Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
20th Century Ghosts Paperback – September 16, 2008
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
“Alternately sad, scary, strange and at times even sweet, these tales will haunt you long after you’ve read them.” (Parade (a "Parade Pick"))
“[A] lovely, earnest collection of short fiction.” (Village Voice)
“[O]ne of the best [horror] collections of the year. Hill is a relative newcomer who consistently creates creepy, very disturbing stories.” (Locus)
“Each tale is unique, and the collection proves that Hill’s talent is not limited to horror, but extends well into the mainstream.” (Denver Rocky Mountain News)
“[An] inventive collection . . . brave and astute.” (New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice))
“[A] new take on the fantasy-horror genre...Highly recommended.” (The Sun Herald (Sydney, Australia))
“The selections range from the mundane to the surreal, with a strong emphasis on the kind of horror tale perfected by Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub and Stephen King.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“This solid, inventive, scary collection of stories reveals a writer who has thought hard about the problematics of horror.” (New York Times on 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS)
“Each of these chilling tales arrests you from the opening sentence and leads you — trustingly, thanks to the simple mastery of the story-teller — into a place of gulping fear.” (Daily Mail (London) on 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS)
“Subtle and disturbing in equal measure.” (Coventry Telegraph on 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS)
From the Back Cover
Imogene is young, beautiful . . . and dead, waiting in the Rosebud Theater one afternoon in 1945. . . .
Francis was human once, but now he's an eight-foot-tall locust, and everyone in Calliphora will tremble when they hear him sing. . . .
John is locked in a basement stained with the blood of half a dozen murdered children, and an antique telephone, long since disconnected, rings at night with calls from the dead. . . .
Nolan knows but can never tell what really happened in the summer of '77, when his idiot savant younger brother built a vast cardboard fort with secret doors leading into other worlds. . . .
The past isn't dead. It isn't even past. . . .
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The last story I read was Voluntary Committal, and man was it powerful. The story of two brothers, extra dimensions, and guilt, mixed in with the emotions of wanting to friends and being willing to do almost anything to attain them. There was a sense of magic in the air, but a tainted magic that warned you from the start: Don't go in there. Magic exists. Monsters are real.
My favorite stories are The Cape, Pop Art, and probably Voluntary Committal, but all of them are good. Joe switches up voices, perspectives, characters, and settings. You never know what to expect; you might have a clue, but you probably won't see the complete picture until all the pieces are in place. He is great about really diving into characters, making you care, and then ripping out your guts.
I've read other books by Joe Hill, like NOS4A2 and Heart Shaped Box, and he never disappoints. Give his work a chance. You will be glad you did.
Even the weakest stories in the bunch are quite good, and most of them invoke feelings of haunting creepiness or tender beauty, and the best ones manage to incorporate both of these feelings within their pages.
"Pop Art" has got to be one of the best short stories I have ever read. It was so delightfully surreal, I didn't know what to make of it until the last page. It's such an absurd conceit for a story, but Hill sells it so completely to the reader that he makes it work in ways that I expect few other authors could accomplish.
"My Father's Mask" gripped hold of my imagination and still has me wondering just what the hell was actually going on. I should be frustrated with my lack of understanding, but I am left only intrigued, my curiosity pining for more. I suspect that with a few close rereads, I'll decipher a few more clues, but I don't think we're really meant to understand everything, and that's somehow okay with me. More importantly, it makes me want to write stories of my own.
"Voluntary Committal", more a novella than a short story, was as wonderfully creepy as it was fascinating. Hill skillfully suggests just enough to make your imagination run wild with the ideas he's laid down for the reader. I wanted to be spoiled, to know everything about the interiors of the mysterious box forts this story is centered around, but I also realize that knowing more about them would detract from their spellbinding appeal.
YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK.
READ THIS BOOK.
The stories are varied. Some are more horrifying than others. A couple are a bit brutal. There's nothing too gratuitous here but the reader should know that a couple of stories might actually disturb you. Of course, as a horror fan you might just say, finally! a writer who's got the grit!
Other stories are more subtle and these are actually the stories which for me illustrate his mastery of weaving words. I did enjoy the story about Horror Anthology editor looking for the writer, but I loved the subtle unfolding of the story about the theater. I wish I could say more, but I certainly do not want to ruin these stories for the new reader.
Let it be said that a couple of these ditties will certainly become Horror classics. No doubt about that. Joe is a welcome newer addition to a small pool of decent mature horror writers. It's a difficult genre to accomplish maturity in, all too easy to take the low road or to use cliche tricks. Very few writers seem to have the chops to be recommendable to a non horror audience. I used to tell my friends who were not into horror that they should at least pick up one of Stephen King's best books. Well, Joe is this good too. I would recommend Mr. Hill to my non-horror reader friends as well.
A grear read. Highly recommended. A solid "A".
Most recent customer reviews
However, I will say that, like I mentioned in my review of "Axiomatic",...Read more
I've read all of Joe Hill's books - I love everyone.... so far.