Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

December 7th, 2018 Kimberly Review 18 Comments

7th Dec
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Heart-Shaped Box
by Joe Hill
Narrator: Stephen Lang
Length: 11 hours and 3 minutes
Genres: Horror
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 4.5 cups

Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals...a used hangman's noose...a snuff film. An aging death-metal rock god, his taste for the unnatural is as widely known to his legions of fans as the notorious excesses of his youth. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, an item for sale on the Internet, a thing so terribly strange, Jude cant help but reach for his wallet.

I will "sell" my stepfather's ghost to the highest bidder...

For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. He isn't afraid. he has spent a lifetime coping with ghosts--of an abusive father, of the lovers he callously abandoned, of the band-mates he betrayed. What's one more?

But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost, no benign conversation piece. It's the real thing.

And suddenly the suit's previous owner is everywhere: behind the bedroom door...seated in Jude's restored vintage Mustang...standing outside his window...staring out from his widescreen TV. Waiting--with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one bony hand...


I used to think only good things came in heart-shaped boxes. Things like chocolates or jewelry. That all changed when I listened to Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill during the #Fraterfest Readathon earlier this year. Nope, I will forever hesitate when I open those boxes.

Reasons to grab your earbuds and listen to Heart-Shaped Box

  • Jude Coyne, an aging rocker buys a ghost on a whim to add to his macabre collection. When his package arrives it’s a black heart-shaped that contain a suit. He laughs, and tucks it away but soon he begins seeing the ghost on an old man. The tale that unfolds develops into a creeptastic haunting that will send shivers down your spine.
  • Jude and his goth rocker girlfriend, Georgia (Marybeth)  are both a little rough around the edges and fairly cliché, but Hill will surprise you as he peels back their layers. My opinion of both of them changed as the story progressed, and I actually became quite fond of them.
  • You love a good scare. This got dark with some disturbing moments. The tension and suspense built and I soon found myself holding my breath and turning on a few extra lights. Sometimes when I close my eyes those scenes come to mind. Eek! Never let it be said that Hill doesn’t have a twisted imagination and his skill with a pen brings it all to terrifying life. Animal Lovers warning: View Spoiler »
  • Hill explores the human psyche from Jude to the women who love him. He allows the reader to get them, connect and become invested in their outcome.
  • The whole premise surrounding the ghost was fantastic!! The ghost himself was a powerful and frightening character. From Hill’s vivid description of him to the things this ghost appears to be able to do and in fact does! I thought his history was rather clever and gave plausibility to the story for those prone to believe in the supernatural.
  • The ending wrapped up really well, leaving the reader in a good place and even contains an epilogue.
  • Stephen Lang offered a stellar narration from the characters individual voices to the way he aided in intensifying scenes and emotions. Hill’s books lend themselves perfectly to audio and Lang delivered.

While NOS42A is still my favorite Joe Hill book, Heart-Shaped Box was another clever listen. Now turn on the lights and grab your headphones.

Turn on the lights, grab your headphones and listen to Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill, narrated by Stephen Lang. This is one ghostly tale you won't soon forget. #iloveaudiobooks #horror Click To Tweet
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

18 Responses to “Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill”

  1. Rachel @Waves of Fiction

    What a macabre collection! Who in their right mind would want to buy a ghost? Sounds very scary. Glad you enjoyed it, apart from the spoiler. I’m sure that would bug me, too.

  2. Erin O'Riordan

    My first thought when I started listening to this book was, “Dybbuk box – you’ve done a very stupid thing and bought a dybbuk box.” It wasn’t that, but it WAS a wild, atmospheric horror/ghost story, I very much liked this audiobook.

  3. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    This sounds so creepy! If I had just read the title and not seen who the author was, I would have expected a completely different kind of story. Heart-shaped boxes just immediately make me think of sweet romances, lol.

  4. bookworm

    Great review Kim. I re-read this one in October and still need to post my thoughts on it. I totally agree, it’s a good scary story and I ended like liking both Jude and Georgia. You hit the nail on the head, Hill does a great job at getting into Jude and the women in his life, the way Georgia won’t leave him and wants to help him. Ugh the ghost creeped me out, his eyes!

  5. Tracy Terry

    I love boxes … one of my brother in laws buys me one every Christmas.

    A collector of such wonderfully unusual stuff, Judas sounds like a fascinating character. Dark and yet hopefully not so dark that I’d find myself unable to read it, this is definitely a book I could see myself enjoying,

    Tracy Terry recently posted: THE LAST TUDOR.
  6. Angie Elle

    Ok. Being the wuss I am, I am not a horror reader. But I do want to read this book now. Unfortunately my library doesn’t have it in audio. I will recommend it. 🙂

    Great review. Did you have to sleep with the lights on? LOL