Review: Heart-Shaped Box

(I read this book as part of 1book140. Keep up with the latest over at The Atlantic!)

Aging death-metal rockstar Judas Coyne is a collector of awful things, including a cookbook for cannibals, a used hangman’s noose, and a genuine snuff film. He’s always been intrigued by the macabre, and so when the chance arises to purchase a suit supposedly haunted by the ghost of a dead man, Judas goes for it.

But the black, heart-shaped box which arrives contains more than a suit. Judas really has purchased a ghost, and now the frightening figure lurks in hallways, behind doors, and even inside Judas’ television.

Forget campfire stories and episodes of “Scooby-Doo”; this is a very real—and very angry—ghost. It has a score to settle with Judas Coyne, and it won’t stop until Judas and everyone he knows is dead.

Good, but too much for me

This book gave me nightmares, which I suppose was the point. It’s extremely well crafted, and absolutely terrifying. I picked up the book early in October and felt like I wasn’t able to exhale until I finished it last night.

I wouldn’t say I enjoyed the read; horror is not a genre in which I often dabble, and many of the situations and scenes were simply too much for me, for various reasons. I will say that I was caught up in the story, and never saw the twists coming. Author Joe Hill has written a great novel, but I wasn’t at all sad to put the book down.

If you’re into horror, gore, and the occult, check out Heart-Shaped Box. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

What genre do you find it hard to enjoy? What do you think of horror stories?

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