-in-girlfriend is in her 20s. Anna was Judas' former girlfriend who was in her 20s. Both Georgia and Anna suffered sexual abuse when they were younger. Judas and his mother suffered terrible physical abuse from his evil dad. I've read other books with abuse like this and found other authors didn't depress me as much as this author did.

There were three sort-of-partial-sex scenes, with snippets of details.

The narrator Stephen Lang was excellent. I liked his interpretations.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Unabridged audiobook length: 11 hrs and 6 mins. Swearing language: strong but rarely used. Sexual language: strong but rarely used. Number of sex scenes: 3. Setting: current day various states including New York, Georgia, and Louisiana. Book copyright: 2007. Genre: paranormal suspense.
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on April 5, 2013
Once I started reading 'Heart Shaped Box,' I couldn't put it down. 100 pages the first night, finished it the next. I loved everything about it - the characters, the fast moving plot - everything. I think what I liked most, though, is just how edgy and sharp it was. The way the author described certain things caused me, numerous times, to shake my head in admiration of his creativity. It wasn't a "safe" horror novel by any means, and it sure wasn't typical. Highly recommended.
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on April 27, 2013
I purchased this book several months ago on my kindle, and it got shuffled to the bottom of my list. After opening it and reading just the first two chapters I was hooked. Regardless of his family ties, he has a gift! I was a fan of his father years ago, but grew out of that particular genre of novels or just got bored. I say again how surprised Mr. Hill captured my attention and scared me at the same time, I could not put it down! I look forward to reading his other novels.
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on April 30, 2015
I wasn't sure what to expect from the author, being that he's Stephen King's son. Overall, I thought that the book wasn't bad. It had a fairly original plot and there were some interesting turns, but it just never really grabbed me.
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on April 4, 2013
I wasn't familiar with Joe Hill's work before this novel, but the story was good enough I will seek out his other books to read. There are some graphic scenes of sex and violence, as well as a lot of foul language, so if you're easily offended you'll want to skip this. Otherwise the story is solid and he builds it to a satisfying conclusion. Would definitely recommend to someone looking for a good suspenseful read.
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on June 10, 2013
He certainly picked up his Dad's writing genes. This is a superb ghost story that had me kinda creeped out - which hasn't happened in quite awhile. Very enjoyable. If you like Stephen King novels - you'll love this.
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on December 26, 2013
Intensely gripping - my first introduction to Joe Hill! I loved Stephen King from a very early age - it's so great to see that the apple truly doesn't fall far from the tree here! I look forward to reading more books by Joe hill!
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on June 1, 2013
I liked this book because the whole story was quite unusual, the characters had an edge to them and there were some unexpected twists in the story... Not particularly scary overall, but a suspenseful read.
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on January 4, 2014
This is a very good book. Joe hill has a talent for describing every thing in such a way that puts you right into the story. I didn't want to put this book down. In my opinion he is a better writer than his dad, Stephen king. I will be looking for more of Mr. Hills books in the future.
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